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Date: February 14th 1917

Y. M. C. A.
H. M. Fordes On Active Service
Reply to me B Company 196 Bat. the Regt
Stationed at Seaford Sussex Feb 14 1917

Dear Jessie

Still in England, (dead) well pretty near it at least the country is dead & good & dead at that. No changes at all so just for a change I thought I would write this letter with pencil besides it is easier & I am feeling a bit tired tonight. I have been on guard for the last 24 hr's & up at headquarters at that where one has to keep on the move all the time & is continually pulling off salutes & presents to some officer who happens along. Believe me there are lots of them. I wrote to Kiddo while I was off the beat up there. I also wrote to Beck & to Ida yesterday so the mail will be pretty heavy this week. I wrote to Mither part Sunday & part monday before the mail but I was late for the mail here at the Y M but one of the ladies in the Y said she would mail it down town so it would go. If her memory is as long as her feet it should go all right. If not you should get them the same day.

There is another concert here tonight & I may tell you something about it when it begins. The seats are filling pretty fast but I can stay here at the table & hear the most of it so you bet I am not going to move.

I got a letter from Ida yesterday & in it was a note of introduction from Effie Porteous to her Grandmother in London. She asked me to look her up if I were in London again but I guess it will be some time before I am. Ida said that their were two girls in the family but I have no time for English girls whatever, that is so far.

Gee there isn't a thing to write about not even a blooming officer or native around to ridicule I guess I must wait for the concert to begin. Ah yes as you know I was put on a draft to go to France about a week ago. Well Saterday night I was congratulating myself that I had not had a guard picket or fatigue to do in my three months in England, But also Monday morning they came out on the parade ground with a list of names to come off the draft & MacKay was one of the first called. I argued the matter with the adjutant but nothing diding I told him I would not wear the glasses when I did get 'em but he said I would have to have them in my kit sack any way. The darned fools & the Germans are just waiting for me to come over before they beat it for Berlin & yell for peace. Oh well I will go with the next lot for sure & it will only mean a week or two & a week or two will be a week or two nearer spring. Therefore much pleasanter underfood conditions even if the shells will be thicker. One thing I did get out of it is a pair of English boots. Gee you would laugh if you saw them they are monsters & about twice as heavy as the canadian army boot so you can imagine what they are.

Ida says she thinks I should be back to look after you, "Don't know if she meant You" but she says things are beginning to look serious. I dont know if she meant the Engineer or the druggist but gee if you don't look out I will be the only one in the family left by the time I get back & pretty badly left at that by what I can make out from reading between the lines, I don't think.

Bob Leitch & Smith leave for France in the morning. Gee I wish I were with them but such is fate & one never knows why such things happen. & in a matter like this I like to think it is for the best. I even had my badges off as we are not allowed to wear them. & they had payed me two pounds to go over on. Of course I am not kicking at the two pounds but now I have it I am apt to spend it before I go. We are just payed 20 cts per day in France so it behoves us to save all we can to take along with us.

Oh Jessie I am getting quite a well established growth on my upper lip It is the best I have had yet & its only a young one yet. Just a week old. but lying down fairly reasonably. well, in fact I believe it is going to curl. Here they come, "the concert party I mean". Lets see. there are seven of them. Good looking too for natives but cant compare with Canadians. Gee I cant write any more so ta ta.

Yours Lovingly

Jessssie I mean Rae

P.S. I guess I'm excited,