Letter to Mother from Farnborough

Oct. 29th 1916

Dear Mother:– 

I have a letter partly written to Alice at the hut but I came down town tonight to service in the methodist Wesleyan church and have a few minuits to spend so will spend them writing.

We have been out on the m.g. range all a.m. and the rifle range all after noon and I guess it rained 60% of the time but, we had our grey coats and oil sheets so all that got wet of use was our feet and they only got damp. I shot 18 rounds in the machine gun and 25 rounds thru the rifle. I done pretty well under the circumstances because we had a partly side wind I got 20 points out of a possible 30 on the rapid fire six bulls 2 outer and I missed the target with the other two. The application was also 300 yds and I got 2 bulls one inner and a magpie. I went in twice before this at one and two hundred yds but I wont bother you by tell about the score

Mitchell Burns has a bad cold and Harvey and I try to make him take care of him self but the more we try and the worse his cold makes him fell the harder he seems to be on him self. he don’t seem to realize what he should do to look after himself.

This is a fine writing room for the soldiers it is built by the English church they have a dining room in conection with it and billard tables up stairs a good hot fire in the fire place, and comfortable big chairs all around it. There is a hundred or more of use sitting around reading writing and smoking.

Well Mother, I could not find the devotion room to the church so I came back home again. I took of my putties and boots and changed socks so that, I am comfortable in my fatigue shoes several of the boys are around the stove talking m.g. shooting and etc.

I over took an old man on the way home he was about four feet 6 or 8 inches high as he walked along, he had some kind of a pack on his back and carried a little lentren. I passed him and then thot I would stop and talk to him as he walked along. he told me that he was 74 years old and that he had worked in the same gass works for 14 yrs his wife is living to he has to walk two miles home and back again in the a.m. he gets up at 4.30 and works from 6 a.m. till 7 p.m. he says he always got to work 20 minuits eary in the a.m. so he can smoke before he goes to work. he had one son who was 24 or 25 yrs old and he was killed in France last March so they are along his wife is about as old as him

Well when we parted he said I will have a drink of beer and then go home I suppose he thot I would go in and buy him his drink, but I told him I had never taken a drink in my life and never used it at all so we said good night.

We have six gass helmets here on the table I should be putting them on so I will be used to them when I have to run in one a few yds with the m.g. one of these days we have to take a little drill in them here on the ranges     I think we shoot with the rifles and them on once too It has cleared up nice tonight so I think we will have a good day tomorrow if we do we will go out for a chestnut feed tomorrow night.

I have just finished Alices letter so will have to close yours to. I want to read some in my bible before I go to bed, and I could have slept a half hour longer this a.m. if I had of had the chance. I don’t know why because I wasent tired from work at all.

Well good night Mother dear as ever your loving son

P.S. we are going back to Witley this week so we are pushing these coarses pretty fast but I am glad we will get back where we won’t have to run around on the wet days.