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Date: September 17th 1917

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battery. The layer who makes out alright here qualifies. Of course I may get a chance yet and may be qualified. Anyway I am practically sure of getting the position in France as we will then have two gun crews. I'm to relieve the other. Anyway is it only a small think and nothing to worry over. We had drill at bridge building with timbers and [?] yesterday and put up a bridge across an imaginary river which might have carried a fair load but it was not very strong. Although we had the idea.
Were doing more gun drills today and will have two or three different shoots on Thursday and more on Saturday. This is quite a large camp close to the sea and there are pebbles to walk on practically everywhere which makes the marching hard. We are close to an Aeroplane camp and see plenty of maneuvers from them all the time and some of them are thrilling. There are also a couple of large observation Balloons up all the time. They are tied to the ground, on the watch for enemy attacks. The weather has been excellent since I came here and quite a treat from what we had been having.

Tonight a bunch of us were called in to the office to give information as to where to wish to go on our next leave which will be our mobilization or last leave before proceeding to France. We expect to be through with our course here by about the 21st Sept. [?] next week so the batteries will then move into a mobilization camp which we expect will be Godford near Salisbury Plains. Instead of us all going there they will send some of us on leave from here and the remainder when we get back. Mobilization will probably take two to three weeks or so it is probable we will be crossing to France about the second week in October. You had therefore better not send me any parcels or anything except letters until I again get settled. We will have to draw Guns and stores of every description and it will take a little time to get things together. Today we were [?] with the box Respirators. Which are a protection against gas. [?] into a room where they had tear gas to test them. Without the Respirators which cover up your mouth, nose and eyes, the gas would bring so many tears to your eyes that you could not see. Mine fitted alright. They now have our sizes and will order so many of each. They are also protection against other gases. I also ordered a slicker raincoat at my own expense at a cost of 20 schillings, $ 4.80. Quite a large number of the battery are getting them and they claim to have a reduced price. They are very useful especially during the winter in France when it rains considerably. And it will be better than having a wet greatcoat all the time and also be much lighter. Was thinking of sending for my raincoat but decided it would cost considerable to get it here and also that it was a little too good. Expect to go to London again on leave and possible also to Edinburg not sure yet.

I had a letter from my friend Smyth this week and he is still n England and does not know yet when he will reach France. He also informed me that one of our chums, a New Zealander, who got a commission had been killed recently. He was in the same office with Smyth and came over in the same Batt. He also roomed at the same house with us and he used to eat with me at the Cecil Hotel in Edmon the last month or so I was there. I was very sorry to hear about it as he was such a good sort of a fellow. He was about 6 ft. 4 " tall and is in a snap I took at Camp Hughes last summer of I, Smyth and about four others. The snap was rather indistinct. Will now answer your letter of Aug 12. The snap of myself was taken on top of another of one of our boys in the statesroom and the bed and wash basin [?]. The envelopes I have been using. Most [?], will not have time to answer Bell's letter just now but I suppose she will see this one. Wish to thank her for the snaps. Tell her Dr. Hutchison spoke to me first. We were having a Medical Inspection and of course gave our names so when he heard mine he asked if I was any relation. I was after speaking to him a while on duty when I took the sick parade on the boat.
There is a concert in the camp tonight but I did not go. I do not thing I will call on [?] again although he asked me too when I came to London surprising their relations from the [?] did not look them up. They were very nice to me and it would seem strange if I told them the others were in France. Well this is all for this time and it is quite a letter.

Love to all