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Date: May 6th 1917


May 6th 1917
Dear Mither

Well here we are again, it is Sunday once more but Sunday up here is very much like other days except that when we are out of the line we go on church parade in the morning but other drill is carried on just the same. I don't see the Idea myself for it gives a soldier no days to himself ever behind the line & therefore the only thing to look forward to for any liberty at all is the end of the war or a Blighty. However it is the order & if others have done it I guess I can too. It is not nearly so bad up here as I had expected for the weather is dry now & makes it much more pleasant. I kicked about being in England for so long but I guess I was lucky for it must have been fierce for mud over here a month or so ago.

We are in cellars of battered down houses which are common in this part of the country in fact the uncommon is the house that stands. I have been in several of the towns around, all of which are nothing but ruins. Here, there is not a house left standing while the ground is covered with shell holes, mines etc. & the trees are either cut down or stripped by shells. The few that are left standing were killed by gas used two years ago.

It is great to watch the fire & hear the roar of the guns from the rear but I guess it wont be so great when we get in front of them I have been up in front of the guns a couple of tiimes & a party are going again tonight on working parties but haven't hit any active service that is in the bloodthirsty way as yet.

The being up there where only a few shells were falling seemed to make me more certain than ever that I well get through O.K. for the farther up we went the better I liked it. Of course the novelty is apt to wear off & I may get sick of it soon but I hope it will soon be over for after all theres no place like home & Canada at its worst has this old world beaten a thousand times over.

I thought there would be lots of news over here to write about but there is nothing at all as of course we cannot write anything that goes on but everything is coming our way now & we give Fritz a warm night when & where we want to.

All the stories we here of vermine are about right but the rats are not as large as cats "as I saw in the Saskatoon star the other day", though I must say they seem very very healthy

Our other friends are very numerous & it sure does not take very long to get a fine herd of the very best breed but with plenty of water & a good brand of soap I think I can easily keep them from getting so numerous that I will not be able to pasture them. They are not as large as report says they are either but they are so large that one guy was worrying about the extra weight it would mean for him to carry.

I have seen none of our boys yet as they are all up at the line while one or two have been hit & are back in Blighty. Im sorry I was not on that working party tonight for most likely they will see the other chaps & get news from the line but as my feet were sore due to worn out boots I was left to look after the billets.

I havent had a letter since dear knows when but as I got a big bunch of papers last night I guess the letters will be near at hand. The papers sure come in fine over here as we seldom ever here anthing from outside I saw about Tom Moran being up a couple more times for boozing. Perhaps he will learn something after a time.

Well mither I must write to Jim tonight so I cant spend all night on this. Love to all from