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Date: July 21st 1918

P.E.7. France

July 21, 1918

Dear People,

A card from Mother from Clifton Springs, a pair of socks from Aunt Mattie with a letter enclosed and a letter from Marion arrived from Canada last week. I am sorry that I lost Marion’s letter because she said something in it that made me rather mad and I was going to have the great pleasure of reprimanding her. Unfortunately I can’t remember what it was though I have been racking my brains all day to try to remember it.

Just came out of the line yesterday afternoon. I had been up all week on a working party. Now that the old M.G. outfit has been turned into battalion formation it is almost as bad as the infantry. You have to do a lot of odd jobs and what is worse it seems impossible to get leave. However as the guns of my section were in a disagreeable position where you couldn’t move a hair all day I was fortunate in not being with a crew. Our working party inhabited a deep dug out about two miles or more behind the front line. Every morning we would start out a little after six and walk a distance of three or four miles mostly through trenches, which seem interminable to the [?] of our labours where a dugout was in course of construction. Our work consists of digging, filling sandbags and hauling them up sometimes with a windlass sometimes with merely a rope and pulley. We usually got back to our burrow about half past one and only worked on one afternoon, so the quantity or work which we had to do could hardly be called excessive though with army rations it was quite enough. I don’t think I was ever so dirty in my life. The trenches weren’t muddy as trenches go, which means that you didn’t get slopped much above the knees but I managed to get covered from head to foot. One day when we were coming home Fritz started to drop heavy stuff on some field [?] not very far away and I jumped into a convenient shell hole by the side of the road. It was the best place in the world to be but unfortunately I slipped and the bottom being of thick, gooey consistency, emerged in camouflaged state. By this time however I am getting back to something like a decent condition and a good bath and a change of clothes will complete the job.

In a few days I may have something to tell which may interest you. Haven’t been able to see Dorland or Bill yet but hope to see Bill soon. He came down here to see me last week and had quite a long trip for nothing poor fellow. We haven’t been so lucky this time as we before but the pleasure will be all the greater when we finally meet.

I hope you are getting my letters regularly. Sometimes I think that I ought to write more often because there is so little else that I can do for you and you are all so good to me.

Ever so much love to you all dear folks.


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