Dear Mither May 28
Well a year ago today I was in Biggar listening to Jess pound the piano etc. & today I am in the front line trenches listening to a grand exchange of shells etc. & and the sound of shrapnel whizzing over head but by keeping low one has very little chance of getting hit. Tell Jess I believe I would rather be in last years shoes (Now Jess hould your horses) Yes I am up here under the guns for a spell again, have been here for two days now & don't know how much longer we will be here but hope to get away before long so dont you worry one wee bit for long before you get this I'll be back on rest again. where instead of shot & shell we here only bagpipes and mules. As far as I can see though I'd sooner be here than at what they call rest for we really work harder there than here however it makes it a little less worry for you folk to know that we are only about 8 to 10 days of the month under heavy shell fire. For the remainder of the time we are practically Bomb proof.
Well thats enough of war for this is to be a personal letter as it wont do to make it personal about the govt. etc as they are not apt to get a look at it & I would hate to see it all wasted on the desert air. I suppose Em is fully installed as school mistress of the primary room long since though the last I heard from her she was in Saskatoon. I hope to here from her before long from Biggar though, for you said you were sending a parcel from there as soon as she got home & Gee eats are scarce out in this country. Lots of Bully beef but one gets sick of that dope forever. I think Ill be ashamed to look a beef animal in the face when I get through here as for potatoes, lets see have they got eyes or ears. I remember it was one or the other.
I just missed seeing Bert Haynes the other day. They moved in as we moved out of one of the rest camps. I was talking to one fellow of the bunch who said he would be in in a few minutes but I was on the advance party & so missed him. I haven't seen Robin since. He may have seen him for he left after we did & was going to look out for him.
Robin is in the same Co. as I so I see a lot of him out of the line but in here we are at different lines of work. I being a machine gunner while he is a Bomber.
Here is yours of April 1st which I got about a week ago & as you know I only had time to send that miserable little post card before. Yours of 18 come the same day as you see how very irregular the mail is.
No Jim Smyth is not scarred about the face at all. He was pretty badly cut on the side of it but they heal wounds up without leaving very much trace of it behind, nowadays especially if they get to him quickly after the accident however I hope not to need any patching up.
Ralph smith is still Jake I saw him a few nights ago at a ball game. He is not looking very well & I think the strain is going to get on his nerves, He is in the Trench Mortar company now though & they get it a bit eazier than we do I don't think my nerves are liable to worry me a bit for nothing worries me one bit one way nor tother In fact I have developed into quite a fatalist. They talk about ducking from shells by instinct. None of that dope ever worries me at all & I duck only when it is real healthy to do so. The difference in the sound of our own & Fritzies shells & Machine guns is very easily picked up & now I can tell his different shells quite easily by the sound of em.
Now Mither Im afraid I'll have to ask you to send me a little bit of cash if you can spare it from among you. Just a dollar or two once in a while if you have a wee bit to spare. Just send the money as money orders etc. cannot be cashed as we can give no post office on which they are made payable. I hate to ask you for it but we just get 20 cts per day here & the rest is held in London for us & stuff is so terribly scarce & dear that it is impossible to get along on it without being short on lots of stuff. Instead of asking you folk for cash just now I should be helping to collect the last payment on the place which would have been the 16th of July but for this cursed war. Oh! but the whole thing seems so rediculously senseless that at times I feel foolish for being here but never mind it must end in time & then I guess I can catch up again with the world.
Well I guess I must quit this & get ready to go on duty in a few minutes. So ta ta for now & don't bother with the money if you are a bit short at all.
Love to Dad & the rest
Will write as soon as I get out of here
The following is only the last page of a letter to Jessie.
It is estimated it should be placed about here.
what they give him or how tough we live & knowbody kicks about anything except one or two cronic grouchers like myself & even I do not kick if they dont try to make things wrotten for one & here they do their best to make it as easy as possible.
We had a swell trip up here in the box cars & I must say we did not sleep very well as we were pretty crowded but if I get the chance to ride back in them I don't care if they are twice as crowded.
I saw Charlie Little today. He just came back from the line a couple of days ago & is a machine gunner instructor here. He has been very lucky. He was in nearly all the big scraps last year & also the scrap at Vimy a few days ago & has never had a scratch
Well Jess its getting pretty dark so ta ta
46th Can. Inf.