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Date: February 16th 1917
Mary & Annie Rendall, friends
David Reekie

Pte D.L. Reekie
#838674. 8th Res. Bn. #3 Coy C.E.F.
Shoreham By Sea, Sussex, Eng.
Feb 16, 1917.

Dear Friends,–

I rec’d your ever welcome letter about two weeks ago and the box last night. It arrived in O.K. condition, except for the wrapper on the outside being badly torn but the address was still discernable. Cotton stands the trip better than paper and is used mostly. Many thanks for it, anything from Canada certainly is a treat, it always seems so much better than stuff you can buy here. The candy is swell. Sugar is so dear over here that anything sweet is a luxury here, I had begun to give it up as one of the missing – gone where so many go, when it didnt come for so long, so sure was glad to get it. The sox are real good too, they are so soft. I will write and thank Florence and Emma as soon as I get time.

Well I suppose when you get this word it will be getting springlike over there and I will likely be “crushing gravel” in “noisy France”. It is getting real spring over here, weather just like April in Can. of course it is colder in France but we will likely be near the French Coast for awhile so it will not be much change in temperature. Some of our officers have been in the frontline for about six weeks now and I heard today that Lieut Wilson who was the officer in charge of my platoon all summer was wounded. Some of the men have been over for about six weeks now and intend to go up the line this week and drafts are leaving every few days so I guess we will be over in time to see some “rough weather”.

Oh yes I almost forgot to mention the book you sent me, I have never read it but have heard a lot about it being a good one. Robert Service’s books always are, I dont read very much because it keeps me busy writing and cleaning up, but I am reading “A Girl of the Limberlost,” now. There is a library at the Y. and I joined it so have read a few good ones. When I read this one, I will give it to the Y. so pass the good work on, the returned men do a lot of reading

How did the Box Social come off? Hope it was a success. Did you get my letter of Jan 28; if so there is really nothing to tell. I suppose the lake will be frozen over now eh? We had pretty cold weather for a couple of weeks and lots of snow, but the ground is thawed out now. It is very quiet around here and they wont issue any passes, so we see very little of England, I dont mind soldiering, but I dont like this prison life. I think we should get midnights or weekends anyway. OhSay, I got a letter from Mr Waterer the other day inviting me to visit them he said you had written. I was very sorry that a pass was out of the question. Shoreham is the only town “In bounds for soldiers” around this Camp.

Things are pretty quiet now, both “on parade” and off, because we are all broken up and with strangers a lot of the boys of “old sixteen platoon” (or “fighting sixteen as we were nicknamed because we always “stuck together” on or off parade,) are in France or on railway construction work, not more than about five or six together anywhere, of course its not like Niagara or Borden anyway, where we got lots to eat and not worked very hard but here it is reversed so there is not so much fun. Doing one hour of stiff physical training and six of drill or marching with full equipment makes one feel like staying at home in the evenings but the weight of the pack soon gets unnoticeable.

Well its almost suppertime now and I want to toast some bread, we just slap it against the side of the stove but Im afraid that wont work when we get back the toast would suit us but I dont think the looks of the stove would suit others, what do you think? You should see some of the Stew we get, quite a mystery. I couldnt name any of the ingredients, but I buy meat or sausages occasionally and cook it, Im some cook too or will be when Im out of this. But I will cook “For Soldiers Only” and take no chances on anybody else.

Well I must close for this time. Again thanking you for your kindness. Hoping all are enjoying the best of health.

Remember me to All.
Dave. R.

[written across the back side of the last page:]
Misses Mary and Annie Rendall

Original Scans

Original Scans