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Date: December 31st 1916
Mother and Dad

Seaford Sussex
Dec 31/16

Dear Mother & Dad.

Well here it is the last day of another year. This time last year I was far removed from here & from these conditions but for all that I believe I am better satisfied than I was last year & I am sure I am better satisfied than if I were still there in comfort. Still I wouldn't mind if I had a week at home right now for a change. They do not drill us in the rain now so we have a lot of time on our hands & I'll own I get homesick some times. Still I have a lot of studying to do with that O.T.C. work which helps to kill the time a bit. The worst is when I don't get letters & when I do get them. When I don't get them I feel lonely & when I do get them its homesick. At least that is the way I annalize the feeling. I went for nearly a week without any & here the other day I got no less than five letters, & a "parcel" from Aunt Dolly'! One from you one from Emmie, Ida, Whitby, & Hilda Mayne sent me a xmas card. That will keep you guessing to puzzle out what I mean eh! Strange to say letters I mailed together in Liverpool have only reached their destination on one or two occassions some wording eh! for a soldier. Of course I am being trained to be an officer so I'll have to run a bluff by using big words. The only trouble is in spelling them.

We have no church parade today as it is nasty out of doors & we being in quarantine cannot go into the theatres or Y.M.C.A. for service. Instead the fellows are busying themselves writing, reading peace rumors, & of course a couple of groups playing poker. Its poker from morning till night in the army here. Its getting a bit to prevalant. I'm glad to hear that you have got my letters at home even if they were a bit blue & grouchy. I expected the first ones to be censored & that is why I said so plainly what I thought. You say things seem to be getting worse. I don't see it for I think you will see peace before July & if you read Sir Douglas Haiges report on activities in France I think your notion will be changed. I got it on good authority yesterday that the British had in France at the present time millions of men behind the lines & this country is full of them. Also they have enough field artillery that has never been used to line the whole front from Ostend to Switzerland & have plenty to spare. He said the artillery would be wheel to wheel at that. Sir Douglas says they are going to make use of them in the spring so I see where we hit the trenches just at a busy time. I don't know yet how I will get there but it looks like being an officer if I make good on the course. Of course you never know the turns of the British army so mum is the word at home. I don't care much myslf only it would be nicer come back first class than in lower six.

I am glad to hear that so many parcels are coming for you are right sweets are terribly expensive over here. Though I believe they stick it on a little for we Canadians. I have only received the one as yet though from Aunt Dolly. It contained a pair of socks & a xmas cake. The socks were very acceptable for being in quarantine we can't get any washed down town & we have no chance here for doing any, besides I was getting pretty short on them for we have only been issued the four pairs we got last April when we first joined. Of course as you can guess the cake was very acceptable but did not go far in a hungry crowd but someone in the hut gets a cake nearly every day & shares it up so we have been living pretty high of late. We need it though for army grub is pretty slim.

Well I just quit for a few minutes & put the boxing gloves on for a round or two with a couple of guys and am pretty well warmed up for a change. The huts are pretty cold at times & we need the gloves to keep us warm. Its good exercise too for we get mostly lectures at the O.T.C. & very little marching. I didn't get a black eye or thick lips or anything so my phizog is just the same as ever. A little more smile than there is in that picture I sent you.

Gee they got some raise on the road didn't they. I almost wish I was back again & when I do come back I think maybe I will stay with the road. I was thinking of starting farming for several reasons. The chief one being that the Gvt seems to think they are going to give us land & help when we get back. Then I believe after this seige of being tied up to orders and discipline I would like to be absolutely free for a time. I guess there is plenty of time to think of what I will do after the war for you never can tell what is going to happen.

I think I am doing pretty fare for writing home for I have written twice weekly home ever since I landed. News is pretty scarce as you will note by the tenor of this letter I am just writing along at random.

You gave me a pretty fair account of affairs financially at home in you letter but you did not say whether you were getting the pay I assigned to you. I wish you would let me know full particulars for it would save me a lot of worry for I don't trust the gvt very far they seem to have a very loose way of doing things.

So Jessie is in Mooneys store in the afternoons & going to school in the mornings. It may be alright if she can stand it & if you can for Ida said in her letter that Jessie did not seem very well of late & when Emmie goes away you will be to busy at home. Oh but then of course the busy season will be over & Jessie won't be in the store any longer. I can't realize yet that it is New Years day tomorrow. Things are so different over here.

The mail should be in soon so I am going to quit & see if there are any letters. There should be some from Findlay soon for I have only heard once from there which was from Beck a few days after I go here.

Well the mail is in & there is none for me so as there is just the one mail on Sunday I will conclude this note with its rambling subjects & read a bit from K.R.O. if you know what that is. Then I must write to Aunt Dolly & Mr Whitby though I hardly know how to go about the latter. The one I got was so formal that it will be hard to get one together in Reply.

The wind is howling outside today & sounds like a real old Nor easter in Canada. I say outside but it is not all outside for a good part of it is coming in through the cracks & broken windows. I guess there will be some broken windows in our neighbors hut after this afternoon for they are having a football game in there now. Well here is where I quit & read King regulations & orders for a while. Will write to Em tomorrow if they don't work us to hard. No word of new years holiday so far. Ta Ta Love to all & a happy new year.

Lovingly Rae