Nov. 7th 1916
Pte. H.F. Ball No. 436610
38th Battn. 16 Platoon. D. Coy.
Dear Aunt Becca.
Just a few lines to say that I am quite well and getting along all right. The weather has been pretty good, but it is wet and cold out today.
Well Aunt Becca I have got up to the front at last and have had a turn in the trenches, but we are out now for a few days rest. We were not out today so I thought it would be a good chance to write a few letters.
We are staying in billets now in a little town back of the firing line. The people have nearly all left the place so the buildings are used for the boys to camp in, and they are a lot better than tents, as there is so much mud around here. A bunch of us are in an old stable which has been fitted up with bunks so we are quite comfortable, but the rats have a great time in the night running and jumping all over us.
Before we got up to the trenches, we passed pretty close to some of our big guns and they sure make an awful bang. There is quite a lot of them and they keep up a steady roar night and day. The air is whistleing all the time with the shells rushing and tareing through the air. I think Fritz must have been getting it pretty hot, but he was sending some our way to let us know that he was still there. Where we were going in the shells were dropping all around but none were so very close. After we had been in the trenches a little while, Fritz sent over some pretty fast and a few were close enough to throw the dirt on us. They make quite a noise when they are coming, so we keep our heads down. It was our first time in, and I don't think we did too bad for our breaking in.
I saw Fred McLean here yesterday and he is looking pretty good. I was speaking to him for a few minutes, and he said, If I ever get out of this war, and anybody says anything to him about war again there will be another war starting right away.
I have not had any letters for over a month or since we left England, but I expect to get it any day now. I guess our mail has been delaid as we have been moving around quite often lately.
I have been well and getting along all right so far and hope to keep so. Did you receive the money I sent before we left England? I suppose things are pretty quiet around Edmonton this fall?
Well I can't find much more to say this time so I guess I will have to close for now, but I will write whenever I get the chance. I hope you are well and getting along all right. Does Uncle Chriss and the others still live at 34 Bellemy St? Please remember me to any of the folks when you see them. Well good bye for this time, and best love.
Your loving Nephew,