Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: June 17th 1915

Dibgate Camp

June 17 1915

Dear Mother

This is a very quiet day in camp. The place looks quite deserted. Most of the men left this morning for an all days outing, and carried picks and shovels with them. When they go out that way they go in full marching order, that is to say in addition to picks or shovels, rifle and etc. they carry all their personal equipment, such as greatcoats, blankets, rations and etc. The Brigadier went with them this morning for a change. He and the Major and Staff Captain started off in the car, and won't be back till late in the afternoon. As a result I have no car so will not go down. I am letting my man get the things, as he wants an excuse to go to town anyway.
We had rather a pleasant surprise yesterday afternoon, one of the big British aircraft, which had been patrolling the Channel all morning in search of a German submarine, came over to our camp. It was one of the Astra Torres type, like a Zeppelin, only just half the size, being 250 feet long, while zeps are 500 ft. It came right over our tent just about 100 ?150 feet from ground and we could see the thing very distinctly.
Beneath the huge envelope was an armoured effect. This had port holes just like a boat and we could see the men's heads sticking out of them. They hollered down to us and we had the band play [the] 'National Anthem' for them. We see dozens of aircraft but that is the closest yet. I was glad it wasn't a German.

Glad to get Em's letters. Also pleased that she is going to Winnipeg so soon. Poor Aunt Jean has had a hard time of it again. Her nerves are fierce. Last letter I had from Lot she was some better, but before that she had been under doctor's and nurses care. Poor Auntie kept up wonderfully well, but I knew she would be down after it was all over.

We are going to move our camp in a day or two, I expect. We are just going over a few miles, to a spot they call Caesar's camp. In the olden days Julius Caesar was supposed or rather did have his camp on that spot. It is a very nice location among the hills and the grass and water are plentiful. The only objection to this place is that when it blows, as it is doing now, the sand is something awful.

I don't think I ever felt better in my life. I have very little to do, lots to eat, time to sleep and the fresh air is certainly fine. If I could only brown up it would be alright, but my face and neck are just burnt up all the time. I suppose in about a week all the burn would be off but it is on properly now.

Oh yes and you will be glad to know that I am fixed up in clothes now. I went in and let the tailor fit me up new all round. So I am quite respectable now. I was a disgrace in Toronto, as I didn't even have a change of clothes.

My man Macdonald is ready to go in to post this now, so I will close right up. Write often and I will try to do same. Lots of love for Father, Alf, Em and big share for your own dear self.

Loving son

Original Scans

Original Scans