Dec. 13, 1917
Pte. J. McCartney
255637 5 Platoon
1st CMRs, B.E.F.
Received your welcome letter safely and was very pleased to hear from you. It was with surprise and regret that I received the sad news of the death that has occurred in your midst. As you remark that he had every attention during the brief time he was ill, I agree with you in every respect, and I may add that, if destiny ruled that he should pass away, his comfort during the few remaining days he was among you could not be better looked after than they were by you folks. I must also mention Curtie that you make a very feeling and large-hearted statement when you mention about the young lives that have been lost during the war.
Well, I will withdraw those remarks I made in my last letter, I had no idea that you were so busy with domestic duties, which puts another feather in your cap, which goes to prove that, when I got that note of yours in Ern's letter, you mentioned being home at silo-filling and you used your 145 lbs on the silage. I thought then that there was 145 lbs of Canadian good nature. I was thinking on Oct. 31st last, what mischief would be doing over in Canada. I thought that the folks would have to be up to some pranks on that evening. I guess you would get a surprise when that spook gave you the wet glove. So Mrs. Fred Boddy is a little stricter than she used to be. I guess you will be running a close second to her. I have never tried to look up Edgar Hewson for it would be like looking for a needle in a hay-stack with only his name to help one, so if you will give me his battalion and what company or platoon he belongs to I may be able to see him if we get near each other anytime. I have been corresponding with a friend who worked with me at Gleichen in 1912 and we have never seen each other yet although we have been very close to each other on several occasions.
So Willie Wilkinson jumped over the broom. Well they all appear to be going. I guess I'll be hearing of you going the same road in the near future. Say Curtie I think it is going to catch some of those recently married young men in conscription who did not tie the knot before June, is it? Since I last wrote to you, I had a little run of hard luck, the conditions that we had to endure seemed to be too much for me. My boots were never dry for nearly a month and sometimes I had them on my feet for four days and nights. I endured toothache and sore heels for two weeks until we came out to rest, then I went to the dentist and he filled one tooth and extracted another, so what with the bunch of stumps I had extracted at Moose Jaw and another tooth out now, I guess I will have to make a contract with some dentist before I can appear presentable to "civilization" again as you so truthfully remarked (unconsciously no doubt). Well, after that dental visit I thought sure that my troubles were over for a while, but no, a week later I was in the hospital with trench-fever. It is something similar to a good dose of the grippe, but they had me on my feet again in a few days and now I am feeling like my old self again, and I don't want any more sickness, because ill-health and myself have been strangers for quite a number of years and I have no desire of our relationship becoming any closer.
Well Curtie I guess that I have about run off my reel of news now, so will have to finish with a few parting words to the effect that, when this letter reaches you in the new year, I hope it will find you in the best of health notwithstanding the effects of the gorgeous (shall I say) repasts that you will have enjoyed during the festive season and in conclusion I trust that you will continue to be as jolly in the future as I have known you in the past. Meanwhile I remain