Letter to Mother about Thursby Commons and Grampian

Sept. 29 1916

Dear Mother:–  

We are going out to dinner right away now, but 16 platoon is last in so I guess there is no hurry so I may not go for a while yet.

It started to rain this a.m. and is still going pretty hard, but we don’t care for the 48 hours staying in looks good for use for a change, any thing for a change, we had a good change yesterday we paraded out to Thursby Comons yesterday in the a.m. took practice advancing on trenches and took physical drill had dinner and more manouvers, then we marched back and got dismissed at 4 P.M. so we had an extra hour to spend in the hut before supper a good big hot one. Bowser says come on Laurie so I guess I should go to dinner. The rest of the boys are gone

Well Mother that 9 days on the Grampian was quite a trip and if I ever go back I want to go second class to see what it is like

Dinner over and I darned a pair of socks that is the 3rd pair, I have darned now and I can do a very good job for a beginner. My socks are in good shape and when they get worn out I just have to turn them in and then I get more as often as I need them.

Yesterday a.m. was foggy and very thick to so when we got to the parade ground it seemed bad but after a little while, the fog raised and we were beside a very large hill on top was all entrenchments and over to the right was a field of turnops and carrots straight ahead was one other hill all entrenched then a cooley between the big hill. then a bunch of scrub and then big timber so we had all kinds of ground for manouvers.

I feel like taking a sleep but if I do I won’t be able to sleep tonight and I like to sleep from when I go to bed till 5.30 a.m.

One thing about soldiering is there is nothing to worry about and you just go along from day to day to eat, drill, write letters and sleep every day.

Well I will quit till night or till I feel like writing again.

About 6 P.M. I went over to have a talk with Stanley after supper they feed use a big plate of figs, prunes, or apricots and bread margarine, tea for supper.

We get all the fruit we can eat or and lots of the boys get more. We have two of the night cooks in the clink today for stealing and selling some of our bacon rashon during the night. I just went out to the tap at the back of the Hut for a bottle of water; And some of the transport men were found in the stable it reminded me of home and the old farm. The farm may have hard times in conection with it but if one had to leave the farm and take over one of these salary jobs for a year like the English men the cities have we would get back to the farm in a hurry and call it great under any circumstances Oh I eat so much that I feel uncomfortable and still I do the same thing again the next meal I will have to swear off, one of these times.

9.15 a.m. 30th September

We slept in this a.m. till breakfast was just about on. I got partly washed when the breakfast bugol went.

I brot breakfast over to one lad that feels worse a lot than I do. I feel fine and did not get it like a lot of the other boys did at all It seem to be a worse dose than any we had at C.H. It surely cleans a mans system out, I think.

I was out at the stable petting the horses and got my hands all dirt so I had to got and wash them again.

Last night Stanley came over and him Mitchel Burns, Bobs Banks and I had a great old talk on my bunk.

I am surprised to here about Jack Cook being so near gone, but it is just a case of life being uncertain over again.

We have a cupple of men here that I don't think will stand the trench life, but they may fool use, when the time comes.

It is a fright how the time goes but I don’t know when the time goes fastest when a man is busy or not. We don’t mind lying around if we get a chance.

They are selecting men for the different jobs Boming Trench mortar gunners, musketry instructors and etc.

I am expecting to stay just a private in the ranks and then I have no one swearing at me, a corporal has the men swearing at him on one hand and the officers on the other.

We just had a bronco argument here a scotch man by the name of Tom says that he has seen men ride broncos bear back, and I say that a man cant ride a bronco that is bad with out a circingle or stock saddle. Of coarse a man can ride colt like Jack and Myrtle but that an’t broncos.

I can amagine what Alice’s little boy looks like but I would like to see him.

If I ever get a chance that won’t be too expensive I will go up to Ireland and see what the Irish girls look like. I am afraid I will have to take a girl back from this side yet all tho I havent met any yet. I am sending home 23 films they are strung out over all the way from Hazenmore to mid ocean to Ireland a lot of them are at C.H. you will see the recreation room for ladies S.A. Barrocks bank etc. My pack on top of my kit bag lying on the ground Ethel wants a picture of her that one I took the a.m. I left I think a lot of them are good. Ireland is in the back ground with the pictures of Pete and I on the boat with the life preservers on. I have only received one letter from camp H. from Miss Hurd I think since I hit here.    We just ran out to see a air ship that we heard but the clouds are to low over south we could not see it.

Well Mother I think I will have to quit for this time as ever your loving son