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Date: April 13th 1915


Lance Corporal "Buster" writes as follows from the barracks in Shorncliffe, England.

"When we were herded into the cars at Vancouver we found that the bunks that were allotted to my pal and me were full of extra rations. Amongst the collection of sacks of potatoes, carrots, rice, etc., were a couple of cases of condensed milk and canned tomatoes. Of course we had to remove this in order to make our beds, and in the transfer, the condensed milk and tomatoes by some strange mishap were lost (at least as far as the C.P.R. officials could ken.) But my pal and I had midnight feasts of tomatoes and bread as far east as Fort William, and besides our tea and coffee never lacked a plentiful supply of milk. We should worry. At one little town a whole platoon with its officer (about 56 men) were left behind. You see at many places along the line we made stoppages of from thirty minutes to an hour to take on water and other supplies, and we were taken out for exercise. On the occasion mentioned the platoon strayed too far and as the train had to pull out on schedule they were left. They were however, picked up by the train following and eventually were transferred to their own train. Many officers and men were left behind in this way, but as there were three trains to our section all were able to pick up one of the following trains.

No. 4 Company who sailed on the SS. Megantic, along with the 23rd Battery of Canadian Field Artillery, told us they had monopolized the ship. They had their colonel with them and he wore a monocle, also a small army of majors, captains, and lieutenants as a staff. Whenever he moved about the ship (which seemed to be every half hour) he was proceeded by a bugler who blew "Here he comes" on his bugle and a sergeant major who called all within sight and earshot to attention. He sure put on some side.

All for this time."

"Buster also sends the following account of the journey from Canada"

"On Saturday, Feb. 13 we had our first definite word as to when we were to embark and from then on the Willows Camp was all excitement and jubilation. Nos. 1 and 2 companies together with the staff embarked on the SS. Princess Adelaide and Nos. 3 and 4 on the SS. Princess Mary. We arrived in Vancouver on Sunday, Feb. 14 and boarded a waiting C.P.R. train at 8.45 p.m.

Our train consisted of 12 colonist cars, one baggage and one cook car. Our battalion was divided into three trains. We stopped at all the principal cities and at Ottawa was inspected by the Governor General and Col. Hughes, who expressed their admiration in glowing terms. We are considered the best battalion Canada has so far sent to the front. We got a rousing reception at For William and again at Moncton N.B., where the band turned out to welcome us. To show you have cheap kisses were I might state one of our fellows purchased one for a common ordinary kitchen knife. Another prominent citizen commonly known as "Jungle" was seen dancing on the station platform with a colored lady to the tune of "Tipperary."

The only mishap we had on the journey was that at Roberts, Ont., we got a hot bearing and lost about an hour and a half, and a few miles further the cook house caught fire I forgot to mention that a few miles east of Mission Junction we were delayed for quite a while by some rocks that had been placed on the rails.

We pulled into Halifax at 3 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 21 and boarded the SS Missanable.

On Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 8 a.m. we shove anchor and after a calm and uneventful voyage reached Queenstown at 5 a.m. March 4. It's a very pretty town with a splendid harbor and surrounding country. One need not look twice to see why they call Ireland the Emerald Isle, even the water around its shores are green. We were not allowed on shore, although we spend three days anchored in the roadstead.

We disembarked at Vonmouth on the Bristol Channel on the 12th of March and arrived at Napier Barracks safe and sound.

We have fine quarters here, all brick buildings about 30 x 150 feet, built in rows. There are some 30,000 troops in this district and a school for aviators. I saw a biplane in flight yesterday.

This afternoon we were inspected at Sir John Moore Plains by Major General McNeil who also expressed his delight at our martial bearing.
I think we shall be leaving soon for the front. These are just the bare facts will give details later.