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Date: October 29th 1915

Oct. 29th, 1915 

Dear Mother; 

I got your letter posted Oct 5th, the other day, when we were taken out of the trenches and marched to this place, near one of the biggest cities of France. At present we are resting in a small village and I am taking the bomb-throwers course. It is very interesting and of course useful. I can’t say where we are nor where we were in the trenches on account of the censor. The green envelopes are not supposed to be opened but a certain number always are. A lot of the censoring is so stupid and unnecessary too because the Germans find out the important things anyway. When we went into the last trenches the Germans had a sign up with a loving message to “Johnny Canuck”. 

I got Miss Edmiston’s book alright and will write and thank her. 

It is getting colder and wetter here now but we get lots of apples and pears yet. The pears are no good but the apples are very fine. I cooked some of them today with prunes and dates and candies. The candies were in place of sugar. 

There was something in a Calgary paper I saw the other day about R. Sgt. Major Samson of one of the battalions there. The article said he had been six weeks in the trenches and was invalided home with frozen feet. The men here say he never left England and went home with cold, not frozen feet. He was a Sergt. In the P.P’s at Salisbury. 

Capt., now Lt.-Col., McInery of the 66th Battn. is another hero of 24 hours in the trenches. There will be some queer stories told after this war. 

We haven’t seen any of the third University Coy. yet. The first draft of them will likely be about 110 men. They may be over soon. 

I noticed a letter in a Bulletin which Ted Day got, which was written by Sergt. Stevens. It certainly was a lot of hot air about the same kind old Tory will use when he speaks of what the University has done. Steve is a nice fellow but he likes the grand stand work. 

Of course we know no more about it here than you do at home but it seems as if some awful mistakes had been made in this war. The Dardanelles job was certainly misjudged and almost looks like a failure and I think if troops are sent to Serbia it will be months too late. Serbia apparently was promised assistance which never came. 

We are sleeping in a combined stable and shed here. The old boy who owns the place was in the Franco-Prussian war. For some unaccountable reason there are no rats. 

The candle is pretty low and I will have to stop. I may put in another letter for Tina & perhaps Dr. McGibbon if I get time. 

Your loving son
Alec R. McQueen