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Date: January 27th 1916
Harold Dean

[Note: The date is January 27th, 1916 – Dean continued to write the previous years date of “15” throughout most of January 1916.]

[postscript in top corner:] mailed Feb 1st 1916

Thursday Jan 27/15.
on the Missanabie

Dear Mother:-

Well we are on our way. We arrived in Halifax about 7.30 am on Saturday. We were switched in to the yards there and found two other troop trains there. We have on board now a draft of the 66th battalion a couple of hundred tunnellers, a bunch of Lord Strathcona Horse a bunch of C.M.R’s and about 500 M.T.’s such as myself. I think there are between 16 and 17 hundred troops on this boat. We got on the boat Saturday evening about 5 pm had supper on here and then got settled down in our rooms. We had a stroll on deck after supper and without any warning we started to pull out at 8.30 oclock. The first night was fine, some of the boys were sick but I was feeling fine I had a dandy sleep Sat night got up in the morning feeling fine. I went down and ate breakfast and after coming up and making my bed I took a stroll on deck. I stayed on deck till 10.30 and when I got up and came down stairs I found out I was seasick. I came up for a while and my head went round and round. Everybody said stay out on deck but I went to bed. I never had such a funny feeling before. Well I could not eat I couldn’t walk around, I couldn’t sit up in fact I didn’t feel good lying down. Sunday got by somehow and when I got up Monday morning it was the same feeling rotten. I lay around my stateroom all day Monday and Tuesday. Every time I thought I could eat I started down to dinner. I got half through made a bolt upstairs and fed the fish. They had a concert down in the dining room but I couldn’t go down. Everytime I stand up the ship seems to turn over and I fall down. On Wednesday I felt better. Ate my breakfast but found out about 8.30 it belonged to the fish. My head didn’t feel dizzy however and I walked around and tried to enjoy myself. Dinner time and it stayed down also supper and then I began to feel fine. I can walk anywhere now, can sit on the flag pole while the boat tips over and I don’t feel anything wrong with my stomach or head. I went down to the concert in the dining room last night and had a good time. We have had dandy weather for this time of year. We have had what everyone says is a smooth trip. Of course until you get used to standing on deck when it is tipped on an angle of about 30 or 35 you enjoy yourself but at first it don’t seem reasonable.

We have to get up about 6.30 in the morning. There are 3 calls for each meal and when we came on we were told which sitting we were to eat at. If we didn’t get there at that time we could go without our meal. I am on the second sitting and have my meals at seat 11 at table 7 at the following hours Breakfast 7.15 Dinner 12.15 Supper 5.15 So you see I have good hours for meals. We have to make our beds and put all our stuff on top of it. At 9.30 am we go on deck for roll call and boat drill we have physical drill etc for two hours and then we are dismissed till after dinner. Of course you know we cant leave the boat for a route march or anything of that sort. Anyone left behind here is Good Bye,.

Well the weather is still good and the sea smooth Everything is the same routine and the scenery is all the same.

We are a little closer to the destination now I believe, of course I cant see anything different in the water but the folks on board say we are nearer land

Well we landed Sunday morning and went right on board the train Some funny train. The coaches look one thousand years old in style but they seem all alike even the new ones. The scenery through the country here is swell The fields are green and cattle and sheep grazing all around us. The country is hilly with small valleys all through them. The houses have thatched roofs and look older than the hills in some places.

Tuesday 1st
We are in camp at Salisbury Plains in the Bulford camp. This is only a temporary place however we expect to move tomorrow down near London somewhere. I haven’t got any number or address to forward in this letter but will send it as soon as we get it. I expect that will be the end of the week or first of next. Well the boys are all well in our bunch There is ten of us in the room here. We are in a brick house and have lots of fires. The cook house is only about 100 feet away so why should we care. Well I think I will mail this letter for a change I have had it a week underway.

Don’t expect my number for a week of so but I will send a letter anyway.

Well Bye Bye for a while

P.S. Tell them all the news I can’t write one this size to everyone.

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