Letter to Mother from Bramshot Camp, Hants

Bramshot Camp

Dear Mother:– 

I received two letters today from you and one from Fred Banks Cardiff. he wrote me a good letter and I enjoyed it because I never expected any such thing from him he explained to me that it feel his duty thru the bible class each one of the members were to write to each of the boys who had belonged to the S.S.

Mitchel is sitting on the other side of the table we are down at the Salvation Army, I wish that it was a night of a service. I can’t go to the S.C.A. or I will feel I should leave my writing and go to the bible study class. I bot a new tablet tonight I like the thin paper it is so much easier to write on with a pencil.

Mother I have so much to write about tonight last night I was asked by Mr Meade to take the service at the S.C.A. but I told him I could not. I could carry on a meeting in the hut a lot better than there with the two ministers present

We went into the devotional room and each prayed before we parted there was not study at that hut last night but we looked up some scriptures together. he said he believes God will use me in his work from now on. I always could pray alowed out by myself but when I tried in public, I could not offer a very good prayer, but I am doing better all along each time I try.

I meet a boy last night that some mother out in Canada must be more than proud of, he is as tall as Clive and heavier square shoulders rosey cheeks and dark curly hair bright clear eyes about twenty seven or eight years old. he came over with the first contingent spent the winter at Salisbury plains went to France in February and fought for 10 months. one evening he was carrying two pails of water out to the boys in the trenches in a thick woods, when all at once the firing started, and a rifle ball went in a half inch from his spine and out over his hip he crawled back to the dressing station and come back to Eng. in the spring he went back to France a snip shooter he wears now a pair of guns on the left are the highes honors one can get for good shooting, He has good them in both Batt. he belonged two, one day he was out in no mans land when the shooting started rifle balls hit him in both legs and a piece of steel went thru his shoulder another piece struck his should blade and broak it he craweled 300 yds back to the dressing station again, and, an hour later he was that stif he could not move at all. the battle lasted for three days so hard that no one was taken off of the land he crawled off of, so it was the best thing ever happened to him that he tried to move at once, he told me that he has faced rifle and m.g. fire when it was going by like rain. You could see he had been thru the mill, if you would not ask him questions he would not tell you any thing about it at all, but you know my failing on the questions, we are issued with hip boots and sheep skin coats as soon as we get over, and one blanket he says the m.g. detachment is preferable to him if he ever goes back you have no more chance of coming thru hole in one place than an other so size it up like this if you are out in the ocean. and can’t swim it won’t be any worse to jump out of a canoe than a big steamer, but you have no fatigue in the m.g. and the infantry have, and he says if there is any chance of getting better rashions you will get them in the small bunch like the m. gunnery.

I cough once in a while and dampen the paper. I caught cold about three days ago and my throat is ticklish, but it an’t an’t a bad cold at all.

They have a sick parade every a.m. in the trenches the same as the do here so if a man is sick he can go in there is no excuse for him staying out at all.

I was out on the common to day on a field engineering parade, we had dinner along. I ate mine lying in a dug out on my oil sheet. After we got out there a few minuets it started to sprinkle for about ten minuits, then it cleared off and the snow all melted, and a lot of the frost came out of the ground we jug up there was about 3 ½ inches of frost so you see the frost goes down a little here after that I worked bare handed and it was the nicest day three more such days and the ground would be dry. The roads were sliperier this a.m. than I have seen for years there was about an inch of ice very nearly a lot of the boys fell down going down to the common but I managed to stay right side up all the time.

There was night work on tonight but it started to rain in time to have them blow no parade today, so I was thankful for I wanted to write to you I am on fatigue in dock house tomorrow I want to get in where I can get a feel of any thing I see. I just have to wash the C.H. tables and shelves after each meal. Any thing to pass the day away and keep up my fitness till I have to do my bit at the front

Miss Hurd says that my pictures don’t do me justice so I don’t know where she knows or not but they must look like me only for the mustache I will get another snap before I leave for Canada when I get back from France

The boy I mentioned meeting last last night never used a word of slang nor swore at all he seemed to just answer and that in what right words were needed I would like to know more about him and what he was like when he went to the front. he is going back for the third time any time now.

Well Mother I don’t want you to send me any money I have maby more than I will want here for they are giving use about four pounds this pay and I have over two now and every thing that I need to go to the front with paid for.

I don’t need any thing that I could mention, I sent five handkerchiefs to the laundry and they sent me back seven so I have close to 21 and will send them back in the kit bag all I cant use.

Well Mother dear remember I look forward each week to your letter and the only way I can imagine how you would miss mine is to think what it would be like to have to do with out yours I don’t know how I would stand it at all. Well I will have to close and say good night Mother dear

as ever your dearest boy

We don’t know when we will be called up at all, One draft is hanging here on C.B. now Stanley is up in it.

Tell Kathleen the chapter I ment is Ephesians (6)