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Date: April 19th 1917

Somewhere in France
Thursday April 19/17

Mrs. H. Johns
Ont. Can.

Dear Mother :- Well Mother I guess its about time I wrote you your weekly letter. I know its away behind time as its ten days since I last had the chance. We have been on the go ever since a week ago last Sunday sleeping anywhere that we could find a hole in the ground. And when we could not find one then it was up to us to dig one. I slept in no less than five different places in that time. One would no sooner get one bed made than on we would go again.

But we must not mind it as we were going in the right direction. Towards Germany.

Tell Lloyd if he had been on hand he could have had all the souvenirs he could carry in no time. rifles, bayonets, belts, helmets (Prussian Guards with the eagle on it.) I had one but gave it away as I was to dead beat to lug it around. I have been in several of his dugouts. He sure can fix them up some Even to doors with plate glass in them. On(e) place in particular we went down the hill behind a ridge and found a trench which was simply lined with dugouts it was about half way down the hill From there one could see for miles a head It sure was a beautifull country. Also about 4 different towns in the distence they all seemed to be one. It was a bright sun-shiney day and it made one feel good I think he must be moving back all along the line. after he was run out of his nest its seems easier to keep him down alough sometimes he still makes it hot for us. So far I have not had a scratch but some others are not so lucky. as you will notice by the papers . Some more of the 161 boys were killed or wounded latly. The Boxes are coming thick and fast I got no less than five to-day of course they have been piling up since we left billets I eat so much that I am afraid Ill be sick. Just to let you see what a life we sometimes lead Ill tell you what I did yesterday. It was raining when I woke up in the morning at 4 A.M. So I went to sleep again or tried to. As I was laying in a hole in the ground with a rubber sheet over top. Our rations did not come up untill nearly ten o'clock after they arrived I had to get the share for our section (as I was acting N.C.O. as some of the N.C.O. were casualties) I then had to divide it up even and give it out. I then eat my own breakfast and went back to bed. About 1 P.M. I thought I would make a dixie of tea and was just getting some water out of a shell hole when 3 of our platoon was called on for guides to bring in the troops who were to relieve us so I missed my dinner. Well we started off It took us untill 5 P.M. to get to the place where we were to meet them. They were not ready untill 6:30. We started off back again each with a platoon. arrived at the place some time after eight. After eating a little supper we get ready to depart which we did about 10:30. We marched steady untill after 5 A.M. this morning with a rest every hour Maby I wasn't a tired boy. Well we got some hot stew. and went to bed untill noon. had some dinner had a shave and wash cleaned my clothes. Then the boxes came and then I did not do much more. I have only opened 2 of them yet one of yours and May Jones everything kept great. I think the German dugouts have a new breed of lice or fleas as they sure keep us on the go especially in a warm place Its a common thing to see a man look wise for a moment then put his hand to the back of his neck and bring it away with a little captive which he procedes to make snap between his two thumb nails. Well Bye Bye

From Earl.

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