No 1. Co; C.M.G. Depot
Jan 5th, 1918.
My Dear Mother,
I am over at the Y.M.C.A. hut and there is a concert going on but as it doesn't interest me much I will write you a few lines while Reid is listening. It is rather hard to settle down to camp life again after a nice six days in London. We certainly had a fine time. The only thing was [a] shortage of money. I am arranging this week for $15 per month of my pay to be assigned to you. It may be six weeks before you get the first assignment. When we go to France we get six days draft leave and I want you to send me $50 to reach me about the first week in March or a little later. You can send a draft payable at any London bank. Your parcel has not arrived yet but I have your letter of Dec. 2nd and it was certainly welcome for it seems ages since we left Canada and a letter seems to link one up with home once more. You asked re the photo. You had better write to Johnson Studio, Scarth (?) St., Regina and ask them if they have finished the group of the Third Divisional Cycle platoon. If they have, send $1 for one. Never mind sending the 'Reader' (?), the Belmont papers and the 'Globe' or London papers once in a while will do. The socks will be welcome but I do not need gloves or mitts very badly.
We have been down to real hard work this week and for once I am just about tired out. We have [been] doing squad drill, rifle exercises, route marches etc. all week and several have had to drop out but it's the stuff to break one in to the game and the routine. Today was clean up day. For the third time our hut won the 1 £ prize. It means two boxes of cigarettes apiece for each of us. The weather has been very fair, not as I had expected it would be. I saw in the paper where it had been 40 degrees below in Prince Albert. It sounded like old times. No snow seems strange and when we go out on a route march you see all the farmers plowing and going on with the farm work.
So Andy M[acGill] got into the Flying Corps? It is becoming quite a popular branch. It seems too bad to hear of anyone appealing the Exemption boards award. Here one realizes more and more what we are fighting for and how urgently everyone is needed. The game is no joke, far from it but after visiting London, seeing how the ladies there are doing their part, nobly and unflinchingly, I thank heaven I am not at home. There are many things to criticize in the Army, much fault-finding to do but after all the least one can do is strike in defence of all that life really means, Freedom.
Our day begins as six o'clock these mornings. We have breakfast at 7:10 and it means a hustle to get ready for parade at 7:45. Anyone not shaved or coming out improperly or carelessly dressed are [sic] dealt with severely. We drill from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 2:00 to 4:00 and it's strenuous. The Depot has a good gymnasium and MacCormac and I have been taking a few boxing lessons. To pass our spare time we have a fine Recreation hut in which to play cards, read or write. I haven't been down to Seaford since Xmas. Here one never feels like leaving camp in the evenings. The Y.M.C.A. is a good place. They provide concerts each evening free of charge and have a good canteen where one can get cakes, cocoa etc.
A Canadian Soldiers College is being organized here and Reid and I are thinking of taking some classes; French and History perhaps. The classes are held in the evening after supper on three evenings of the week and it would be, I think, a profitable way of putting in the time.
Well, I think I'll close. Best wishes from Frank.
Pte. F. C. Cousins |
No. 1 Co., C.M.G.D.,
Seaford, Sussex, Eng.