Letter to Mother from Somewhere from France

S. W. in France 
3 P.M. 

Dear Mother:– 

When I went to put down the date I thot of it being my birthday twenty seven years old, well it don't seem long since we first moved into town back in old Dak And I used to ask to run down to see the cattle trains go by but I am afraid that did not last long until I went with out permission. I got a letter from Alice and one from Mrs McLean today I like to read her letters.

I am on duty for twenty four hours at a strong point. You know my duties. I am sitting on my old sheet and blankets, one of the boys is keeping the fire going. I was just out on top to get some wood  My how I hope I can remember these different places if I come thru so I will be able to describe them so people will get an idea of them as they are,

The first of our draft went on leave to day so I may get mine any time this month if I live.

I am enjoying every day of this life and the old winter is flying past it is thawing a little today but no rain,

I wear the last balaclava you sent me under my helmet, Pete C. wears the other one you sent and I gave Wilkinson the one I had before.

I was out around to day just observing, I guess down in a ruined village and among the demolished woods, I just sat on a fallen tree and drank in the scene of the defastation of the war, hundreds of homes and businesses lying in ruins railroads, mines and metal roads all blown up alike. Then again I ran across the graves of our boys there names and numbers on the crosses, then the ruins of the heinie dugouts and strong points big slabs of concreat feet thick blown to pieces. It makes one wonder why it should be so in the 20th century,

When we do get back and this is all over it will take years to ever bring things back to what they were before in the west, we realy had easy times money was free and easy to get.

I never feel lonesome or homesick here like I did at C.H. I seem to be out here like just for a day and I an't going to long for home untill it is finished.

Well bye bye Mother dear as ever your loving son

3-1-18 2.30 P.M.

I am sitting on some timbers out in the sun not far from the mouth of the dugout, I have my steel helmet on and my gass mask at the elert.

I have spent quite a while today getting my bearings on the different points that I have been in the last few months. I like to watch out over Heinie land and see an occasional shell burst or hear one go by to him of coarse we get one back again occasionaly but they don't hit any one very often these days.

I received two letters yesterday one telling me that Burns was missing since his wound on the 23rd so the poor boy paid the extreme price and was likely sat outside of the dressing station and a shell came and left no trace of him I will write his mother right away and tell her just what I know must have been the case, did Ted ever take that letter I wrote over to her? [between lines I got this ans. since I asked this question] I wrote her one beside, I felt pretty bad last night after I got the news, Harvey Anderson will be heart broaken when I tell him.