Letter to Mother from Ash Ranges

Ash Ranges
Oct. 27th 1916

Dear Mother:– 

We walked over here yesterday the short distance of 13 miles with our packs on our backs and there was six rifles among 24 men I only carried one for one hour, we ate dinner beside the road part of the way over, we had corn beef sandwiches and one big health current cookie.  We past about a mile of artillery some of the guns had ten horses on them. They looked good, but I would sooner be in the inf. for I would not be able to stand the explosions right along

It rained last night and a big part of the forenoon then some of the boys went out to the ranges. then this after noon it was D co’ys m.g. detachments turn so we went out and and shot 10 rounds each. I shoot poorly as usual when I get the heavy amunition I get gun shy and it is going to take some practice to get over it, but I know I can in time.

Last night Harvey and Mitchel Burns and I went down town close to three mile walk had a good supper for a shilling and came back we got to bed about 8 P.M. and slept good and cozy untill about a half an hour after revallie they are not strict here at all. we had a great breakfast salmon, jam good porrige bread and margerine and I dont know whether we had potatoes or not. for dinner we had peas roast beef potates and bread so we are not going to suffer any time in England unless Germany get hold of the sea and then I would wish that I was back in Canada.

We saw about a dozen air oplains around yesterday they just fly around here for there health I guess and down town there is hundred of flying corps men they have a factory some where in this country I think. we have an air craft gun right near our ranges.

we are going to fire our m.g. coarse before we leave here and there is so few of use that we wont be many days doing it I don’t think.

I dident send you Annies letter the last time I wrote but I will send it tonight and one from a friend of mine that I met last spring just tell me what you think of it for a good letter let the rest of the folks see it two and then you can put it in the tin box till I get back.

This part of the country is better than over at Witley It seems to have bigger slopes and you can see a village ahead about five or six miles and the trees are what makes it show up so nice with the tidy little fields dotted all over among them we are shooting on the range with the Ross rifle but we get the Le Enfield before going to the front. I don’t know what luck I will have getting my mail down here but I guess that it will be all right.

Well I will have to run and wash for supper or I wont be there on time to get in with my bunch.

Well Mother, I just got in from down town with Harvey and Mitchel. we are the only ones together here in the m.g. bunch we just wald down to get some cough medecine for Mitchel he has a cough, and I bot some post cards of this part of the country which I will send to you. It is raining off and on yet tonight. I wish you could be here for a day and you would understand better than I can tell you but we don’t mind these english rains like we would the sask. ones. I we walked along to day out to the ranges, I could not help thinking that this was a day in June at home the grass is as rich green and the water lying on the ground and a stiff fresh wind blowing in our face that was warm of coarse we were marching along and had our grey coats on to. I havent had a wet foot since I have been here, but I have got my tunic wet on the out side lots of times some of these boys havent put a bit of any kind of underwear on yet so that will show you that it is not very cold. it warms up as soon as it starts raining at all.

Now I will try to tell you a little of the conversation as we three walked along down town to night. I said well boys I wish I had some kind of little machine that I could get up on and have it just tip me over at home to night and have me back here again in the morning. well Harvey says that would be some kind of a little machine all right, and I would give $50.00 if it would just have me out home with boys to night and back in the a.m. and still another $50.00 if I could get just three hours at home in Nova Scotia on the road back. Well we strolled along and talked about all kind of things and went into the Y.M.C.A. and just stayed about five minuits and came back again it is just a little after eight now I bot paper tonight and now I can’t for the world of me think where I droped but I know I havent got it now.

Well Mother I can’t find Annies letter tonight so I can’t send it but will send the other one. I may send it later on.

Well good bye Mother as ever your loving son

P.S. I hope that it has cleared off out there and that you have the crop all threshed and safe. I hate to think of your cold winters but they won’t bother you folks I guess over in Horaces for it is small and will be cosey I wish I could slip in some nights and have a talk by the cosey little fire. but I guess Alices little boy will be walking before I see him how time makes such changes I am off for my little bible and then I will role into bed. Tell dear little sister that I will write to her some time soon. I could not neglect her so only I know that she gets all of these letters right away Good night my dear dear Mother.