Letter to Home - On The Magazine Guard

On The Magazine Guard
Camp Hughes
July 25 1916

Dear Mother:–

I received your most welcome letter yesterday and after that I looked up the receipt for the registered letter I sent you on July 15th so I will go to post office and start a search on it, it had the check that was sent to you in it and I told you just sign it your usual signature do the same with the rest until they get your name straightened out I have been over a cupple of times to see about it but never got it fixed yet.

I am eating an apple dumpling no turn over but not like you used to make, The is eight men on this guard we are guarding ammunition and target house and all around rifle range head quarters. Were were chosen out of the bunch yesterday after noon, and had to fall in at in at 6 P.M. to march down to head quarters for inspection, before we took up our duty on the different post. There was about 170 men in all for the head quarters offices water tanks west cross R.R. Hospital grounds etc. all as a guard to walk the streets from 6 P.M. till 12 P.M.

There was nothing to the story about the man poisoning the water it is all just a story. That first got going around town here and the boys wrote home about it and it is still going.

You don’t want to pay much attention to anything you hear that you think might have come from Wallie H. for he is on for writing sensational letters if he writes any thing like he talks right after he thinks he has heard some thing.

I was over to see Elmer on Sat. we had a walk and talk before supper and had supper to gether then we and a Sergeant walked around for an hour or two Sunday was a windy day so they cut the church service short. and had a equipage parade right after which lasted for a cupple of hours for the ones that needed any thing but I was not in it I have everything I need.

I was inoculated again on Sat but it did not hurt this time. There was an air ship came down from Brandon on Sat at 8 A.M. and flew around over the camp for a few minuits then it lit out on the parade ground where we are in the big picture I sent you it came up again in the afternoon and then lit again but I was to late to see right close or get any pictures. Then about 4.30 it raised and started for Brandon I watched it until it was small than a fly way out miles west among the clouds I was more interested in it than any thing I have seen in my life I guess it seems that Humanity has got one over on the birds even now.

B. Trotter and wife son and another girl or boy I don’t know now who, were down to see me Sun. P.M. I was away from the tent down to the Salvation army so they went over to the 203rd and found Elmer than they came over and I had just got home was not cleaned up a bit, when Elmer came in and said that Trotters were over at the eat tables waiting to see me as I had to go over just as I was and I was badly covered with sand, but I faced the music and met Mrs Trotter the other lady and the son, B. said he does not remember me from the time he was at our place about 15 years ago but I remember him from photos I have seen if nothing else

Well some thing happened that I would not have happened for any thing if I could have prevented it. B wanted wanted a picture of his son and and me at the tables to send to you but the crowd had left the chuck table so we stood in front of the dining table and went to get our pictures take, well the Sergeants Mess tent is only accross the street from the tables and about fifteen Ser. were at the tent door, one of them came out from the rest just as B snaped the Kodak Elmer on one side of young Trotter and I on the other. he said one piker and two soldiers Well you may know what all hand felt like and Mr Trotter said well I guess that’s about right and the son I can’t remember his name said well it is your fault. That was all they said and The young lad beat it back to the Auto and got in beside his Mother his father and I walked around a little and talked some on different things Mr Trotter told me that the boy could not enlist because he had a bum ankle so if he wrote you that his heart was weak I guess it is a bluff all around. It must be hard if they don’t want him to go to the front why have they let him him stick around there is lots of room for him in the States for a few years till this war is over.

Mrs Trotter wants me to come up a week from Sat. but I don’t think I will be able to get any more than one pass and if I want to come home when the final time comes, I don’t want to have any thing get in my way, but I would like to spend the week end with them fine for I like Mrs and Mr Trotter he said he would send you one of the pictures as soon as he writes again.

On This guard there is eight men a Seargent a corporal and 6 privates two of use go on and march for 2 hours then we go off for four hours sleep and two more go on, it make four two hour beats in 24 for each man, All guards are run the same

It would surprise you how quick you can get used to roughing I never think of feeling the hard bed and I can use my water bottle for a pillow and sleep fine I may get my head over on the edge of the bottle so it hurts, and I will not wake up but may dream that I have a head ack or some thing like that, and I wake up glad to find it all a dream.

Still on the job at 6.55 P.M. a good supper of all the bread butter jam, cheese and cold beef that I could hold. I am lying on my back in the grass about 2 rods from the tent door They say fall in for retreat so I have to present arms for a minuit

The evening is great but the last two nights were cold

We fell in and are out again

I have changed my table and got a piece of plaster board to write on. Mother we don’t want to let this war worrie use it may turn out so as I never see the the battle front and if I do it may make suck[sic] a man of me as nothing else could. when we think of the old testament days and the way the men were led to the lines that made the best men of them it makes me feel ready to dy any minuit if need be and I have that confidence in God that it will be all right and if I go on to the front I feel the same way. Now Mother let use just wait and trust God and never worry I know we can’t help being lonesome but sorrow brings me closer to God and makes me think like I never thought before My pencil needs to be sharpened but I haven’t time to now I have to get my pack onto my back to take it home again

Goodnight mother dear

as ever your loving son