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Sandling Camp
near. Hythe. Kent

Dear Abbie

I dont remember whether I wrote you or Mother about the doings of your humble servant after landing in England, so at the risk of repeating myself I will start at our arrival.

Our last night at sea we were met by two destroyers, who accompanied us across the submarine area. They sighted one but it kept away and vented its wrath on a trawler that night, which we had passed just before meeting our escort, so I guess they were laying for us alright. We sighted Eddystone Light about 8 am Saturday morning the 22nd and were anchored at Devonport, just above Plymouth at 11. am. We lay at anchor all day and then landed Sunday morning. Jack John MacF & I with 97 others were baggage smashers at the dock. We were up at 5 am and unloaded the lighters at Plymouth and then loaded the two trains Worked till 11 am when the last train was loaded and we climbed aboard just as she started. It was the heaviest work I have done for months. We crossed England on the Great Northwestern. Had lovely day and beautiful scenery. I cant describe it but the little villages, mostly with thatched roofs, and the beautiful lanes, fields and hedges were lovely and a fellow had a feeling of rest and security, till a Red Cross train would dash past loaded with wounded. Soldiers and train loads of artillery etc were everywhere.

Just jumped up from this letter to watch a military aeroplane shoot past close overhead

To continue. We passed through Shepherds Bush London about 6 Pm and arrived at Nestenhanger about 11 Pm. We then had to march with our stuff just as we left the Ex for a couple of miles, and believe me when I lay down to sleep the bunks felt great.

We are in nice clean huts, 30 men to a hut, and eat in our own huts and have our own mess orderlies, two every day. I'm one today and its a dead cinch. Have half the time to myself but of course cant leave the hut.

We drill 8 hours a day now but I have'nt minded it so far. The hills around here are very steep, but the roads are smooth, but very narrow, with beautiful hedges on each side. There are camps all around us for miles, nearly all Canadians. Just think we are less than 50 miles from the firing line here. A soldier left here last month on a Saturday and the next Tuesday he was back wounded. They dont waste much time sometimes do they. We have a couple of seaside resorts near here that we can go to evenings. Folkstone is the largest, but its full of French & Belgian refugees and wounded Canadians. Seeing our own men with arms off etc and talking to them, makes a fellow feel like murdering some one. We also saw Queens Canadian Hospital, while on a route march and saw more of the Canadians on crutches etc. Last night I walked over the fields to Hythe, the other seaside place about half hours walk from here. Tried to get a film developed but they are snowed under by the orders from the soldiers and cant do them so I'm going to mail them to you. Charlie had a film of mine at Mtl. How did they come out. I asked him to send you some.

Have received no letters from Canada yet except one from the girls in the office.

Its time for me to get the next meal so will close for now. Much love to you all, and again thanking you all for your great kindness to me in the past I remain

your loving brother

Original Scans

Original Scans