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Date: November 4th 1916
Dad & Mum - (Arthur & Jennie Winterbottom)
Sydney Winterbottom

France...Souchez area
Nov. 4, 1916

Dear Dad and Mum:

We leave for the line to-morrow so here goes for a final scribble. We have been here 3 weeks before we leave--quite a stay for the usual run of the boys here. A good many of them come in and go up into the line in a few hours after their arrival.

We have had I suppose our final medical examination. We were stripped stark naked for this. The exam was a fairly easy one and every one of our fellows passed.

We had a fine concert at the YMCA yesterday evening. About twenty violins, a cello, a bass viol, two coronets, a piano, a trombone and a french horn. It was fine especially as a very good conductor ran things.

I hope you send me a pair of socks every week so I can be sure of a warm addition to my footwear per week. Please be sure to send a very thick, heavy pair with long leg portions so to keep the legs warm. We are going to the firing line to-morrow and I only have 2 pairs of sox to go in. I picked these off the clothes heap and washed them.

I don’t like to ask the people at Sloane St. to send me anything for to tell the truth it struck me that I was looked upon as a burden when I was there. Mind you this might be a fancy but I must say I didn’t feel at home half as much as when I went to Peasmarsh. I guess it was because Dall Penny didn’t quite know how to take a boorish Canadian relative.

I heard a sea mine explode yesterday. It was rumoured that one of the French small boats ran into a stray mine with the usual results. I met little Art Schribner who used to play the bugle so much a couple of years ago in Kamloops. He was sargent bugler of the 62nd. but couldn’t go with them on account of sickness. As I write you I can hear the fellows in the canteen singing “Hail, Hail, the gangs all here. What the H— do we care.. What the H— do we care now!”.

The fellow who sleeps next to me, called “Ross”, is at present busy sewing a cover for George's muzzle. George is his rifle, a jake ----Enfield.

None of us has had a letter for 3 weeks so you can understand what a treat one will afford us. A fellow can say what he pleases but believe me the most relished thing for the fellow away from home is—a letter and I guess a letter from the absent one is just as pleasant for you, Eh what! Just before I left Uncle Harold wrote and asked me to come and spend a week end with him and he would teach me to ride a motor cycle! We left before I could, worse luck for the motor cycle.

Write when you can and don't worry about me. I'll not get beaned if I can see the sausage chewing german pig first.

Your ever loving son,
Sid W


[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]