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Date: December 23rd 1916

Seaford Sussex
Dec. 23rd

Dear Mither:

Well your long looked for letter arrived yesterday & still no word of my letters reaching you but others have received reply's today so I guess I will get mine soon. Perhaps my first letter never got there at all for I hear that they were all censored at Liverpool and if so I did so much kicking they may have burned them. Still I said nothing of Military importance so they should be OK, as I expect they will or rather were Xmas parcels as coming in galore but I have none yet, but there are two days yet if they don't come by then I can still look foreward to them coming for I know there are some on the way. Those Xmas hampers will be great for we are pretty badly shut up here with the quarantine & do not get much that is good in the eats line. The grub being rather to much the same day in & day out and also decidedly slim. I con't stand half the work now I could when I joined up except in the walking line. I blame it on the grub although I am not getting any thinner as you will see by the photo enclosed. I had it taken in London but it is not very good. It was taken under electric lighting & the shading is not very good I don't think. However it was taken in London & if I get throught the O.T.C. & get a commission (as the Officers of the school seem to think we will but I 'hae me doots'.) Then I will have a picture taken in my new outfit but I think the chances are slim for the war will all be over by then I think. However we never can tell. I'd like to see the war over but I would also like to see a little active service. Just a little though for by what I hear I guess it gets rather tiresome before long. Still if I get a com. it will make me a lot busier as well as having things more comfy. Of course I don't build much on it but there is a chance I think the work will be easy after the N.C.O. course last summer. All the work so far has been the same over again. The only thing that will get me is map reading. I am not very well up in Geometry as you know & have to figure all the degrees & angles by arithmetic but as I am pretty fair at that I think I can run the bluff for the rest. Of course if I do get through the com will not be cinched by a long way, so don''t say anything about it outside, more than that I am taking the course at any rate. One thing about it it gives me something to do to fill in the time for all the card playing here is for money so I am out of it. Even our sociable game of bridge has developed into a penny a point game so I had to hand over my corner to another guy who is learning the game. Anyway I don't intend starting

any of it for one never know when to stop. Leslie Roy says he never played for money till he joined the army but now he is quite a professional at it. He don't like it much he says but its the only way to get a game at all here. He says he quits as soon as he leaves the army. I think he will too for he has improved a lot since I knew him at Findlay. He seems to take everything much more seriously that he did. Raymond Belle to is a fine lad & a big husky at that weighs about 190 & is nearly 6 ft. tall. I heard that Malcom Berthram had died of wounds. One of Jim Davis's boys from Rounthwaite is in our company & he had a letter saying the last they heard was that he could not live long enought for Mr. Bertheram to get over here to see him. Of course he may have pulled through for they do funny things in the army. The best I heard for a while was on the 100th Dr here. One guy went in the other day & He told his asst. to give him a no 9 pill ... (a favorite of his) The asst. said they were run out of them. Well he says give him a no 4 & a five thats nine. They give you that same old pill for a cold sore toe or brain fever measles or anything else you like to have wrong within you. Lately (I don't know what struck them) but they are not making us work in the rain. I guess it is on account of so much sickness & cold going around.

I am glad to hear you have ordered those hampers and even if you didn't have Sherwood & Kings number if you adressed it to B co. or even just the Batt it will find him O.K. Though it may take a bit longer but not much.

Well I am going to ring off now for a while & finnish it tomorrow after we see what the mail brings in. Was glad to note in the papers that Sask will be dry Jan 1st. That was in a English paper. They must be ashamed of themselves eh!