[dated Sept 20th 1916 in another hand but probably not correct, as he was still in London until after 6 that evening – could not have been on a march. I think this is from soon after arrival in England. Heather is in bloom in late summer; also this paper is similar to that sent on 28 August, so I have arbitrarily saved it as 16-08-29]
[Page missing, but this letter is for Mother]
Inclosed is a maple lead picked on the north side of Lake Superior Ont. A Holly leaf picked on yesterdays marsh.
The yellow and green leaf is one I picked on Sunday going down to Milford There is thick hedges of this fifteen and twenty feet high. I have seen Holly trees fifty feet high and thirty feet occross.
This heather is the nicest flower it is so danty and such a nice shade when fresh but it is fading now. There are big fields of this in lots of places between the trees.
We have crockery dishes here and big boles in stead of cups, but it will cost a lot to keep up what are broaken every day For breakfast we get tea bacon or fish or eggs bread or biscuit potatoes margerine. Dinner we get potatoes meat and some kind of vegerables and bread no margerine or tea. Supper bread margarine meat and jam tea. we have not had any cheese here yet. I have had two tastes of hard tack and I tell you it is great I’ll live well for any length of time on water and lots of hard tack it tastes good about the size I have marked on the sheet and about half an inch thick solid and heavy enough to nock a man senseless if you hit him any where there was any feeling ha ha. There is some swet in them I think.
We don’t know what it will be like in France but we will never have one bit of mud a this camp it is great that we could be so lucky. There is a canadian Batt’s here now I don’t know where the other ones are from though. There is lots of girls around these towns but they talk so funny that I always have to laugh. I am afraid I couldent talk to them any but some of the boys seem to get on alright. There is a chimney sweep out here sweeping out the hut chimney all along he is gone it don’t take him long to do the job.
You want to go ahead now Mother and take in every bit of fun that comes along it help you to have the time pass till I get back it won’t be long now, and every bit of amusement that take in gives you some thing different than wading at home, so never mind the fact that I am not there for I will so be on the scene again and I have so much more chance of coming thru than the boys that went up first, never worry a bit until some thing does happen
The papers here cost 1¢ each We havent got paid yet since we hit here a lot of the boys are broak flat, and a lot of them make a lot playing cards so they always have money but Andrews and Leeper and Nelson and McKeith I think loose a little right along Leeper lost $30,00 before he got on the boat since he had joined the army, that would be enough for me. I would quit.
Well good bye Mother dear I will seal this up and get it away now.
As ever your loving son