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Date: June 3rd 1917


Sun. June. 3rd. 1917.

Dear Mother:-

Well we’ve moved again, a little nearer the front this time. I’ll be getting there yet. We left the base Friday. We left camp about ten o’clock & had about a 3 mile walk to the station. I sure had a pretty tightly packed pack this time. I had a blanket & 2 pair of socks & a sweater & great coat in it. I had a couple more pairs of socks in my gas respirator & gas helmet container & shining stuff etc. in my haversack. I guess it was the heaviest load I’ve had, except when we left Canada, when we he had a kitbag also. We didn’t have far to carry it then though. This time we had 120 rounds of ammunition & they weigh quite a bit.

Of course we were loaded in box cars, but we were quite comfortable They sometimes have 40 in a car & haven’t room to lay down, but we only had 18 so we had a good sleep at night, though we were pretty crowded. During the day four could sit in each door with their feet hanging outside. Some rode on top of the cars, though they are not supposed too, on account of the tunnels. It was really more comfortable in the box cars the way we were, than in coaches, because you can’t lay down in coaches. Every town we went through, there would be a bunch of kids along the line, all yelling for biscuits. It seems that they are used to getting biscuits from troop trains but they didn’t get many from ours. We didn’t have enough for ourselves. We hardly saw a man the whole way. The farms were almost entirely worked by women & kids & old men, & an awful lot of the employees along the railway were women.

We arrived at the end of our journey about 10 oclock yesterday & stayed around that town doing nothing till about five & then marched out about 3 miles to the town we are now in. When we left the base we were told that if we didn’t have our blankets when we arrived here we would get into trouble, but when we got off the train we were told we had better ditch them. I thought we were going to have a long march, else I would have kept mine. It is fairly cold at night & a great coat isn’t quite enough to keep you nice & warm. It’s not bad though. Last night we slept in an attic, the best billet in the town, & we were good & crowded too. A lot went up the line today though, so it won’t be so bad tonight. I think though that we are going to move into tents pretty soon. Everything is good & dirty around here, especially the the last place we were in, They were clean & well dressed & looked a lot better than the English kids, but it’s different here. We are billeted in houses with the town people, but they don’t feed us. They all sell beer though, & there are two or three estaminets or saloons on about every block.

We will likely be here two weeks, starting squad drill etc. I don’t know what’s the idea I’m sure, and I’m not very struck on it. I don’t know just how far we are from the front line, but I don’t think very far. There are all kind of aeroplanes flying around. Yesterday I counted 14 at one time & several balloons. We’ve got now so that we pay no more attention to an aeroplane than to an automobile.

Well I guess that’s all now.


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