Somewhere in France
July 8, 1917
My Dear Sister and All,-
Well here goes for a few lines to let you know that I am still in the land of the living and enjoying life as per usual. Received two letters last night one from Mrs. Green and one from Aunt Mary Cleary, have just finished answering both so I thought I would scribble you a few lines while I had the time. Well Agnes I have rejoined my Batt. again and am preparing for my first trip into the front line with the batt. I think they are about as fine a bunch of fellows as we could find anywhere so I am quite content at last. Saw the boys of the 123rd yesterday, also those in the fourth Batt. and found them all fine. I saw Lieut. Jack Munro the other night, he is in the 75th also Lieut. Robinson, he is in the 4th. Wallie Thompson and Drew are in the fourth too. Wallie was wounded the first trip into the trenches, the lucky beggar. I don't think we will be in the trenches much longer now as old Fritz is nearly done for. We all expect to be home for Christmas, I hope so anyway as I have seen all I want to and am ready to return anytime and I think all the rest of the boys feel the same way. We had a heavy rain last night, gee! it just poured, but it is pretty well dried up now. We were to mass this morning at the Y.M.C.A. tent. Our Chaplain told us that if we put in our names to our Coy. orderly room, we could have a chance for a trip to Lourdes. You have heard of that place, I think it is in the south of France. Three priests are holding a pilgrimage there and the Pope has arranged with the military authorities to let 20 men a week go on leave for the occasion, so we will all have a chance to go. Lots of people would give a fortune for the same chance, so I am going to try and go. It only costs 100 francs ($20) for the whole trip.
Well, sister, news is scarce today so guess I will have to ring off. I will write whenever I can. We are living in steel huts now while the battalion is out of the line. I find them very comfortable except for my bosom friends, ho! ho! I only picked about seventy-five off my shirt the other day, so you see I am getting to be quite a hunter. We are all the same in this country. I had a bath about a month ago and expect to have another when we come out of the line, so that will mean another month before we get a decent clean up again. Of course we get underwear shirts when we do get a bath and we sometimes get them washed in a shell-hole. Well, I will close now with love to all.
I am your loving brother