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Date: January 31st 1917

Witley Camp,
Jan. 31, 1917
Dear Lillian:

I wrote Aunt Bessie a few days ago and said I would write you soon, so must get it away.

A lot of Canadian mail has come in yesterday and today I received your letter and Aunt Bessie's and also two from home. Must try and write Dad after I finish this, if it is not too late.

The time of our leaving here is very uncertain now. Two more huts were quarantined for mumps yesterday so everyone will have had them soon. If we wait for these last we can't go for two weeks at least. Perhaps we shall go without them and take more 219th men in their places, or perhaps wait for the fifth division which is being formed here. We might even be broken up, but I'm not going to give my opinion of the fate of the 85th any more. I've written too many false reports already.

We had a little snow today, just enough to make the ground white, and tonight is milder than it has been for a week! The weather has been colder this month than for about twenty years and farther north they have had unusually heavy snow storms.

Nearly every day we are issued with some article that we are to take to France. Yesterday we got our new rifles, and I suppose the next will be the steel helmets.

I wasn't on parade at all today. I came off quarantine guard this morning and was free until dinner time, and this afternoon Mr. Ruggles kept me in the office to do some writing. I was glad to get a chance to stay in out of the snow as the company was out in the trenches. Mr. Ruggles gets me to do a lot of work for him so I get off quite a few parades.

Sunday I had a pass and with five others went to Bramshott. We walked both ways, about fourteen miles altogether and got home about eight p.m. I saw Thompson Boyle in the St. F. X. Unit and a sister of Nellie MacDonald's from Heatherton who is a nurse. She invited me into the nurses home and I had tea with her.

In the last letter from home they said they thought we were in France. I think it has been reported in the N.S. papers that we have gone over.

Must scribbble a note to Dad so good night with love to you and Aunte Bessie.


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