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Date: May 20th 1917

16th Batt Can Scottish BEF,
May 20th, 1917

Dear Mother,

I am writing hoping this finds you all well as this leaves me. Well mother, you will have got my last letter I wrote you, since I've been here, and you would be glad to know that we got over without being torpedoed, or anything like that. It didn't take us very long coming across; just about an hour and a half. But we had a much longer train ride, but we liked it fine, and what room we couldn't get inside the carriages, we rode on the top, which suited some of us a lot better. But we were glad when we got here, as the most interesting train rides get tiresome. But we did very well, as we got two days off to rest, and square up, and since then we have been kept busy. We get it harder here than in Eng, but I like it better so far, as it's more interesting, and we don't get half the ceremony and red tape that we've been used to. So that makes things a lot nicer. The camp here is very nicely situated, and the orchards look nice, as they are all in blossom. I think it would just be the place to be in the autumn, wouldn't it? One thing here; we can't go out in the evening without a pass, and we can't get those very often. But I was lucky enough to get one yesterday, which was Saturday, from 2 o'clock till 9. I was with another boy, and we had a good time, as we were half an hour's car ride from town. I can't tell you the name of it. Things are something like Eng, but of course the folks are a lot different, but they are a very nice sort. But their talk is some puzzle, although we can get along with the money all right, as it's very easy to count, (but we don't get worried over counting a lot.) I make out fine in that way, and don't very often run short, as there isn't much to spend it on.

Well mother, today is Sunday and I was to church this morning, and we seem to have a very nice chaplain here. We generally get some concerts in the week at the YMCA, so we do well in that way. I sent a magazine to Dad yesterday. You'll perhaps have it by now, and I'm still looking for some pictures I got taken in Eng. to send to you. I haven't had any letters yet since I've been here. I think they'll be at the next camp we are going to. We are going Monday or Tuesday, so you see they don't leave us in one place long here. I don't think it will be long before we go to the trenches now. The way they keep the Germans moving, we won't want any trench work, as we'll be busy chasing them. I hope so, anyway. There's one thing; we get all the war news here now without having to wait long. The only Germans I've seen yet are the prisoners, and there is a lot of them too around here. I guess they have a great old time watching us get our training, as we go through our different courses near the camp. They should have us pretty efficient by the time we get through here. We got our full harness now, and you can't see much of me when I get my tin pot and mask on. I look like the bogey man that used to be under the bed!

Well mother, you'll think I have a lot to say about myself this time, but I could write more if I could mention different places but they are very strict on the censoring now. I'll have to keep it for awhile yet. I guess by this time the crops will be getting on at home. I hope that they are better this year. Well, I'll have to close now, mother. I'll write you again soon, so with best love to all, from your loving son,