12/11 1916 Witley Camp Reply to J. Bennett Co. B Bat. 109
Received your letter of the 22nd. last Friday, and was indeed glad to get it as it was the first letter I have received since I left Canada. I had a card from Mary a couple of days before that she sent to me in care of the 156th halifax. Your letter looked as though it had travelled around some as the edges of the envelope were all worn full of holes.
We are still with the 109th battalion and haven't heard anything more for the last couple of days about the 156th going back together again. We haven't got any pay since before we left Barriefield but are getting paid off to-morrow and going on a six day pass the next day or at least most of the 156th fellows are. I don't know for sure yet wether I will go or not as a few of us are starting to-morrow to take a course in machine-guns, so we may have to wait for another week before before we get our passes. I think we will go to London as they will only give us passes that are good to one place, and that is the best place to spend a week. I have been on as assistant cook for our company for the last three days but I think that this is the last, at least I hope so. I was in the kitchen on fatigue last Thursday and the head cook was going away on pass, so he asked me if I would help the other fellow for a few days, he said I was the best looking one of the fatigue men. I don't know wether he was talking for shillings or not. I didn't give him any, anyway as I only had a half penny, so the best I could do was to help him out.
The weather here has been real fine lately, it hasn't rained anything to speak of for the last few days, and it has been real warm. There hasn't been any frost yet, nor any snow, it hailed a little one day. It has rained almost every day since we landed in England. The nights are great here now it is almost full moon and the air is quite warm. We don't know what to do with our selves to pass the evenings away. We have quite a lot of books in the hut to read, but it is too nice out side to sit and read all evening
In the army seems to be a great place to get medical examinations, innoculations (sic), we got innoculated three times in Barriefield and now we have to take as many more, we also had another medical examination, since we landed here. There weren't a great many turned down, and the most of what were turned down were sent to what is called the Charlie Chaplin battalion. They do the fatigue work around the camps. I was a little afraid that I was going to get turned down on the examination he didn't say anything to me until he looked at my feeet and then he said you are pretty flat footed aren't you. He said he would let me go seeing that I was in pretty good shape otherwise. My feet were the last thing I expected to have him find anything wrong with as they have never bothered me at all.
I haven't seen Garnet Tanney since I left the 156th but I think he is in this camp some where as it is likely he is with the 124th battalion as that is the battalion that his company went to. I seen Lyn Bissell the other night; he is with the 124th. The 148th battalion is in this camp now. I haven't seen Roy Stafford since they came as he went on a six day pass the night that they came and wasn't coming back until last night.
How is Byde now, I hope he is keeping well, I didn't think that he felt any too well the day he was up to Barriefield from the way he looked. I was quite surprised when I learnt from your letter that Kenneth White had died. He is about the first one from around that part of the country that has been killed in the war. Charlie Kelso couldn't have been in the trenches very long when he was wounded as he hadn't been there very long when we left Canada.
Well I don't know as there is anything more that I can write as we aren't doing anything only forming fours, sloping arms and stand at ease. I am feeling fine and think that the rest of the lads from around home are. Write often and tell the rest to write.
With love to all Jim
P.S. Always send my mail to the Army Post Office