April 6th 18
My Dear Nellie:-
This is not by any means a convenient place in which to write but I was so pleased to get two letters from you today dated Feb 29th & Mar 6 that I will give you a few lines in reply. Don't be afraid to write to me, any news at all for over here we read everything. I also had a letter from Beatrice and also one from Fred Carruthers who is here in France with the 4th Battalion. I must try and locate him some time.
Life here goes on as usual. Haven't had any "close shaves" yet and am getting used to the shelling and aerial barrage fire. Last week we saw a very interesting and exciting exploit above (sic) which I wish I could tell you about but we are restricted in what we write which, I believe, after all is a good idea for if not I for one would be writing books home instead of letters. Our fate as a unit appears to be unsettled. We may remain a M. G. Co. or become batteries in a Motor M. G. Brigade. One suits me just as well as the other. There is not much diversion here. Tonight I had a game of "Horseshoes", the first for a long time. We have the Y. M. C. A. where they usually provide a good band concert but there is always an immense crowd around. There is lots of mud around here and I guess you would hardly [approve?] of our daily phases of life but I, at least, shave once a day and clean the mud off my Kitcheners. Thirty of us live in a semi-cylindrical hut of rather small dimensions but it's dry at least. Reid and I sleep on the floor, our ground sheets beneath us and only two blankets and coats above but it's fairly comfortable & the weather is getting milder every day.
I'm getting lazier every day and am too tired even to do my own washing. Today I hired Harris to do some for me for a franc. It was cheap and he owed me two francs which I had forgotten about so I'm satisfied.
Meals here are fair. We gets lots of chocolate around the canteens but it's hard to get cake and writing paper. It's quite easy to reckon francs and centimes. I will send you a franc bill when I get one in good shape. We get paid twenty-five francs this week, our first pay in France.
So you think you'll emigrate to the West. Don't go unless you get an appointment worth while in a town or city High School. The Can. Teachers Agency in Regina might be able to please you and I guess they need teachers badly at the present time. My old school is having a hard time keeping a principal. The fellow that followed me joined the R. F. C. and since then they have had three. Life in the West is freer and there seems to be a more independent and a more social spirit among the people. Use your own discretion but I think you would like it.
I'm sorry Charlie has to stay at home. Mother tells me Murray is engaged for the summer. Beatrice seems to do well in her school work. I will be glad to get into a line again. Reid and I may, if we finish, put in a year at Oxford during demobilization. I think it would be a good idea and a nice way to put in what would otherwise be a monotonous period.
Well, I'll close. Send your letters and parcels along. Magazines are just the dope & papers galore. Am still in the 19th as in my previous mail.