Letter to Mother from Witley South Camp


Dear Mother:– Saturday P.M. I am down in Godalming this P.M. don’t know why I came down, it is nice three mile walk, I guess just for a change to give me for the starting of another week, I am going to Gowers for a visit tonight for a few hours. I will have supper down here before I go up to Milford.

Something funny happened this A.M. I was on my beat from 6.30 to 8.30 but had a good meal in the kitchen at 2.30 so said I did not want any breakfast but when I came off I did not feel like going to bed, so I said I would go into the kitchen and ask for some bread and butter to make toast with. well I got it off Corperal Murray who was sitting at the stove in the dining room then I went to the hut and the fire was poor so I came back and asked corpl. Murry if I could toast my bread will he said yes so I did while I ate we got to talking, he said your name is Cunningham an’t it I said yes. Now this Murry is a perpetual drunkard and he is rough and smokes well a bad man of the world. I spoak of the nice recreation room we had fixed of what prospect there was of our chaplain doing good work. he said, doing good work, you may not expect this off of a man like me, but is that chaplain the kind of a man that could do you any good, he could not help me, could you amagine Christ smoking. Will you beleave, me when I tell you that I was a minister of the gospel for 12 years, and am sorry that I lost the joy of a Christian life to this day, he was converted in India when a soldier in the ranks and joined the S.A. then he went to the Indian schools and became a S.A. minister he is smart 45 years old. and do you know even he is back slidden he can help me a lot, when a minister that has not known that real being born again can help now one, any more than that he will in a way represent a good cause.

Well Mother there was a pause here. I had a supper no. 1 of four pieces of bread and butter two sweet buns about 1 ½ inches high and the same thru then two doughnuts but the english doughnuts have no hole thru them like ours and and are close to the size of a base ball and about the same shape, but they don’t taste as good as yours by any means. then a cup of coffee all for 6.D. or 12¢ I am going down to a fish and chips shop for supper no two after a bit and have some chips they are cut potatoes boiled in grease, but I am no lover of fish so I eat chips and bread and butter At first I wrote out in the main soldiers club room, but now I have found a cozy writing room with a good fireplace and nice fire going so I am enjoying writing this letter, There is possible 8 wemen or more working at this club at one time free gratis other wemen change them off, and they are nice, they use use just like we were there boys, but I wish I was one of there boys for about two miuits until I got an introduction to one of the young ladies here, I have seen here before here but never got acquanted. I like here for a good many reasons one is because she likes to wear here apron around the club, she is just the picture of health and not a flirt, if she was I could get acquanted. she does not wear an engagement ring. but maby if she was a flirt I would not want to get acquanted.

There is two electric lights right over head so I have a dandy place to write. there is a pile of magazines on a table behind me and books about eight inches deep and six feet long. There is a piano and some good games here, One of the wemen knitts on a sock between times she serves the boys at the canteen, It seems funny over here Mother if a fellows wants any information out on the street in any of these towns, he can’t find any one but girls wemen and soldiers to ask about any thing and lots of times there is only soldiers.

I would hate to be these kilters for they must get chilly the weather we have had for two weeks, but today the sun shone bright and to water ran in good shop for there was a little snow and ice around to melt.

I got a good letter from Mrs peel last night will enclose same in next letter.

Do you know I am writing to about 25 people anyway and it may be thirty. I got a letter from stanley Deason this A.M. he is doing fine over on the firing line,

They have split all use old 128 boys up and scattered use thru among the kids in all the platoon, they say each old man is responsible for three of these boys

Well if that is the case I hope they will soon get the m.g. work going again

I am in 13 platoon now that is the 3rd time I have changed 16 – 15 – 13  I hope we get a good officer in 13. that is the main thing, I think.   I guess I will be on quar. guard again tomorrow it an’t hurting me only I am getting fat and lazyer all the time. bye bye Mother dear for now. I would like to see you all today for a few minuits do you know if the USA don’t come in now, I am strickly British from now on. I will be like the in the states, ashamed of the Fatherland.

Sunday 1.30 P.M.

I am on guard today again, It has started to rain a little so you will know by that that we have had a warm up the last two days. I guess our winter is over for this winter but we may get some mean weather to before april.

Bob McKeith and young Meadowcroft have just left about ten ago for a M.C.A. coarse it may last two months it takes a real good chunk of physique to stand the drill they put you thru and you may not get any more than one stripe if you do get them good. They have to need the men before they will give any promotions of more than one stripe. I hope Bob gets some stripes we want to have some of the Hazenmore boys do some thing. but they havent made much show as professional men yet. Ed Burwick was a sergeant, and Gray from south of town still holds his 3 in our batt. Young Myres gave his 2 stripes up to go to the front. Either Bart or Norman have been wounded I suppose Myerses have heard long ago so you will know before now.

Well bye, bye, Mother Dear as ever you loving son

7.30 PM Dear Mother, I came off guard at 6.30 and it is about 100 steps from the hut I am guard on to the S.A. barracks so I heard them singing and ran over to the meeting, we have had a good talk a young man and wife run the barracks and canteen. it did not rain any to speak of today but is cloudy yet. bye by Mother

If you don’t here from me if may be because the boats with mail have gone down

We each got a nice tablet and bunch of envelopes from the Moose Jaw Red Cross the last cupple of days.