Letter to Ted from Bramshot Camp, Hants

Bramshot Camp

Dear Ted:–

I wrote to Alice last night and got it out today but don’t know when this will get started to you, We spent the A.M. out on the ditch again, these ditching are making a bayonet fighting barrack square we have changed the plot of the hill since we started. There is a little frost out yet it is cloudy and about two inches of frost on top of the ground but we have no rain it has surprised me how the rain hangs off. So far we are only sure of one boy getting leave out of this hut for Xmas he is married and his wife and little boy are at his sister place here some place we all expect to see some Xmas cakes coming tomorrow Mrs Detlefsons has been on the road a week longer than the card now.

We have just this after noon to put in in the trench and tomorrow we will be turned loose again until we are put on draft I hope they give use a week I would like to get in four or five nights at the S.C.A. bible study before I go across I spent quite a while last night trying to point Harry Dray to the right way of living, and he wanted to change to he came down here and sat on my bed we talk and looked up passages of scripture. he is getting Xmas leave and he thinks his wife will be converted to they have a little boy and they are afraid that if they don’t live right the little boy will be like they are. The desire to change there lives all came thru her saying to him one night that she wished he could quit swearing because when the little boy got older he would do the same. Harry has been in the hut with me very nearly all the time we have been in England. I well remember the first time a talk ever started on any religious line he got mad right the first sentence I said and told me I was crazy I said look here Harry, I will listen to every thing you say, I feel that every man is entitled to his opinion but don’t tell me I am crazy for I have a right to tell the boys my opinion, then last night he told me he had been thinking ever since his wife spoke to him and more so since we were in quarantine. I remember him saying to me that some thing had some thing to do with use getting quarantined and that he beleaved it was all for the best. Then last night Major Torney came to the door and asked him if he would like to go home for Xmas he said he would so major told him he would let him go. Then Harry felt so good, he says he has prayed each night after he went to bed since he got in here that he would get home for Xmas, now he believes that his prayer has been answered, and he has written and told his wife and he thinks she will want to change with him and he says they both will make a new start in life together

[Written in margin] Dray used to get drunk pretty often when we first hit here, but he broak a hole or two thru the wall one night then he quit and has only been full once or twice since.

It is great to think that one can be of a little use at times like this and it makes me feel more and more the real ness there is to our faith in God. I can almost feel at times that God has partitioned off a space around my bed for him and I. I can all most see where Satan starts to reign for I can read and think here and talk to the boys on subjects so foreign to the talk that is going up around the card games and around the stove. We little know the thots that the boys are having as they sit around, I had never thot of Harry Dray having any such thot. for he seemed to be a boy that was very self confident and rather important but under it all is the fight between right and wrong mostly brot about thru his little boy about 3 or 4 years old. I could not think of guessing who will be the next boy if there is an other here who will change his life in a decision for Christ.

Bob Mc reads every clipping that I ever get in my letters but that is all and he spends a lot of time on my bed fooling and talking but he has no desire to change now.

10.45 a.m.      19th

Well Teddy it snowed a little last night very nearly an inch but it warmed up a lot in the night I suppose all the frost will go out inside of the next two days it don’t bother use here like they tried to tell use we would feel this damp cold. I spent a lot of time last night cutting a bunch of the boys hair more of them have got leave so they will get home after all the talk and the Batt orders that came out.

We got our blankets disenfected this a.m. and get out tonight to go down town for the first time for two weeks. I suppose the boys will make a big racket before going to bed tonight but that won’t bother use any for we have got fed upon sleep the last while.

3 P.M.

We are out free again, I just got back from my bath it is a little chilly bathing in a bath house with no fire but the hot water tank takes some of the chill off. it is good for a fellow I always turn on the cold water for a finish each time.

The canadian mail started to come to day I got Mother and Alices socks and kandkerchiefs also the box of fudge and say if it ant the best dope, Bob Mc. Tell Mother that the fudge is great and I am a judge of candy Mitchel says it is fine to so does Brubecker a lance jack but not when he goes to the front.

Every one is getting ready to go out for supper down town, but I an’t army chuck is good enough for me. I will buy a luch after; I hope the mail comes early but if it don’t it will be here for me when I get in tonight. I am going to bible study at the S.C.A. They will be surprised to see me for they think I have spent the last two weeks in France I also got a package from the Vanguard Auxiliary a pair of good kakie socks the feet are longer than Mothers and no number but they are well knit and may be of the same yarn for they are fine. I think that there was 3 pair of Alice and Mothers and one pair of the Aux The sun is shining bright this a.m.. and it will likely be warm and cloudy tomorrow that is the way it has been so far three days frost and then a warm spell and etc.

I wonder if you got the flax threshed I hope you did for it would be to bad to have flax lying out under the snow when the price is good, but any way there is no reason to worry we can’t regulate the weather are the stock running loose this winter as they generally do. I can see the cattle and horses out on the prairy there eating and running around but it is different weather than here the grass is green as ever, and the evergreen trees are fine the holly trees with the red berries on it is all so different, you would not realize to look at the holly we see at home how it sticks in to your hands over here I would hate to bucked from a bronco into some of these holly hedges.

6.15 P.M.

Well Teddy I went down to the 203rd to see Elmer but found that he was at the Mytchett ranges shooting his coarse, I was very luckie that I got my shooting done before the cold weather was in evidence at all. It was wet when I was there but away preferable to frosty A.M.’s or any thing like that, then again we get fogs now that will hurt a mans sight when firing. I thank God tonight for many favors to numerous to mention but one is for my good little brother that lead me to become a true christian and for the privelage of being here at this hut and having fellowship with such men as Mead and Payne who carry on the work here, it is very nearly three weeks since I was here for an evening before, but I pray that I may have a good evening here and receive wisdom to help some boy closer to God. There has no boys come here from supper yet and Mead and Payne are in at supper I can here them talking.

I took some fudge down to Elmer but when he was not there I gave it to Sergeant well you know his name better than I do, he worked for Horace I think, we had quite a chat before I came over here.

Poor Stanley Deason is all in to night he is up on draft and caught a bad cold but would not go sick for fear the boys would say he had cold feet, well they went on a route march today and the slipery road worried him out pretty bad he has a fever, I took him  into the hut and gave him some of Mothers fudge and one of my new handkerchiefs, with my number on. I had just put it into my overcoat pocket when I put it on to go. I had 16 handkerchiefs a little while ago and 3 will be 19 so I an’t in need. he said he lost his and felt to weak to pick it up again. he will remember me when he sees the number if he keeps it maby after we are badly split up, and far apart I hope he don’t get very sick but just enough to keep him back so he can go with me in the next draft after Xmas

Well Ted I will have to quit for tonight as ever your loving brother