Letter to Mother from Milford, England

[12 September 1916]
782373 D 128th
Witley South Camp
Milford, Surrey, Eng.

Dear Mother:–

The days go by so fast and I am afraid that I don’t write you very often for there seems to always be some thing for me to do. I sent Alice a letter yesterday, and I received your letter yesterday a.m. just before I went out on drill.

Today has been nice there was a slight mist when we started our phy. drill but it did not stop use for it only last a few min. at a time up till noon, then this P.M. it was fine. The drill is good it’s mixed so much that you never get tired of it. The boys that left on last week on leave are coming stragling along home again broke flat. The Myers boys got back in four days on a six days pass. Alfred got his second pass latterly since he hit here so he I a full corporal now. I think he will go somewhere for a special coarse. His folks will be glad to here the news i’ll bet for he worked for that first and second stripe

Mother the only thing peculiar about the trip over was that I have a very unsatisfactory feeling about the small of the cook rooms on the boat and if I can in any get the money I am go to come home second class to see what it is like. It surely is the greatest thing a boy could do go accross the water while he is young. I can say that I think to join the might be a good thing for a boy because it will either make a man of him or else it will spoil him right and I guess that it spoils 90% of them I think it has in this Batt. But if a boy is set in living a Christian life why it will bring out his points and strengthen him like few other things will do

I am getting such a hatred for these rough stages of sin that I don’t know what would happen if I had a chance to get at the bottom of some of Satins plans

I am figuring on hereing some great S.A. meetings in London I am going to take a parte in the next one I get a chance at I have been waiting until I would be better qualified but I have began to think that right way to go is to dig in just as I am. So I am going to say some thing even it may be short. I have spent more for eats to day that I generally do and it is either 12¢ or 16¢ I don’t know which.

I can save more money here than I could in Sask. if it was not for the leave coming along. but I am going to take all the leave I can get and see all I can see. It can’t hurt me if it don’t do me any good.

I never was at a moving picture show at C.H. till the last night I was there. and the whole Batt had to parade down to a free concert that the Twin Theater gave the 128th Batt. Well I told the boys since I came here that I could sincerely say that I did not enjoy it and there was not one that appeared surprised at me saying that they know they were waisting there time, and Mother if you could have heard the crazy cheering and whistling that the boys done for the girl dancers you would think they had [funny trots???] There wasent a women present in the audience of about 2000 soldiers so you can imagine the noise.   Since I hit here I went to another given free for the soldiers. I was ushered in to a seat and then the usher stoped at my seat and began to tell me how good the concert was and how good others would be and to tell all the boys about it. I listened while the first song was partly on and I got up and went out. I don’t know what he thought nor care I walked about 2 blocks and turned a corner and found the Salvation A. holding a meeting that I got some great good out of. I gave them 3 shilling and 1 pense and left feeling like a man, as I walked on home I over took the man I had been with that after noon and he said why didn’t you stay to the concert it was good. I said I didn’t want to I went to the Sal. A. and as the talk drifted along I told him about the C.H. afair and what I thot about it. I don’t care what they think I will let them know what I call worth while.

Do you know Mother Bob McKeith said he wouldent come to London because he said he wanted to go where he could see some thing he wanted to see the best places of amusement they have in Eng. but he thot that there would be better theaters in Toronto than in London. he has many things to learn yet. And I guess he is in a good place to learn them. he talks about the chuck so much and says that nothing will make him throw up as quick as to have to eat bread and butter. Did you ever heard the like. I could go for a week like this but will have to quit.

Oh Mother if these boys could only realize what they are doing when they are smoking these stinkin pipes and swilling beer until they can hardly get to there bunks at night Just think if they ever marry what some girl has to put up with. It is beyond me I can’t understand it at all. Leeper is drinking day after day till inside of year he will be a total wreck. The other boys I guess are just taking a drink. I don’t chum with any of them I go out where I can be alone with God and my little Testament and come back feeling good. Stanley Deacon is away up at his home on an Island off of the South Coast, he and I have the greatest chats and they do use good to. he is a true Christian but we are not just alike on all thots but we are not any the worse friends for that

I remember use lying out on the stransport stuff on the ship the last night we were on and talking for hours about our Christian experiences and ideas.

The piano has been going ever since I sat down here, when one of the boys gets tired playing an other one starts and some one sings and etc right along but I can read or write no matter what is happen. I all so might add sleep to that I can go to sleep if the boys don’t starte piling up over me and then I have to look which way to get out.

I had a shower bathe right after supper and now I am ready for bed when the time comes but it is only 7 yet. It is about a mile down to Y.M.C.A. no 2 so I have a walk before 8 I am going to join a party to see London when we go on Thursday the Chaplain is going to be our guide for the first day and then we can take care of our selves. We get out of here at 6 P.M. and have about 35 miles to go before we get to London so we will be in before dark I have the address of to good places to go for rooms some of the boys were up last weekend.

Mother I surely enjoy your letters more than I can say but I hate to think of you staying up to write to me when you need the rest. I will have to say good bye give my love to ever one as ever your loving son