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Date: January 30th 1918

Supply Coy. R+D.D.


Ross Barracks

Shorncliffe, Kent

Jan. 30 – 18

My Dear Dorothy.

I have before me seven letters, all of which came in todays mail. They are letters written at home Dec 28-31, and so have taken just a month to arrive. There is one from you, one from mother, one from father, one from Agnes, one from Marge J. one from Laura Thorn & one from Mrs Frank P.

It’s a terror the time & paper it takes corresponding with ye fair sex, but its got to be did. There’s Agnes, Marge, Gladys, Laura, Nancy, Madge, Charlotte, and N/S. Ross. Agnes is – well just Agnes – or Miss M Murchy – Marge is very funny – Gladys friendly & interesting – Laura friend – Nancy clever & humorous – Madge loving Charlotte clever & reminiscent & Sister Ross kind & humorous & good.

I do love Sister Ross. All the boys who have been under her care do – you simply can’t help it. And Charlotte? In a parcel from the Westbourne R.C. there was a pair of beautiful socks, with a slip of paper with CE Lambert’s name. Ell I wrote, and – nuffsed.

Nancy is a little girl I used to go around with as Basingstoke. Jack Basselt was sweet on her sister and we had some very good times together. They were both nice girls – good looking – nice dressers well educated good church workers and we found them very congenial company. No love or youthful affection you know, but just good friends. Nancy was supervisor of the girls work-in in Burberrys, and when I came away from Basingstoke she gave me a beautiful officers haver-sack, made of Burberry waterproof material & all faced with leather. The same haversacks sell in Burberrys for  18/, but she had her girls make it in their spare time. It was her that gave me the big mitts at Xmas made of the same material. Well so much for the girls.

In Mrs. Franks letter today, she told me that Jack had been up to London again to see a cousin on leave from France, & the two boys had stayed at their place all night. Any of the boys who have once been to Franks, are never shy about repeating the visit. It is a regular Canadian Soldiers Home.

I am quite delighted with the C.O.S.C. The quarters are comfortable, the food good, and the work very easy. For the first two or three days I was in the order room, but not have a job as “rail-head checker”. I am down in the station, checking off all the in coming supplies, as they are unloaded from the freight cars. Today I had over three cars to check – one of meat, one of baled hay and one of flour – about two hours work made. This job is only temporary, as I expect soon to go up to London. [word crossed out, “soon”]. The C.O.S.C. are opening new offices there to deal with tobacco distribution & Cam has my name in for that.

For the past five says, the weather here has been most beautiful, warm & sunny, like May in Manitoba. On Sunday afternoon UI went for a long walk. From the barracks I went down the cliffs to Seabrook a tiny village on the shore, and from Seabrook took the Lower Sandgate Road, down through Sandgate to Folkstone. The road is a most beautiful one, winding along the face of the cliffs & hills, just a few yards from the shore all the way. It was an ideal day warm & sunny & crowds of people were out taking advantage of the exceptional weather. The hills sloping back from the water were fresh and green as the fields of England always are – the birds were singing and a soft warm breeze was blowing in from the channel. For nearly two hours I lay on a grassy knoll, looking out over the deep blue water.

Great ships were passing up and down continually, convoyed by destroyers and aeroplanes. Fishing smacks, patrol boats row boats & sailing yachts were moving about continually. While in the blue above dozens of places were flying up and down, [word crossed out “their”] the drone of their engines & propellers sounding in the distance like the humming of great bees. Occasionally a machine would skim down to within a few yards of the face of the cliffs, and the bird man would wave to us from his seat. Some distance from the shore a great silver queen [word crossed out “was”] (air-ship) was patrolling up and down, watching from above for under-sea pirates that may have been lurking beneath the water. Far away on the horizon I could see dimly the outline of the coast of France, and from over there came the dull muffled roar of the great gun “bellowing victory, bellowing doom.”

And often as I sat there in the warm sunshine of a summer-like afternoon I tried to imagine the day at home – cold – bitterly cold probably, with a bitter north wind instead of a warm sea breeze and instead of the green fields of England the prairies covered deep with snow. But oh how I wished that I was there.

Must say goodnight now little sister

Lovingly Markle


I hope that you got leave of absence O.K. and are at home now & feeling bett

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