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Date: April 7th 1943
Shirley Loney
Ted Loney

Grande Prairie
April 7, 1943

Dear Shirley:

Well here is the letter you have been waiting for so long.

The snow is just melting up here now and is every thing a mess. The roads are just about solid mud although they are starting to dry out a little now. Last week the roads in camp were terrible it was worse than trying to march on the ice that was on them. We would come in at night covered with mud from the knees down and are doing the same this week but it not quite as bad.

We went for a route march on Monday afternoon were the roads a mess. It had frozen the night before thawed in the morning, a few trucks had gone over the road ahead of us and churned the mud up to a nice gooie mess about 3 or 4 in. deep. Well the mud was bad enough but there were puddles on the road. These puddles up here are not ordinary puddles they go the full width of the road and 10 or 15 feet on either side and are any where from 50 ft. wide to 500 yds and about 6 in. deep with the mud on the bottom. The mud is just there to make it hard to walk while the water just makes you wet but when the two get together and splash all over you it makes a hell of a mess of your uniform and equipment, then you have to spend the evening cleaning everything for inspection next morning. I am sure glad that we don't go out like that every day at least while this mud is around.

One of the boys in our platoon plays the bagpipes. We take him out on the route marches with us but not all the time though. Saturday morning is the one day a week he brings them along for sure. Then we march through town with the pipes playing and put on a great show. The first time we went out with them we didn't have a drummer but we have one of the boys playing the drum now. It is swell to march to the pipes and drum. Two weeks ago Saturday we went out to the American camp on a route march it is at the airport which is about five miles out of town. We marched into the camp at the slope with our band playing boy did their eyes pop. I think every one that is stationed out there was out to watch us. Just before we left the RCAF it is stationed at the airport took us into their mess and gave us all a cup of coffee. We sure did appreciate that as it was about 10 below [F] and we still had to march back to camp. Well our band didn't play again until we got to town which we did in an hour, were we ever tired. Our sergeant asked us if we wanted to go down the main street which is 3 blocks long at the slope with our band playing, we all said sure and away we went. That little bit of music sure puts a lot of pep into you when you are tired we felt as though we could go another 10 miles. I think everybody and his brother were out the morning and every Saturday morning we go through.

Well I have only about 2 ½ weeks to go here and am I glad even if I don't know where I am going from here. As soon as I find out I will write and tell you, we won't find out until the day before we leave. That will be around Easter Monday at least that is when our 8 weeks training here are up.

The boys I came up here with are finished now as yet they haven't left they were supposed to leave the first of this week. I don't think they will get away now until next week now.

Will you thank Dad for the Reader's Digest he sent me. I also forgot to tell Mother that the banana and donuts she sent me arrived safely and were soon eaten.

Well I haven't time to write any more now as I have to make my bed before lights out.

So have a good-bye for now

Love to all