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Date: June 15th 1915

Dibgate Camp
Shorncliffe, England
June 15th, 15

Dear Mother,

The weeks seem to fly past like lightning here. They keep us pretty well on the hop here. We have 8 hours training a day so we don't get much time.

Syd got a letter from you and Bessie written the night before the 28th Battalion left. We are looking forward to that candy. It's Syd's birthday today. The 43rd and 41st have arrived; they are camped down in the hollow about half a mile from us.

We are not doing much skirmishing just now as most of our officers and NCOs are away taking instruction in musketry and bayonet fighting. Old Sam Steele was around paying one of his little surprise visits this morning. He happened to come across us on the golf links and he put the platoon through a little drill himself. He checked up McElheren for not pressing the trigger right in the musketry exercise. He has two sons here. They are divisional staff aides-de-camp.

We have to turn out in marching order every morning at 7:30. The whole brigade has to be on parade to be looked over by the brigadier, then they move off to different training grounds. It's quite a sight to see the battalions one behind the other. That's when the colonels have to double up to the front and get their orders.

I was on guard Saturday night and on Sunday. On Tuesday I went over to Saltwood Castle which is about a mile and a half from here. It was beautiful. The watch towers and Reilly's chapel were crumpled but the walls with the loop are in good shape. It was the castle where the knights stopped overnight when they went up to murder Thomas a Becket. McElheren was up to Canterbury and saw the spot where they struck him. After we left the castle we went for a walk round Hythe and then we went down to the sea front and rustled up one or two sub-lieutenants who were spooning on the sands. After that we hired a boat and rowed up the canal and had some ginger beer and cake. They only charge you a shilling an hour for a rowboat. Next Sunday we are going up to Hythe to look at the old church.

I got my new boots yesterday. Some boots, the first five years is the worst, after that they get seasoned and you can wear them for a whole day without stopping!

Well dear Mother it's getting dark and the boys are fighting over their blankets so I'll have to sail in and pick out mine. Love to all.


P.S. Tell Philip to drop us a line and please send more socks.