Letter to Mother from Witley, Surrey

L. D. Cunningham  No. 782373
Witley    Surrey
Nov. 26 1916

Dear Mother:– 

I started a letter to you last evening at Bramshot but today I am on pass till 11 P.M. tonight. I am going to S.S. at Milford tea at Gower’s and then home again. I don’t know how it is but I have got so used to camp life now that I don’t mind it. I could have left at noon yesterday but would not until this A.M. I took in the S.A. meeting here from 11 till 12 o/c, I met an old lady just a few minuits ago that is out giving away testaments and small leaflets she took my name and my home address so if she ever can't find me she will write to Hazenmore and you will have to answer her she is happy in God's service, and I beleave she is doing a lot of work to she rents a room in Milford and works up and down the road where the boys are going by, thick all the time she has french testaments and is interested in ever boy the wears the uniform. I did not have time to get breakfast before I left Camp so I came up to the S.A. Hut and got all the sweet cake and cocoa and pie I could eat for 13¢ I think but eggs are worth 12¢ a peice with out being cooked so one could not stand that very well but one can get sossage and beef but I get enough beef at camp so I eat sweet stuff when away from camp. Well Mother I think I will have to quit and eat dinner then I will walk down to Milford about a mile away to sunday S. and I promised to call in at the old ladys place for a minuit before I goto the S.S. this is a great day the sun is shining and the doors are open just like June at home. but look how quick it can rain it is a good thing that it is warm here or we would be feeling mean lots of times.

Monday noon:–

Well ear Mother the sun is shining bright today, we had a little frost last night, spent the A.M. at phy. D. and bayonet fighting, Bombing lecture, we starte a five days coarse at Bombing today after dinner. I had a splendid time at Gowers her son that I told you about and remember the way I told you how she talked well 12 mo. past and a letter came, he is a wounded prisoner in Turkey but in great health again now, and another so steped in on her last week for a 8 days leave he has been on the front line fore 12 months and has come back as good a christian man as you will ever meet he pray at S.S., I taught the boys class, he looks the very picture of health and I tell you Mazie is a happy girl it is no wonder she is a good girl when I see the boy he is a Sergeant, but just a boy he an't like a lot of our Sergeants

I left there at 9 A.M. Mrs Gower walked about a half mile with me on the way to the station, then after I left her I caught up to a middle aged man we got talking of the war and a lot of things the her offered me a cigarette and I told him how I was a christian and was trying to help other boys see there mastakes and I mention a few of the scriptures and pointed out Gods ways of expressing his thots on the lives of men, and he told me so of the things about his life he could not keep the tears back when we parted at the station [zot???] he shook hands with me and said how glad he was to have met me and hoped he would meet me again. I have to go to drill. He has a daughter sixteen and he says he has to watch her all the time he is afraid that she will get acquainted with the wrong kind of the soldiers and there is so many thousands of them around Witley, I done all I could in the few minuits I had to turn him to God for his strength and his daughter, Then at the station I meet a young canadian who has just come away from his home on the farm in ontario he said his mother and father were Christians and how he had met a young minister before he left home that had started him to think right but he hadent made convertion clear to him and he said he wanted to live a christian life he is not diapating at all and has met a christian girl that he loves, so I told him how he could get right he said he could see thru it all when I left him and he said he would make his stand if I would help him by writing to him and pointing out the verses that would help him the most so we parted and we can sure feel that we will be life long freind all tho we can't both get together we are going to be joined together thru Jesus his name is A. A. Murrey and he is a great big fine looking boy.

Well now in the mean time we put a boy 16 years old the 19th of Sept. on the train that was so drunk that he could not hardly walk. And he was coming to Bramshot but Murrey was going to Lipoock the next station we thot the the boy White is his name was asleep, but just before we got off he sat up, and mumbled out if My father and Mother had only lived I woulden't be like this So after we got out I help White home he was so drunk and weak he could hardly keep going some times his head seem to go dizy, but we got home about 12,30 well he told me about his father dying in the spring and his mother dying broken hearted about 2½ months afterward he went wrong after he joined the batt from associating with a drunken Uncle. but the strang thing about the boy is he don't swear and smoke and hes never been inside a picture show yet. but he says that after he got to drinking he can't quit because he can't stand to see his mother and father as quick as he gets sober he sees them well, he told me that he would come back to God to night at this S.A.C. but the police took his name and he will get 7 days C.B. for being absent with out leave, I have to help scrubb the mess room tonight starting at 6.30 so I can't be at the meeting it won't take 25 of use long the but it will spoil the evening. My if I could only save that boy from that life he has started it would be great I could never thank God enough, it seems funny how I happen to be at Witley just the time to meet both of the boys together White says he has just stayed drunk all the time when ever he could get it just so as to get nocked out so he could not see his mother and father an't it awful when you think of it.

 I should write Murrey a few lines tonight but havent time till I get done fatigue

Well mother dear I will have to close as ever you loving son Laurie.

P.S. I received your registered letter today the pictures were all there but did you inclose any verses that you spoak of Ted wanting you to it was not in the letter, I am well and happy as any child of God can be I begin to see the work there is to do, I must go good bye once more, Nov. 27th 6 P.M.