Can. M.G. Depot
Jan 2nd 1917
Dear Mother: -
I received a letter from you today with a letter from Margaret & Florence enclosed and also the dollar bill enclosed and also a letter from Nina to you which you also sent in the letter. The dollar you sent in this letter makes the last dollar you sent. So I have received all the money you have sent me so far. This letter I got today was mailed by you on about Nov. 15th and was addressed to Army Post Office. It must have been delayed a long time at the Post Office. So I won't advise you to address them there again but you will address them to C.M.G.D. Crowboroough. Some time ago I received a letter from Josie and it was mailed Oct. 24th and addressed to Army P.O. and I only received it about two weeks ago. I received your registered letter on Xmas day with $10.00 enclosed and also the large box from you all. Isn't it a coincidence that I should get it on Xmas Day. We had a swell dinner on Xmas day. One of the huts was fixed up and decorated and tables and benches were put in there for the occasion. I was at dinner when my Xmas box came and one of the boys came in and said that there was a young coffing waiting for me in the hut. He meant the Xmas box. For Xmas dinner we had goose & peas and dressing and plum pudding galore. We had fruit and nuts and everybody came away with a full stomach. We had a fine time. Some of the officers came in and gave us a speach. You see, all of "A" company ate together. Each company had a hut fixed up for Xmas dinner. We had New Years dinner last night at five oclock. It was a good meal. We had roast beef for dinner. After dinner I went to a dance in Crowborough and came home at 11.30. The dance was pretty good but many of the dances are different from what I am used to. The dance the Lancers, Quadrille, Veleta, Barn Dance and Boston Two-step. Of course I can dance the Waltz & Two Step & one-step & Fox Trot with them but I have not tried the Lancers or Veleta. I don't think I'll go down there very often as I lose too much sleep by going down there.
I have not written a single letter since Xmas but have received several. I have not heard from Frank or Mundi for quite a while. They have not answered my last letters. I heard that a draft had just been sent from the 108th a few days ago. I don't know yet whether it is true or not. I have just recently received the parcel from Dad and was sending some tobacco to Mundi when I heard about the draft going away, so I am going to write to Mundi and find out about it before I send him the parcel. I am sending Frank some of the cigarettes that Dad sent for me.
I am getting to be a poor hand at writing. I have been too lazy to write since we came out of quarantine. When I was in quarantine we had to stay in the hut at nights and then I had time to write letters. Since then I haven't had the Patience to stay in and write after staying in the hut so much when I was in quarantine. I have a terrible lot of writing to do to answer all the letters. So I guess I will have to "Buck Up" and get started. It sure is an awful task and requires a lot of patience. My fountain pen is not any too good either. Sometimes the ink sticks in it and I have to shake some of it out to get it started again. Sometimes I have to trace over the words again. I don't know where I can get it fixed unless I try taking it to a jewellers.
I have been lending it to the boys & they have used all kinds of ink in it. I don't like to lend it but then again I don't like to be mean and not lend it to them. I don't like to refuse them the loan of it unless I am using it myself.
I received a letter from Bonnie the other day and she said she was going to send me some money when she gets the money for Nigger. But of course I won't stand for that. She needs all the money she can get herself. I know she loves me an awful lot and wants to do all she can for me but I won't take any money from her. In one of the letters I wrote to you recently I asked you to send me ten dollars to have when I go to France. It might come in handy. But then that is absolutely the last money I want you to send me. I know you want to do what you can for me but this money I am asking for must be the last until I get to France or perhaps back from France.
If a fellow goes to France and stays there quite a while he has some money to his credit when he comes back. We will be getting about £3,10s., per month from now on, which is equivalent to $17.50 in Canadian and if I can't make things go on that, I am no good. Of coourse if I ever get hard up for money I will write and let you know. But I don't think I will be likely to be short of funds. Some of the fellows in the Depot got into trouble and had their pay reduced to 20 cents a day until they go to France. They do not actually forfeit the rest of the pay but it is kept back till a later time. I think I will try and keep out of trouble. I have kept out of trouble fairly well so far and I think I can keep out of trouble now as before. The money you sent me came in pretty handy. I got it on Xmas day and we did not get paid for December until on the 28th. We did not get any pay at the middle of the month because wer were in quarantine. We got paid for the whole month on the 28th. Then I drew £3,10s. So I am fairly well fixed at present. I don't know when I will go to France. It might be six or eight weeks before I go. I have heard rumors that we might go sooner than that and finish our training in France but I don't know if ther is any truth in it.
Bonnie told me that Nigger was drowned shortly after Dad sold him. Is that true? Who bought him? I haven't been able to get my six day Xmas pass yet and don't whether I will ever get it. I might get a week end pass to London soon but I can't go to see Mrs. Tyler on a week end pass. However we are entitled to a four day's pass before we go to the front. That four day pass is called the "Kings Leave." We have been having fairly good weather lately. It has hardly rained at all and no snow and very little frost. Well dear Mother, I have had good health right along and that is something to be thankful for. So don't worry about me, they can't kill me here in England. It takes real steel bullets or sharapnel or something like that to kill me.
I have not heard much about eh Gimli boys in the 108th. As far as I know they are all well. It is too bad the boys don't write home oftener. I guess some of them are a little more neglectful than your son. Brynki Helgason was in the hospital with a weak heart. They were going to operate on him and I have heard that he is going to be discharged & sent back to Canada. Einar Gudmundson was in the hospital too on account of his foot. They were going to operate on his foot. He was feeling fine last time I heard of him but he did not know whether he would be discharged or not. Elias Eliasson was rather sickly after he came to England and I think he was sent to the hospital but I haven't heard about him latelly. I think all the boys from home are in good health. I would likely have heard if any of them were sick. Tell Mrs. Thordarson not to worry about Ingi though he does not write. He never was much of a letter writer. I would likely have heard if anything was wrong with. The last time I saw him in Witley Camp he was in good health. I am going to make a trip to Seaford and see the boys when I can get a pass. I must close so I can mail this letter tonight. Give my love to all the friends. I wish you all a Joyous New Year.
With love & Kisses from your