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Date: February 20th 1917

Witley Camp

Tues. Feb. 20th.

My Dear Papa:

Just a short line tonight before I role in, you know some times after I write you a letter I feel as if I had had a talk with you & I feel better after it.

I received the Iden. Disk from Birks yesterday, & it is fine, has a nice silver chain & etc & the engraving is awful nice on it, thank Mamma very much for me.

The camp power-house was burnt down a few nights ago & in consequence we have no lights except candles which makes things pretty dreary & also helps to make a "hole in our pocket"

The weather is pretty warm now, but it rains all the time & the mud is fierce; so you can immagin the job I have with my harness: it means working on it almost every night so I do not get much time to write to any one except you at home. The big boots are the clear rig for this weather, never have wet feet with them at all - that is why I have had no colds since before Christmas.

I told you about that Seargent of ours they took for S.M. of the 4th Sec, well he is back to A.Sub. again & you bet we are glad to have him again, as all these young Lieutenants are scared of him & they keep clear of A. Sub. stables. Coakly (Irish) is his name, he was in the 1st Life Guards & has two medles with four clasps for South Africa. Our Corperal (Ward) is an old 13th Hursar man he also has two medles for S.A. & he did 8 years in India; he has a ranch up the coast on an Island near Prince Rupert.

Did you know a family by the name of COLVEY who lived on Bulardy Isl. on the lakes near Marble Mountain; - well one of the boys "Steve" is in our outfit.

They have changed our hrs. a bit in camp now, we get up at 5.30 & go to stables at ten to 6 with breakfast at 7.15 & then we go to work (no more parades except Sunday) at 8.30 & quit (supposed to) 5 P.M. then lights out goes at 9.45 instead of 10.15.

I tell you what that butter & strawberry jam is going good these days. That is nice coffee also please whenever you send me any parcel do not forget to put that kind of Coffee in, I like it better than Cocoa, milk is not so important if you are near the 11 lb. mark & it is pretty heavy but you can always fill in with sugar.

Give my best regards to Tom and Frenchy next time you see him - I see Janet Sutherland is teaching at Ashcroft now. Where does Stanely & his "bride" live now, do they live with the old man? I suppose they live with & on the old man.

Well good night for the present.

from Bill

Wed. 21st. 1917.

Did not get this mailed last night so I will add a few lines to tonight.

There are going to be sports here on the 15th. of March (It does not look as if we are going to France) & there is a prize for the best six mule team - one team from each section or battery. Well I am picked as the lead driver for it & have to look after a fancy team of good looking mules for it (not my own they are a bad color) & get them shining.

Well good by again, will write soon.

Original Scans

Original Scans