[no date - late July 1916]
[Salvation Army letterhead]
I am getting indifferent these days and I am not keeping up my correspondence as I should but I guess you folks will have to excuse me till after the war and I will make amends if possible, we see returned soldiers around be begging and selling papers and pictures etc. some have one leg some blind some just wounded so they are stiffened up and so on
I just received your letter a cupple of hours ago there is a supper on at Carbury to night given by the wemons exilory for the soldiers so they put on a special train and gave use all a chance to go 25¢ for return ticket. I bot a ticket and went over to the P.O. after I was all ready. They sold the tickets right in our Rec. Room. I stood in the P.O. door and saw the P. Master post your letter in the box but I could not get it for an hour so I lined up in the parade to go but I heard a lad say he didn’t have a ticket so I sold him mine and waited for the mail.
I came down to the head P.O. to see about that reg. L. I sent you on the 15th he put a tracer on it but said I would not here from it for a mo. so that would be quite a wait if any one wanted that ten bones.
Then I droped in to the S.A. Hall and here I am paper and envelopes free but I have an interest in this building that is all right. I have given them $3.25 since I hit here and about 50¢ to the Y.M.C.A.
We had a big inspection yesterday and out side of standing still for about an hour we had an easy day and to day after dinner we had another inspection by the Associated Press reporter it was an easy P.M. Got dismissed at 3.30.
The work we get is very light now and it is interesting to because they mix things up we have these changes every half day 8.30 to 9. inspection by officer in command, 9 to 10 physical drill 10 to 10.20 sit down 10.20 to 11 musketry 11 to 12 bayonet Fighting from 2 to 3 PM. with these same things changed around but from 3 to 3.20 sit down and the next day changed around again you see we work in leap frog we all get into circle with our heads down and some three men get belt and then the get after the next man the come to and he has to run or get a spanking with the belt we do lots of things that are the best fun you can imagine they say to break the menoteny
There is no fatigue job that is at all heavy but unloading the beef and I have had my turn at it and it was though choice so never again I am wise now.
Poor little sister I hate to think what she has to go through but Mother it seems to me what goes to make up the best of life the sacrifices that humanity make show what caliber there is within. But Mother it seems to bad to see how wronge things go some The other night I was thinking about when Clive and I were kid and how we dident help you at all when we could have been such a help and such a blessing to you. Mother if I could only live my life over again just to show you how much I do appreciate you and your love for me. Mother there is something that has to be changed there you have go no right to be cooking for those Poultons and making more work for you. You have more to do than you rightly do with out that on the side and I never saw the time it was any different around there you always worked till you could just stand up and that was all. We are not going to get out for harvest after all I don’t think for we have been warned for overseas service now and we are all getting new outfits that send them so we will look smart and tidy. Do you know if I never see the front I have got some things down in the back of my head that I an’t going to for get. Do you know that the officers are telling the boys that have any clothing that just don’t suit if it is a little to small of colored or any excuse to take a cupple of stones and pound it until it gets so they can break it and then they get a new coat or pants or cap why they have destroyed hundred of dollars worth in the last 10 days and the boys would not have dared to do it if the officers had not told them to.
It has looked like rain for three days but it don’t get around to it and it is hot and sultery.
I think this old war will never last much longer but if the worst does keep up and I get out on the battle field I don’t want you to have the slightest worry because I couldn’t think of doing anything else but stay right there through ever thing that comes and if it is doing any thing for my family I am only to glad to be able to go there and that if it would be Gods will I am ready to meet him at any time but my greatest hearts desire is to make other men see and get the change of life for Mother men that haven’t the fellowship of God an’t any where near half living, as I can see life now.
Well good night Mother dear I only wish we could have a little heart to heart talk to night.
As ever your loving son
[saved as 16-07-31, because he did not learn of missing reg. letter until 25 July]