April 19, 1915
Dear Brother-in-law Harry,
Since I have travelled a lot since that morning you were kind enough to drive me to Smith's Mills perhaps you would be interested in hearing some of the things that most appealed to a green country lad.
Our ocean trip was enjoyed by me. As you know, the modern passenger boats are fitted out like houses with all conveniences imaginable.
The engine room is kept very clean and tidy. Dynamoes furnish the light and electric fans keep the room cool -- some different from the boiler room. Our ship was about 400 ft long, 10 decks high, had accommodation for about 1,800 people and averaged 15 miles an hour.
We see many different types of vessels here. The torpedo boat destroyers are long, slim, not high, are built of steel and go like the Devil. Some go 48 miles an hour. They destroy submarines, etc and do so by running into them with such force to cut them in two. Submarine boats are seldom seen as they do not hang around to view the scenery.
Modern warefare is carried on in the air by the numerous aircrafts. The bi-plane travels fast (100 miles an hour often) and is used mostly for scouting. Then comes the proper airship. These are big beggars. I saw one yesterday 500 feet long - oblong & pointed in shape.
Zepplins are used by the Germans in all the raids they have made in England. They are shaped exactly like a cucumber. Machine guns are interesting. They fire very rapidly and move around in a circle. Set them up on the edge of a corn piece and they would mow it right down
We guarantee the importance of the rifle and bayonet & you know what these are as well as me. I am kept rather busy at present. I was promoted in Quebec and then again last week. Our section has been taken as battalion scouts and we have a lot to learn if we ever wish to do any good and come back ourselves. I had no idea there was so much to learn about war
Well Harry keep the home fires burning. For us boys are often yearning of our homes and loved ones far away. We will show them what the Canadians are made of when our chance comes which will not be long.