Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: May 9th 1916

Pte L Sinclair #460609.

“C” Comp. 61st Canadians

c/o Army Post Office

London Eng.

Tuesday May 9th

Dear Mother:-

It is raining out this morning so have got the chance to write. I received your letter dated April 12th, last Thursday and two bundles of papers. I was awful glad to hear from you and to get some Winnipeg papers again. Canadian Mail has been very slow in arriving and I hope you are getting mine in little better time. We have been moving about so much, I suppose it might have a little to do with it, but from all reports we may move again.

We arrived in Shorncliffe O.K. and they were not long in getting us down to work. Training here is sure a lot different to what we got in Canada and we are on the go every minute of the day. It is very close to the ocean here and we can see it from the parade grounds a half a mile away.

Folkstone is the seaside resort though and its about 45 mins walk from the camp. I have been down there three times and was roller skating twice but the waters are too chilly yet and there is not much going on just now. It is a pretty place though and the ocean looks fine from the banks. A lot better than it looked on the boat. There is an awful lot of Canadian solders here and new battalions have just arrived from Canada.

Orders came out that we were to reinforce the 44th Battalion at Bramshott and six hundred of us are leaving shortly. Nothing has been done yet and we were supposed to leave today. I wrote Edith Sunday and told her we were being broke up, but there may be a chance yet of us staying as a unit. If we do go, it will mean we see more of the country, and we will go as reinforcements no matter where we stay. Here we are in with the eleventh reserves and I beleive they reinforce the eleventh battalion where ever they are from, while the 44th are reinforcing the 8th, 27th, 28th, and some of the other battalions. This last engagement I think has drawn a lot of reserves from the battalions over here, so I suppose it is up to us to fill up the gaps. Most all the boys in our comp are going, but all confirmed N.C.O’s have to remain here. If the battalion is split up lord knows what will happen to the officers and non commissioned Officers. For my part, it doesn’t cut any ice. I just as soon go as re [?] & get in with experienced men as good over as a unit and be green at the game. However nothing has been done yet, and we are all hoping the battalion may stay as unit.

You must have had some time in Winnipeg with the troops after we left. I’m glad we were not there or we would have had to patrol the streets and guard the old station, as the old barracks was just behind it. How are things there just now? Had stanley started digging the garden yet, and how did the sweet pea seads come? I was surprised to here about Del Irvine, I shook hands with him before leaving Montreal and he looked well then, so did Tom Murray. We heard it was rumored about us sinking and I supposed it must have spread like wild fire through Wpg. Well you can tell the boys at home there lucky there not in the Army and to hold out as long as they can. I don’t blame some of these Englishmen for not enlisting, for the training you go through here is something cruel. Reveille goes 5.30 in the morning and we get twenty mins to dress full kit. We are dismissed again 6.45 for breakfast, and fall in again. 7.45. From 8 until 12 we are going every min. of our time with instructors over us. In all our drills, we got to move and after two hrs physical drill and wielding a Ross rifle around in bayonet practice your ready for a rest and they are just 10 mins aboute twice in a morning.

In the afternoon its physical drill again. This Swedish stuff, and Platoon Comp, and bayonet fighting until 5’oclock sharpe. We are in huts and they are not bad at all, but you can feel the cool breeze off the brimey in the mornings, and even in the huts. The weather lately has been fine and I hope you are having good weather too. Has all the snow gone yet? Well I am sending along more post cards, and tell all my friends I cant write for we cant get settled down at One place.

Well mother we have just got orders that there is an inspection this afternoon. So I had better close and get ready. Maybe its to decide whether we stay as a unit. But dont be surprised if my next letter is from Bramshott. How is my assigned pay getting over there? Have you had anything yet?

Tell Colin, John Grant, is one of the instructors here, and he was asking about him also Florie to make some fudge. Well good bye and drop any other line in a few days. Your loving son


Original Scans

Original Scans