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Date: November 12th 1916

Dibgate Camp. Shornecliffe
Kent England. Sun Nov 12

Mrs Henry Johns

Dear Mother :- Well Mother we have arrived at last as you will no doubt know before you get this letter. We have been a long time on the way It has been pretty tiresome travelling I can tell you we started 2 weeks ago last Friday and arrived last night or I should say this morning at 5 o'clock we had to walk 2 miles and carry our pack It was no fun as we had not much to eat since yesterday morning. We were up a 4 o'clock yesterday morning to get off the boat early. but did not get off untill 4 in the afternoon. The train did not come untill 6 o'clock so we had some time yesterday. It did not take us long to come down through England the worst of it was we travelled at night so we could not see much. We had to keep the doors shut and the blinds down as no lights are to be shown at night. We were crowded in 8 in a compartment with our baggage. so I did not get much rest. I think this camp will be better than Borden but I hope it don't rain too much. We are not far from the coast only about a mile I believe its only 22 miles from France they can hear the big guns some times they say. This place is sometimes raided by airships. I saw an English aeroplane this morning flying near us there is a base for them neare here They say that they can leave their base here and can be on the firing line in 15 minutes that's going some Ise'nt it. We are in an insolation camp at present untill they see that we have no sickness that might be catching. We are under canvass for a few days as our huts are not finished I am glad that they will not be lousy or dirty if they are new. I think Will Smith is up here too I have not seen him yet but I heard they was. He did not come in the same ship . Jim Howe is here too. I don't think it will hurt to tell the name of our boat. It was the Lapland. it is some ship nearly 700 ft long. there was plenty of room to get lost as it had 6 decks We were loaded on her on Monday morning and pulled out in the harbour at night and stayed there untill Wed. night at 5 o'clock. We had to wait untill the other boats loaded. I can tell you there was some sick pups on that ship the first day out. I did not take sick untill Thursday morning the most of them was sick the same night we pulled out. I got down my breakfast and got up on deck as I had to go on guard. I was up laughing at Jackson he looked so white and miserable I laught one minute and was feeding the fishes the next. I soon got over it though but did not feel any to spry for a while. We did not see any submarines but when they got in the war zone they took all precautions they had all the life boats swung out and steared zig-zag for a whole day and night. They had machine guns ready fore use and also 100 rifles I was on the special guard the last 2 days we had 4 hours on and 8 off We had a rifle each and 10 rounds of cartradges but the guns we had diden't look too safe. The was some great scenery going around the north of Ireland I saw some of the prettiest Islands I think there is to be seen. We had a bad storm one day. We had to keep down below out of the way the waves washed over the front of the boat You woulden't believe it unless you could see it the height of the waves. the front of the boat would go up about 40 or 50 ft. it was a great time at meal time I've seen two benches and a table go over and smash a dozen plates The water was bad. It was lukewarm. I helped to send that cablegram that went to Exeter to let the folks know we thought that it would get there quicker than a letter. We are about 12 miles from the town of Shornecliffe. I saw young Horney from Exeter this morning he has been here 8 months he said that our boat was reported sunk as it was 9 days overdue. Liverpool is some seaport. Well I must close.


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