Mar. 5th, 1917
I thought I would write you a few lines to say I am well. I have been looking for a letter from you for a while. The last one I received was on the 19th of February so you don't write very often. We are on the march again and I am writing this in a French family's kitchen where we are staying over night. It is too cold to sit and write where we are staying. The weather has turned quite fine but it is a cold raw wind today. The mud has dried up fine this last week so it is much nicer in the trenches now although I may say they ain't nice at any time for you never know when you are going to get hit. I have been in some hot places but have escaped so far but will give you all the news when I come home. You might see by the paper that there has been quite a few of our boys been hit lately. We hardly know how the war is going on for we don't see a paper for two or three weeks at a time. I never told you what we got to eat but I suppose when you see my photo you will say I am looking well on it anyway. Well we get our food every night to do us for the next day. We get a small loaf between four, a piece of cheese, a can of jam between five or six and we get some canned butter every two or three days; so we get a slice of bacon for breakfast which our cooks get ready and for dinner we get a thick soup with lots of meat in it and for supper we just get tea. So you see our stomachs won't be spoiled with fine stuff. I am very sorry I can not tell you where we are. We are not in the same place all the time but you can tell by the papers when you see the Canadians mentioned. I have seen quite a bit of France since coming out here. And there are some very nice towns but everything is upset just now but in peace times I think it would be fine. We have some rats here yet but there are places they are worse than others but we get used to them for we are getting like them ourselves for we live in holes just like they do. I am enclosing a photo which we got taken a week ago. It is the bombing section and that Frenchman was just home on leave so he got his photo taken with us. He has a medal on which he won at Verdun and our Corporal has the military medal and the big fellow behind him has one too which they won at the Somme. That bag some of them have on their breast is our gas respirators. We have to wear them like that all the time. I have mine slung over my shoulder. I want you to keep that photo as I only got two and I am sending one to Alex. I just got three of them others so hang on to them. I may tell you that I have about $45. to my credit in my pay book the first of February so if anything happens to me you will have a little coming from there. I wish this war was over for we have something to put up with for it is about five months since I have slept with my clothes off and there is weeks at a time we don't have our boots off. But you will get all the news when I come back. I got a letter from father a few days ago and I understand him to say that he was sending you a little money but I suppose you will have heard from him before this and I got a letter from your mother last week. She said she was sending me a box. I tell you I like those boxes to come and I got a letter from E. Freeman so he gave me all the news about the distillery. Well I haven't got any letters from you tonight yet Mr. Grant gets his all right but none for me so after this I will just write to you when you write to me. I suppose you people over in Canada have such a fine time you never think of those that are out here putting up with all those hardships for them but never mind after the war things will be different. We will look after ourselves first so goodbye.