Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: December 6th 1914
Howard Curtis

G. Co. 9th Battn 4 Bgd
Bulford Camp
Salisbury Plains
Sun. Dec. 6, 1914

Dear Mother,

I received Muriel's letter and also the parcel and I'm ever so pleased. It's fine to have warm socks to fall back on as our feet get wet every day here.

The weather is the same as usual. It seems as if it will never stop raining. Yesterday it came down in torrents. There was a terribly heavy wind to make it worse. I happened to be lucky this week because I've been put on the carpenters' list to help build huts and stables. This job excuses us from all parades and drills and best of all we get two shillings a day extra. It will likely be Christmas before this job is done. There are fifty carpenters from each battalion in the fourth brigade, making a total of two hundred men. You did not say whether you had received any of my money yet. I hope you get it all right as I have signed for it here to be sent to you. There are cases where the paymaster is inclined to be crooked, but I guess the money will reach you all right.

The YMCA furnishes good pastime and amusement for us. They have a large tent and we can buy anything we want there. There are concerts and moving pictures twice a week and sometimes they are worth going to see. All you can see here are soldiers, automobiles, horses and airships. The airships are numerous as sparrows - they certainly have them down to perfection. I have watched several light. There are two or three Canadian machines here. You asked me if I had seen Lord Roberts. He reviewed us with King George, just a week before he died. They passed within a foot of me.

Our camp is not as good as at Valcartier. The wet canteens spoil it to a certain extent. There sure is a lot of beer drunk every day. The canteens are open from 12 till 2 p.m. and from 6 to 9 at night. When the canteens are open it's nice and quiet - a good time to write letters. There is no chance at all after it closes and the men come in half-stewed.

I am going to Warminster for Christmas. All of us get a pass for four or five days. That will give me time to call on the different people you mentioned in your letter. We are getting better food now. It sure was rotten the first three weeks. A great thing here is Stoneless Plum Jam. It's nothing but turnips, sugar and flavouring. Sometimes we do get good strawberry or raspberry jam.

We are getting some new officers in our battalion, including a colonel and paymaster. I hear there has been some swindling going on. No person had any use for the two of them around here. The latest rumor is that we are going to Egypt. We hear so many stories that I won't believe any until we move. About all the good we are doing here is posing for picture machines and giving pedlars a good living. We will get our share before spring.

I will send some Christmas cards to-morrow as they won't sell them on Sunday. Funny isn't it! They sell tobacco and beer but no stationery.

I hope everybody has a Merry Christmas. Best regards to everybody at home.