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Date: July 12th 1915
Billy Thomas

Letters from Pte. Thomas

No. 2 Co., 17, Reserve Batt.
1st. Can. Division,
July 12, 15, Kent, Eng.

Dear Mother:-
We have had dandy weather ever since we came, and hope it will continue. The boys, especially those from the North, are feeling fine. We have been on several route marches and we expected to have one last Thursday of 35 miles but they cut it down to 20. We are trying our luck at the ranges, started this morning, and will be at it all week. We leave camp about 6 in the morning and get back about one. To-day we are to have a half-holiday. Hope they keep it up.
I hope this will find you well. Take care of yourself as I want a big time when I get home.
Things are looking pretty good for the Allies at present. If Germany tries to capture Calais, we expect to be there. We have bayonet practice every day. Saturday morning, No. 1 and No. 2 were at it the same time. Of course, the Sergeant Major of No. 1 thought his bunch the better, and wanted a match, so our men took them on. There were 8 men to a team. You may be sure our boys were the winners. As we passed him and his company, we sang "Hail, Hail, the gang's all here." They were going to show us how to shoot to-day, but couldn't. They might before the week is up but will have to go some.
I have seen a number of the fellows who have been to the front. Those who got the gas are hard hit, poor fellows. Some of them will never be any good.

July 16,

Dear Mother:-
Our stay in England is very short now. We are going before the Doctor this morning to be examined. 200 of us are to go across at once, some say, to-night. Will tell you later. Don't worry about me. I will take care of myself and try to dodge bullets when they come. We were served with the Ross rifle, but are getting the Lee Enfield to-day. If we don't go to-night I will write you again.
We have been doing the ranges all week, and this morning at the usual time, the room rolled, but there was no bugle call. We wondered what was up, but at breakfast time were told that word had been received last night wanting 200 men. There is going to be something doing, and there is to be one of your boys in it. I am feeling fine and hope to keep this way.
I haven't received a letter yet. They will be sent to me where-ever I go, so write to the same address. I want you all to take care of yourselves, for we will meet again.
I was figuring on going to London next week to see what it is like, but will have to wait now, until I come back.
Well, dear ones, we are leaving to-night. Have to hustle. Will say good-bye for now.