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Date: October 17th 1917

Oct. 16th 17

Dear Mother

I can guess that you will be looking for my letter again by this time, as I'm afraid I'm a little behind with them, aren't I? But this is really the first time (since the last) that I have had time to write you a letter. Anyway, you will have got the Field Card I sent between, and you know that I'm still getting along OK, though rather busy these days. I guess you have some rare old times wondering what I'm doing. You'll be glad to know that I've got a job that suits me fine; that is Company runner (or to be more classy, "dispatch carrier"), so I miss a lot of the fatigues and parades, and you bet I'm sorry, eh! Well Mother, I used to think I knew what mud was, but oh Lord you should have seen your sonny boy the other day. But I don't think you could, for mud. It rained off and on for a couple of weeks, and it certainly does make it sticky in the trenches. But we should worry, as I'm not in just now. We're on a short rest again, and getting cleaned up; even down to shining buttons and harness. One thing we are glad of, we are getting a little more pocket money these days. Our pay is increased to 25 francs per month. You will wonder what they do with the balance of it. It is always to our credit till we get leave to Eng, or better still, when the BEF don't need us. (Leave seems to be harder to get than ever, and Paris leave is stopped altogether now. But that won't worry, as the war is going to be over by Xmas.) What do you think of the progress the BEF are making these days? It seems like to me as though the Russians keep it at the same, and lose as much as we gain. But he's sure taking his licking here, and I guess hasn't the spunk, as he's going back all the time over here.

Well Mother, I suppose by now that the harvest is getting pretty well over in Canada. I'm hoping it's turned out good. It's rather comical to watch them farm here, as they are rather old-fashioned, but they are getting Canadian machinery and more up-to-date.

Well Mother, I'll have to give you my address again and you'll be sure: 16th Canadian Scottish Platoon 3 boy BEF, France. It is quite a spell now since I had some Canadian mail. I'm hoping it comes along soon. I had another letter and a parcel from Starston last week, and they were all well. Auntie Jessie's teaching school again, so she be over her sickness, I guess. I wonder how you all keep at home. I seem to be better out here than I ever was. I haven't even had my usual toothache. (I guess that is to come. I'll sure miss it, if it doesn't !) Well Mother, I'll have to be closing now, hoping this will find you all in the best of health, so with love to all, I remain your loving Son,