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Date: December 17th 1917

Dec. 17th, 1917

Dearest Mother

Again in France and we are not sorry believe me. We pulled out of Belgium on the 13th, travelling about 30 kilometers that day and reaching our first stopping place at about two in the afternoon. Here we stayed for the night and had a good comfortable sleep in tents. Next morning we were up at 6 o'clock, shook and rolled our blankets, had breakfast which consisted of the usual mug of tea, quarter loaf of bread and slice of bacon, and at eight sharp were on the road. We travelled until about noon when we stopped in a fairly large town near where we had been before. Here we spent the afternoon and night. The next morning we were off at 8:30 and arrived at our present quarters at about ten. At present we expect to remain here for a couple of weeks on rest. We have very good billets and are quite comfortable. We signallers are billeted in a barn. Have no chance of lighting a fire as the place is full of straw but the French people who own the farm are very good to us and make us perfectly welcome to the comforts of their home and in return we give them a good price for their milk and eggs and help them as much as we can in their farm work. We have just finished a churn for them, quite a long job for they put the milk in the kind of tub and set it on a cradle-like affair which rocks back and forward, slowly and laboriously, but without much speed, and it took almost three hours to bring the butter. However it was good exercise and also quite a help to the good people.

Received your letter of November 12 today. It was on the road a long while. The one written before it never showed up. Was sorry to here you have been so sick but trust that now you may be much better again. Am glad you got the souvenirs. They are not of much value but hope to be able to send something better again before long. Earle's ring is made of aluminum from a Boche fuse, the time fuse of a shrapnel shell.

Received the second pair of gloves from Clemmie. They are fine. Each pair is good for our work, but they will last me out the winter so no need of sending any more. They are certainly working well for these days, for the weather is quite cool. The ground is frozen hard, but the days are clear and invigorating. We have had a couple of flurries of snow, but nothing to amount to much. As for socks I am well off and you need not worry along that line. Yes, received the your carton containing the quinine capsules. Wrote thanking you for them.

Thank Mrs. MacLeod for me for her kind letter and many thanks for your congratulations. I am afraid that the home folks over estimate the value of the M.M. for it is merely denotes that a fellow has done his duty to the best of his ability. Another of our signallers, Clarence White, received one while we were in Belgium.

Now Mother I think I will ring off. Have not much news. Want to write to Clemmie. All the boys are well and happy. I am okay. Will write again in a few days.

Love to all from your loving soldier son, Harold