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Date: May 6th 1918

May 6, 1918

Dearest Mother:

This is a glorious afternoon. I am lying out in the sun on a little clump of grass near our shack, writing. Just below me in the recreation room the gramophone is going on a good old Canadian record which is very popular with us, - Take me Back to the Land of Promise sung by a Canadian girl in one of the theatres in London, chorus of which is:
0 take me back to the land of Promise
Back to the land of the ice and the snow
There you and I together will wander
Down Lovers Lane where the maple trees grow
Skating, baseball and canoeing
That's the place to do your billing and cooing
Oh take me back to the land I love best
Back to my little grey home in the west.

and upon such a day as this, one almost feels homesick for one's little grey home in the west. The mercury according to the last report was about 62 and there is about a twelve mile breeze blowing from the north west so you can picture for yourself what kind of a day it is. Some distance on either flank arises a continuous rumble of heavy guns but directly in front things are comparatively quiet probably not more than six or eight reports a minute. Overhead there it is a steady drone of aeroplane engines adding their various notes to the discord of war which rudely breaks the perfect harmony of nature on such a day as this.

Received two parcels from you last night and one the night before - the first containing butter, chicken, milk, coffee etc. and the other cake, oat cookies etc. Many, many thanks for them all. That cake and the oat cakes certainly go high. Have been living like lords for the last few days as some of the other fellows received parcels also. Think I told you that we have a mess fund going. There are six of us living together and we each pay ten francs a fortnight to the mess. One fellow goes on as caterer each fortnight and tends to all the buying. I am on the job now. Our rations are good and we don't need a great deal extra except for evening meals and for night duty. It is at night that the Thermos bottle comes in good. We fill it with cocoa or coffee and the fellows on duty have a warm drink and
a lunch in the early hours of the morning. Had no letter mail last week at all and am expecting one in a day or too. By the way the Patriot is coming regularly now. Many thanks for it. I am glad to get it. Also the Witness and World Wide.

Well Mother I don't think there it is any new news. Everything goes along as usual. All well. Hope there will be a letter after tonight. Again thank you for those splendid parcels and with love to all from

Your soldier boy, Harold

P.S. just after I finished this and went on duty, Joe Clark came along. Was quite surprised to see him. He is looking so well. He is the same old Joe. Has not changed a bit except that he has grown bigger. Was asking about you all and asked to be remembered. He is as you probably know in the second heavies. Said he was going to write to you as soon as he got time.