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Date: May 21st 1916


Dear Mother:-

Since writing you on Friday - I found that the Batt'n was in Montreal & leaving about 12 noon. So that having only half an hour to make it I beat back to the hotel and packed up & made the Station about 11.55 & found the trains there waiting for the Battalion which was due at 12.30 but did not arrive until 1.30 being away on the other side of the mountain on an inspection. It took us just 35 seconds to entrain and we pulled out immediately for Hx expecting to arrive here in about 50 hours but it took 46. We were stopped several times for short drills and by an alarm that there was a lot of dynamite on the tracks or supposed to be and were told by the guard which lined the railway from M to H that there 11 battalions going thru with Medical, Army Service details going thru and that the betting in N.Y. was 6-1 that at least one train would be blown up. At all stops the windows were closed & sentries guarded the doors to see that no communication with civilians took place & that no parcels of explosives were passed in. We arrived here at 10.15 & were held in the coaches until 2 PM under guard all the time. We were then brot down to the dock and embarked at 4.00 PM I cannot tell you the name of the ship but there are two other battalions an A.S. Corp detachment and an Ammunition detachment on board with us and we are very crowded altho comfortable. Capt Hooper & I have a stateroom. We moved away from the warves immediately & have anchored in Midstream surrounded by warships and patrol boats.

This ship used to be a passenger boat but has been pulled to pieces and rough tables made for the men and hooks to hold hammocks put in. They are very crowded but fairly comfortable. All outside light is cut off all the windows & port holes being covered with black paper & nailed shut. The hull has been painted a dull grey like all the British Battle ships so that at a mile it is almost impossible to see them.

At Newcastle we saw the largest wireless plant in the world the stand being from 250 to 500 ft high.

Please call up Ethel Crawford & Laura McGirr & thank them for their kindness & gifts. And tell Alma Sinclair the next time you see here that I was awfully glad to see her at the station. I also thank Carl R.
Wess is getting along all right and nobody is sick as yet.

Last night when we came on board we had to arrange to feed the men immediately. I went down to their quarters & succeeded in finding their kitchen after wandering all over the ship. It is simply marvelous the number of stairways and passages. later in the evening I got lost but found a way out again.

We are not allowed on shore and no one is allowed on board and all signalling is forbidden. We had a parade this AM with life belts on and all parades here after will be the same and when we get in the danger zone we have to wear them all the time.

I will have to send this off this the pilot who will probably hold it for 3 or 4 days before mailing. We could not of course telegraph from Halifax or since coming on board.

Love for all and mostly yourself & Dad


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