My Dear Mother:-
Today was rather good to me for it brought no less than five letters but of the five yours was the best for in this far-away land, news of home-folks always means the most. I also had a letter from Nellie, one from Miss Farrell at Creelman, one from Miss Shields, one of the teachers at Lipton and one from Mr. Taylor, the bank manager at Lipton. Last night I had a letter from Andy. Likely I will see him when I am up with the Cross Country Runners on Mar 6th. Nellie's letters come through very regularly. I have had five from her since Jan 1st, the last dated Jan 27th.
First, I will answer any questions you ask. Yes, the news of Halifax came long ago. I think I told you that we heard about it before we got off the boat at Liverpool. You ask about sending pay. No, don't, unless I ask for it. My additional pay will be along I suppose about April 15th. Mother, send only small parcels, a few cigarettes & some hard chocolate bars, nut bars or a small cake. Many boxes are lost. Wrap them up well and address them very carefully. Never mind sending soup, but honey would be nice if you could send it. Yes, I will look up Fred C on the first occasion I am in London.
Well, things are going as usual. It will please you to know that our Company will not be getting away to France now 'till probably the middle of April. At the beginning of the week five hundred trained men from Witley joined the Depot and they will all likely go before us. They were the mach[ine] gunners for the Fifth Division which has now been broken up. In a way I am glad for it will be warmer and more agreeable when we get across. Then we are anxious, Reid and I, to get across & get in line for something better; the longer we are [in] getting there, the less our chance is. I am still training for the C. Country team and have a good chance to get on the train for London. I went around the course yesterday in the rain & mud. Baseball will start now in a few days. Tonight we are having a whist drive in our Recreation Hut and just after supper we get 1ï¿½ pay. I am managing to keep up above board again but I haven't been spending much. My lips and mouth are rather sore and I cannot enjoy a good feed.
In Miss Shield's letter today, she told me that her brother is now in Eng., a 2nd Lieut. in the R.F.C. He and I tried to get in together at the time I joined the Cyclists. He is getting along fine, I believe. You remember the day we went out with Abey in the car south of Brandon. The Shields used to farm out there near the Brandon Hills. They are fine people. Things are quiet in Lipton. Getting a principal gives trouble. They have had three since I left. It is too bad for they have such a nice school. Creelman is going on as lovely as ever.
In your note you tell about the nice stormy weather. It is still fine here. Last week we had some cold nights but the days have been fine and warm. Little rain and haven't seen any snow for a month or more. So R.J. Campbell has bought Shields farm? I often just close my eyes and picture to myself all that little corner around there. And Dan Campbell is going in for himself too! I think of Dan these days for it was he who started me on my first career as a runner. We used to run around the track [Belmont Fair Grounds] near Vic Cline's and then run home. Sorry to hear about the loss of the horse. They will be worth money now. Glad that Dad is getting better. Don't let Charlie stay home. Try to persuade Nellie to stay teaching. She should take a summer course and get her permanent certificate. The summer courses are very nice and the one Reid & I attended at Saskatoon was quite enjoyable.
There is a terrible noise going on here. On the table Smithy, one of our clan is shaving. Reid & Mac & Storrey are scrapping on the bed. Harris & Greer are having some exciting discussions about some girls in Regina so pardon the rambling nature of my few remarks. Quite a few Regina boys were included in the five hundred who joined our Depot from Witley. They came over with the 195th which left Regina a year and a half ago.
Well, Mother, I guess I will close. Yours, much love
#2233344 F.C. Cousins
No. 1 Co. C.M.G. Depot