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Date: July 26th 1916
Harold Dean

July 26/16

Dear Mother:

As you see I have my pen working again but I might say the ink is very poor. I happened to meet a fellow out of our company 648 using a pen so I asked him if he had any extra ink, he said he has some like he was using so gave me a small tablet like a pill and told me to put it in the pen and then fill it with water. It was a new one on me but it answers the purpose as you see.

Well mother, I dont hardly know how to write a letter as any thing a person hears is news that cannot be written on paper.

I have not had any mail from home since the time I got the parcel about June 12. There is some mail for me but I was not with the company at the time it came and when the other boys got theirs sent up here mine was left behind so I was “unlucky” as they say here when you miss anything you should get and are entitled to.

The convoy work here is fairly hard on account of the roads being bad. In this country, being a new one, the roads are not solid and are mostly sandy as there is no gravel anywhere. At present though I am attached to a column having a short haul and we manage to get caught up and have a day off now and again.

Although as you know this is not a healthy country for us fellows, we have no complaints. The most of the boys have had a week or so in hospital but that is not bad for three or four months work

I have been having a good time all the while and the food is good. Of course, in this vast country there is lots of game both birds and deer and a bit of such as these makes a tasty meal. Of course we are all cooks now in our own way. We get some flour and a little baking powder and mix up some paste which when fried in bacon fat or some other grease makes what we call pancakes but perhaps if you had one you wouldnt say they looked very nice. However these little things are clean and prepared yourself so just make believe they are home cooked and eat them anyway. We get corn meal now and again which makes fine porridge considering. We soak it for a while and then pour boiling water on it and cook it about twenty minutes. With a little salt in the water and a little brown sugar after it makes a fine dish. Of course a bit of fresh milk or cream are among the things you read about in this country.

I dont know how long we will be down here but I imagine we will get back to England in two or three months anyway. As there is nothing definite yet just keep on with the mail and I will wire if I get any handier to home. Things here look about right for a quick return from the country

If I were you I would bother about any more parcels because most of the boys have some on the way and they dont seem to get here very quickly. I understand from reports etc that the European war is getting more prospectful now and also that the Canadian boys are still at it. Well I might add the Canadians are doing well here in the transport work but we have no troops here from home. We heard about dear old Kitcheners sad fate some time ago. It seems bad to lose a man like him at such a critical time but I suppose some man will rise to the position and the world will still go on.

Well Mother this is the best attempt I have made for quite a bit at a letter but I will have to close now and get some dinner ready. Give my love to Dad and all the kids (I suppose Mary will feel insulted to be classed as such) including the Percival girls (or young ladies) if they are still there. I havent written to Silverdale or Grandma or Florence or Aunt Lottie but just say I havent forgotten them. If I did write to the others it would be the same as this letter so “what’s the use.”

Well Bye Bye Mother for a little while longer
with lots of love

P.S. My pillow is separated from me now but I will get it again. I left it with a Victoria boy one night when I moved in a hurry

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