July 11 1916
Mrs Henry Johns
Dear Mother :- Well Mother we are at Camp Borden and it is one sam hill of a place. Its all sand here its just the color of cornmeal only a lot finer We had a parade yesterday to get ready for Sam Hughes We had an awfull time from a quarter to eight to half past one We had no water a lot of men fell out they say some of them died after but they did not tell us so There was some time in camp last night they call it a riot. I think it looked like one to see about 5000 men in a mob with sticks and stones yelling like madmen a lot got hurt they let all the prisoners out except the 170th they stood them off with bayonets some were stuck or cut. I expect there will be another this afternoon by the sound of things and no wonder if there is one day in this hole is enough for any man. We marched past Sir Sam this morning it was some sight to see about 85000 men in one place I'll bet they absorbed a lot of water they took moving pictures of us we were a pretty sight when we got home just like a lot of threshers just as black as niggers its awfully dirty here its just cleared from a pine bush the logs cut into lumber and the brush burned then they plant our tents on that when the wind blows it full of fine sand just like dust or quicksand when its dry. Its a great sight to see the tents there seems to be miles of them there is tents as far as you can see We have two Scotch Batt with their kilts they look fine. Its a God forsaken place all around us I dont think you could grow much grain the grass is all burned dry. as a cinder and is nothing but sand,sand,sand
Well we left London at 10 o'clock Sunday and It took us 8 hours to get here I tell you what we seen some country in that time but there is no place like Huron for grain or grass its the best I've seen yet. Our camp is only about ten rods from the G.T.R.(Grand Trunk Railroad) Station we sleep about 20 rods from it but we have the farthest to go to drill about 2 miles I think mabe more or less They have gone to a lot of expence up here. I guess its to be a perment camp. They say they will pave the roads I hope its done when we wake up in the morning The have a lot of German and Austrian prisoners Inturned here they do all the carpenter work and ditching pull stumps and so on they have a better time than we do we had pretty poor grub the first day and having to work so hard on it It makes you weak as a chicken we have a half holiday to day so mabe I'll catch up to it.
I suppose the London papers will print a lot about the trouble last night. The Toronto papers put it so as to appear that the London men started it But its not right The Toronto men had just as much to do and maby a little more than the London boys had Well I suppose the folks are all well and have finished haying by now and will be looking at the wheat with a hungry eye. You will notice I am using a new style of writing paper I wonder if you can tell what its made of .(Birch bark) just keep it untill you find out We can get it for nothing Well I must say good bye for now
C. Co. Ont.