Letter to Alice from Witley South Camp

Witley S. Camp

Dear Alice:–    It is just about noon I have finished my mornings work which dident amount to much,

Say sister these breakfasts remind me each morning of the year that Mothe you Teddy and I were at niagara when I was on the mail route. I remember how Mother used to just cook me anything I wanted all the time we had rolled oats and pancakes for breakfast, well here we have just as good a grade of rolled oats lots of sugar and good rich cows milk and lots of Toast with lots of margarine on it, then one or two kinds of meat and potatoes for breakfast. This may sound funny to you but sister the army food at the privates mess is rough you see, you eat a poorer grade of oats no sugar or milk bacon or Kipper and bread and marg. It is good for a fellow all right sister this nine months of army life has done me more good than any one can tell and it will be a benefit to me as long as I live, but maby you think I wont jump when I get onto the ship that takes me back to the land of the maple and Mother again.

It seems as tho there must have been a little frost the first part of the night, but it was thawing long before day light when we got up at 6.30 I stick around here from about 7 A.M. till about 9 P.M. it takes about six hours to do the work the rest of the time you can put in digesting the big meal you eat. The cooks are something great every thing you can just relish from first bite to last,

I received those dandy big socks Fri. I have a pair of them on I put on this A.M. that makes me enough socks to do me till June any way with out darning any I think. I have six pair and up till today I only have had one pair on for a week.

It costs use 18¢ a week to get our laundry done where we send any or not so I guess the boys will all send some after this I have only missed two weeks since I came to Eng. yet that my laundry did not go but it cost me 24¢ right up till now.

All officers up to majors have to carry packs on all march over here it sure made use laugh when we first hit here to see our Liutenant Townsand and Capt Bryant carrying there packs they knew what we were smiling about and Capt. Bryant looked down the platoon line and had to smile about the size of chip basket him self, he is a great man, we all like him he was a lawyer in M.J. and a christian man, he never swers but he says Dam, some times and I see he takes a glass to, so we can have an idea what has happened him and how he will end, When he says any thing to use he says it with such a straight bluff that we have to smile and you will always see an answering smile to, so he knows how we feel him right thru, One day on our inspection he pulled a brass tip of my equipment out from under an other part where it could not be seen by a passing Officer and says “why an’t this shined” I said “you an’t supposed to see that sir” and he just laughed and went on but it has been shind ever since.

It is hard for use Canadians to keep from having a cold in our heads over here, The doctors say it is just the damp weather that bothers use I never was bothered in canada I could get over it and stay over it but here you can be over a cold for a half day or day and then it will come on a gain for a spell, but it don’t make you feel as bum as a cold in Canada it is only disagreable to have.

The dishes are starting to come in so will have to go to work. I do some of them again before I eat Oh sister if soldiering never gets worse than I have seen it I will come home fat yet, the War must be coming closer to a close all the time, when you think of the price of food stuff now you can see what it must be like over at the front in the battle line villages and in Germany and the other enemy countries.

Well bye bye for now sister.

16th      5.45     P.M.

Well sister:– Mitchel and I are going Out of here tomorrow we here, we are going back at the M.G. work again they have called for 3 men out of each co’y so we will be here for some time yet. If the cornels plans hold out as he figures they with judging from appearences, he has a brother a big gun in the Imperial Army, we see him over here some times to visit Frank P. they are both about the same height only the brother is slimmer and a little taller I would laugh to see him trying to cast a shadow on ground hogs day or any other you know Frank is about 6 ft 4 in. tall and his trousers come up to the breast pocket button on my tunic his legs are like broom sticks and he has a short body.

A canadain dectective told me he was one of Canadas worst grafters but the family are a big family in English society as I understand. There is a Powelett estate not far from here.

Do you know that there has been a dectective in our battalion all the time just gathering evidence ever since spring and I am on the inside with him now he has turned all his evidence over to the Canadian Government and is taking up new work now, but just resigned about ten days ago, he has not shielded one officer here and he says that several of them will without the slightest doubt serve time and he don’t need to come thru alive him self either to prove every thing it is all down in black and white facts and turned over. I was surprised to here, it knew it was going on right along. I would laugh if this letter was censored wouldent you,

Well bye bye sister dear as ever your loving brother

I hope the little boy is well and good we will see him yet.

17th Dear Alice we started at the M.G. work this a.m. and it is great fun. the meals are good any way in the mess here we are getting fat I think.

Well bye bye dear sister as ever