Letter to Otto from Bramshot Camp

Bramshot Camp
Nov. 5 1916

Dear Otto:–

I have a letter coming from you I think but that don’t matter you will have more time to write from now on, than you have had up till now since I left in Aug. I walked over here from The Mytchett ranges yesterday a distince of around twenty miles, well I think I rode on the transport about a mile just before noon then I got on again in the afternoon but we had started up a hill that was three miles long and the head team played out so I got off and walked the rest of the way in. I was not tired a bit. I had my sack and overcoat on top of the lood so I walked light. It started to rain a little when I got about a mile from camp and by the time I got here it was getting thicker and today it is turning to snow and I think the wind is going a good 45 miles an hour. Anyway if there was a foot of dry snow a man couldent go any distance in it.

Our Batt. moved down here about seven miles from Witley on Thursday, so I have lost my happy home at Milford where I used to go after I attended S.S. would have tea and go to the Congregation church then take a young lady back home and have a cup of cocoa and a piece of cake a song or two then home by 9 p.m.

I don’t suppose that I will be lucky enough to find any such place here. We may not be here long, the first draft of 75 men have been picked out they say the three Myers boys are going Alfred is giving up his stripes to go with them for they would not take any N.C.O.s and he had two so he was corporal all the time since he came here, we had our Devine service in the dining room this A.M. and I heard a good sermon to by an
English church preacher but he is a good one and he talked to use plain and practically whech we need. He brot out the point that if we are on the right side we do not need to be afraid of the outcome of the war for as is found in the 15th verse of the 20th chapter of 2nd Chronicles, the battle is not ours but Gods. this is a good chapter to read.

I like to feel more and more each day that God does controle every thing both good  and evil if the deed is evil he allows it to be committed and if it is good he prompts it, all for the furtherence of his purpose in the end. Say it is an awful day. I am glad it is Sunday and that I am done shooting my courses on the ranges both of the Machine Gun and rifle, I passed so I am a qualified M. Gunner now and I got thru with 52 points on the rifle which just passes me so I would not have to shoot again.

The 75 men have been issued with web equipment ready to leave at a minuits notice. The rest of A. and B. co’ys are in quarantine for measles or the draft would have been 250 men out of the first 300 that went to the ranges to shoot there musketry coarse

Otto I just wish that you and Kate could just spend one Saturday afternoon here, to see what one can see in line of pretty scenery, one place I stoped yesterday on the top of a hill, I could look down a big valley filled with fern and trees a lot of the summer trees and the fern have turned color but then the ever green showing up among them surely looks greet, then a weathy man home about ever mile among the trees, back farther for miles I could see three different valleys running the opposite way to the first one all the same as the first one. I had no idea that there could be the wastland in England that there is but this county of Surrey is noted for the homes of the richest people of England on account of the pretty scenery. There an’t any of use know what direction the wind is coming from now, because we haven’t seen the sun yet since we came to pay any attention to it.

We have heard that just as soon as it dryed enough to thresh out there you folks got an other snow. Now if that is the case things will be in bad shape out there is winter, as near as I can figure there would not be a tenth of the grain threshed at all. Well that would be a little better than nothing but it would be bad.

Poor little Carl had bad luck didn’t he. I can’t think of him any different than I last saw him the dear little kid I will remember biding the little folks good bye the night before I left, but I thot that there was more of a chance that I would lose an eye than Carl. The more a man looks at life the more desire he has to solve Gods mysteries.

We had to wear gass helmets in our field practices at the rifle ranges and I tell you they are clumsey things to make advance in from one trench to the other and then to make the last 100 yds on a bayonet charge over rough ground the first time a man has one on he has a hard time to walk along let alone run, because there is a certain amount of excitement to any thing like that for me any way. I tell you if I hadent had one gogel unscrewed out of mine on the first advance I would have choaked down. The only way to do is stay with it until you learn to breath thru your nose and out thru the tube in your mouth, which has a valve that will not let any air back thru it. I never saw such country for rain as this but I have just had my feet wet once and damp a cupple of times so that is luckie, but I am afraid that the trenches will be different don’t you think so.

Well Otto I will have to ring off for this time as ever your old friend

P.S. Give my love to Kate and all the children

Nov. 6th

I haven’t got the cards ready to send in this letter so it hasent got away yet. I here that the 203rd Batt. has got in here so I think I will see him tonight. Well this is all for this time.