Sat April 28/17
Mrs. H Johns
Dear Mother :- I guess the week will soon be up again and a letter be due to you. Well I am feeling great and as the weather is good, life does not seem so bad as it did. We are in reserve at present and doing working partys. At least the company is Myself and 2 others are doing gas guard. 8 hours out 24 on guard so we have 16 to sleep and do mess orderly work. We have a nice little dugout with six men in it but only 3 beds so 3 must sleep on the floor with the rats. But as I went down first I got one of the beds. Lucky don't you think?
Thing in front of us are quiet at present alough on the right and left. The artillery have an ocassional burst at Fritz. We are quite a ways from the front, quite safe as far as shells are conserned we do not expect to stay here much longer. At night I light a little fire in an old biscuit tin and make a dixie of tea. That is when my 4 hours are about half gone. And also I walk up and down the track and try to pat a few rats on the back or head. They simply swarm in this trench. squeeling and fighting over the grub they pick up.
I was over to see Jackson and got this paper from him his company are in little tents the other two companys are the same. His eyes are bad. yet and also has a bad cold. Jim Howe is in A Co. and also in the same platoon as I am.
Elmer McFalls comes in to see me every day now he has a touch (of) dysentary and has to come down to the M.O.(Medical Officer) every day and as his office is near me Elmer comes in and spends an hour or two with us. I have not had any mail for nearly two weeks from home but I hear there is Canadian mail for to-morrow so maby there will be some for me then. The working parties are cleaning up the battle fields in wonderfull style where 3 weeks ago one dare not show his head without being shot now hundreds of men are working building roads and railroads in fact there is a big railroad laid right up to where his front line was. It don't take long to follow the army up does it? Well I must close now I hope this finds you well. With Love from Earl