Letter from Pte. Thomas
Last week we received a letter from our young townsman, W.H. Thomas. This letter was one received by his parents. A few days later we received a lengthy letter giving a full account of his experiences from the time he joined the contingent until the date of writing from the camp in England. We shall summarize this letter, as all that "Billie" says is not for publication:
June 24, 1915.
I shall try to scribble you a few lines. We arrived safe and sound. It sure was a dandy trip. I cannot imagine I am over here. It is only two months since my pal, Fat (Angus McLean) and I joined, but we are here. We worked hard to get on in the drill, and we were as far advanced as some who have been on the job for five months." Speaking of the trip from Haileybury, he says "there was not much doing, only singing and such like. People might have thought there was booze on the train, but there was not on our car. We had all we wanted to eat, and when we landed in Toronto we were taken to Child's restaurant where we had a splendid meal, thanks to our officers. The trip over the lake to Niagara was fine. It was a beautiful morning, and everyone enjoyed the sail after being in the car so long. We were the first quoto to arrive. Of course, the advance was there, and had our tents up. All we had to do was to put floors in the tents, and get our blankets. They did not drill us very hard for a couple of days. When they picked out the draft, Fat and I were pretty down-hearted, as all the other Liskeard boys were in it, and we were transferred to C Co., but we were only with them half a day when Sergt. Hicks was after us for the draft. We sure jumped at it. We didn't do much drilling after that. We were examined by the doctor, lined up before the orderly, signed papers, and inoculated. We did not know until Saturday that we were leaving Wednesday. There being no train out of Toronto Saturday night, I could not get home, as I would liked to have done."
"We had a pleasant trip across the pond. Some of the boys felt pretty tough the second day out, but I never missed a meal. There was no excitement until Saturday, the 19th, when we sighted a couple of our destroyers. They escorted us in. Before this we slept with [remainder of letter missing]