Jan 31st 1917.
My dear Winnie.
Thank you very much for your kind letter which I received some days ago. As I explained in Mother’s letter the reason for the delay in answering it is due to the fact of my having too much swatting to do. I was very sorry in one way to have to leave Newmarket for I had made so many friends among the boys. That I am sure we all felt more or less fed up on the day of parting. Newmarket is not a very large town and the people who live there are in the horse business one way or another. jockeys, trainers, saddle, harness makers and stable men go to make up a large portion of the population. The country around about the town however is very much adapted to training purposes for both race horses and soldiers.
Many are the jolly old stunts we have been on: a beautifully planned out tactical or strategical game being the order of the day. My special chum, Francis Woods, who I introduced you to in one of my letters, some time ago, has gone back to his home in Liverpool, he wanted me to go and spend my leave with him at home, it was awfully kind of him and I am sorry I could not find it possible to go with him.
He had a motor bike in Camp and both of us managed to get into a number of scrapes together, which we also managed to get out of. I have had a beastly cold lately, it is not often I get a cold and this one has annoyed me very much. When you write, please let me know how you are all keeping, the weather here is perfectly rotten just now. Yesterday it was cold and freezing, today it is snowing and wet. I can just imagine the state of things in France just now. Mud and water. I only hope they have dried things out a bit before they venture out again. Say Win, just fancy I am going to see Uncle Cyril tomorrow, it will just be like a little piece of home again. Do you know I get most horribly homesick at times and I am sure Uncle Cyril feels that way himself sometimes. We were both jolly glad to meet one another last Christmas, our only regret was the sad fact Uncle Cyril had to leave early. I received a letter from my friend Mr Laird, he tells me he wrote to you for my address, I was indeed surprised to hear from him. Both Mr and Mrs Laird were very kind to me while I was in Winnipeg. Now about that photo Mother wants me to have taken although I would much sooner go and have my teeth pulled than have my photo taken, I intend calling on a photographer and talking things over. Well Winnie I must ring off for a short time, No doubt I shall be able to write again before very long. Meanwhile I must say good bye. with heaps of love & kisses_
Your loving brother