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Date: December 17th 1916
Mother and Dad

Seaford, Sussex
Dear Mother and Dad

Well I have been waiting anxiously for a letter from you in reply to the one's I mailed to you from Liverpool. I get word from home nearly every mail but haven't heard from you for nearly two weeks. I suppose you are waiting to hear from me. I have kept fairly well informed by letters from many of my friends, from Biggar as well as the ones from home, which have been good & plenty so far. The only things I miss are the parcels but I am mostly to blame myself for that for I thought there would be plenty to buy here & told you to save your postage but the cost of things is fierce here & the stuff (that is eats) are very poor. I have decided that I have been doing to much kicking of late in my letters home so from now on I am going to try to follow the words of a song that is being sung around here pretty much. Each verse ends up like this
Then whats the use of worrying
For it is not worth while ..
So pack your troubles in your old Kit bag
And smile smile smile.

It is pretty hard some times but I guess we might as well.

Well xmas is getting nearer & the quarantine is getting tighter so I guess we eat our xmas dinner in hut (32) this year. I would like to get down town at least but, I'll pack my troubles in my old kit bag & smile etc.

We are thinking of having a xmas dinner served in the hut to us but there is some kick about it for they want 7s. each for it or serve it up ourselves. Still it will be our only xmas together so we may as well make the best of it & have a good time together. The only thing is we will have to work most of the day getting it ready & washing up after it. I hope & also expect my next xmas will be in Canada. I really think that these peace rumors will with a little more of those drives like Verdun will end the war. I think the Kaiser is keen on pulling in the ropes. I believe & many others here do also that the new Emperor of Austria wants to get out of the war & justify himself before his people. I would not be at all surprised for it would be the best thing he could both for himself & his country for. We are better prepared now than ever we have been. We do not expect to get to France now before spring which will be a lot pleasanter for the trenches are pretty wet and muddy just now & though I would rather be doing something for my discomfort than as it is here. Still this is nothing on trench life I suppose & we are lucky to have the comforts we have. Gee my kit bag is getting pretty full of my troubles storred away but I am getting them in am I not.

There is another bunch going away of the O.T.C. tomorrow & I go to take some Machine gun work which will occupy a few of my days & let me out of guards & fatigues for awhile. I expect to be permanently with them but you never can tell in the army. I may be kicked out all together for all we know about it.

Say I have been getting to be a bad boy lately. I played bridge nearly all afternoon today but I don't think there is much harm in it when we can't get out to do anthing better. Otherwise I have been a model boy over here even in London where every soldier is supposed to go wild when on leave there. I made a few good resolutions when I joined the army & have stayed with it so far & expect to till the end of the war. Then it will be a much more of a pleasure to come back to the friends & folks at home. We have a lot of pretty fine chaps in this batt. but the best of them have gone on the O.T.C. Walter Coates of whom yhou have heard me speak quite often was one of my best friends & he is gone too. Of course it is fine for them but I sure miss them. Oh thats in my kit sack.

Well if I want to mail this tonight I must get it closed & away to mail it for I can't get out to mail my letters at the office so to make sure of them getting through I mail them a day ahead, so then the postman has lots of time to get them. I have three here to mail if I have the postage. If not we get payed tomorrow so they will go next mail sure. Oh yes I have plenty postage so don't worry.

Well I must quit so ta ta for this time. I hope for a letter tomorrow. Love to all & lots for yourselves
Your Loving Son
This is borrowed paper _____________