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Date: November 19th 1916

Witley Camp

Nov. 19/16


Dear Ollie:


Got your second letter OK.  Got it Wed. the 15th.  No need to say was glad to hear from you but it’s funny you hadn’t got my first letter by that time but I reckon the mail gets some mixed up before they reach their destination.  Had a letter from Lib this morning.  It was mailed 5 days before yours was.  I mean your first.  Angus has heard from home four times and he got the first last so you see we don’t get our mail very regular.  Was glad to hear the old man has made up his mind to stay in NS for I don’t believe he would stand it very long in this country.  For a wonder we had 6 days last week without rain but it started in to snow last night and it sure did snow.  But he ground did not stay white long for it started to rain some time in the night and it has kept it up ever since.  Rain and snow mixed, it’s beastly weather and no mistake.  Well Squire and I are transferred out of D. Coy.  They formed another Coy of bombers, signalers, machine gun scouts & snipers and stretcher-bearers.  We are in the Scout and Sniper Section.  We moved in our new quarters last Sat. and like the boys fine, that is most of them.  One little Dutchman sleeps next to me and he sure is Dutchy but is a dandy little chap.  He drove stage form Caledonia to Liverpool for a year and can tell some good yarns about his experiences.  The Scout Officer is away taking a course so we are working with the Snipers till he gets back and I like it fine.  We haven’t done anything but shoot all week.  The Sniping Office is Cap. Suckling (Chaplain).  The chap Mrs. Dargie said she knew.  He is a dandy chap.  Would rather shoot than preach.  He said he was going to try and get me in the snipers but I would rather be in the Scouts if I can qualify.  If not will go in the Snipers.

Well it’s getting dark in the hut so guess I better quit pretty quick.  I don’t like the country.  I haven’t learned to swallow the air yet.  It seems to stick in my throat but suppose will get used to it sometime.  Oh yes, we got payed last Thur.  10 shillings.  Some pay for the boys coming back off pass broke and lots of them had that much borrowed.  But guess we get a little more next pay day.  They keep off so much of out pay until we get a nest egg.  And it’s a good plan too.   I think for if we ever get a chance to go on pass again we will need it.  That’s why they keep it back. We can draw it when we go on leave.  And I am going to spend all I can get my hands on for I don’t expect to travel through here again and don’t expect to live very old so won’t need it in my old age and about all the pleasure we get here is traveling.  So am going as often as I can get away and can the dough. 

Sorry John didn’t get a moose.  I was sure he would (get one).  Tell him I am sorry I didn’t call him the morning I left but will call him next time for sure.  I suppose A.A. Mc is beginning to think about the woods.  Wish I could be there to help him but will consider myself lucky if I get back next winter for I don’t believe the war will be done next year this time.  But plan to be home in time for the spring cut in the mill.  I am some prophet you bet.  But I don’t believe it will last any longer than that.  Well I didn’t plan to waste this much paper but they turned on the big lights so thought might as well keep it up till suppertime.  I don’t have any idea when or how we are going to the front but it would not surprise me if we were split up in drafts.  But I don’t care how it goes.  Sorry to hear young Saunders is among the missing but hope he will show up all right.  One of the old 17th Battery boys who was reported killed last spring showed up here.  Yesterday fat and well so you see you can’t always depend on the paper to tell the truth.  Whish I was by your old cook stove for a few minutes to get thawed out.  It’s cold as the Devil here.  We only have one stove and its not working at its job today.  Guess the pipe must bee stogged off so will saw off for now and go to bed.  Hope you get my letter or things I should say.  Write often as you can.  Your letters are not censored or haven’t been.  Hoping this finds you well.




No. 223311

Cpl. J. Hudgins

85th Battalion N.S.H.B.C.E.F

Scout & Sniper Section

c/o Army Post Office

London, Eng.

Original Scans

Original Scans

Hudgins, John. November 19, 1916. Hudgins, John. November 19, 1916. Hudgins, John. November 19, 1916. Hudgins, John. November 19, 1916. Hudgins, John. November 19, 1916.