Letter to Mother from Witley South Camp

Witley South Camp   17-10-16

Dear Mother:– 

I have neglected writing to you for some time but hope it hasent been long, I really don’t know how many days it is since I wrote last.    I received a letter from Annie one from Clive one from Horace and one from you to day so I am well fixed with good letters to day. The Canadian mail just gets in once a week most of the time, every Tuesday or Wednesday. It has rained most of the day to-day so we have been inside all the time, taking musketry, and reading of field maps and etc. we had a good day of it all around. These field maps are just culored landscape with the roads rivers and houses or towns on them then we tell how the different objectives would be described in range cards that all M.G. men have to be able to draw up. After supper we Drazzle and I went for a bath about 50 ft. from the hut door then I read very nearly all of a book of poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox that Corporal Ternie gave me to day he just got back from London on his leave he was taking a coarse in Musketry for a trainer at the time The rest of use were away.

Annie sent me four pictures of the kids and her they were fine her letter was good to I guess if I don’t for get I will send it to you in this letter. I was down at the Y.M.C.A. last night and I wrote her a letter so I wont have to ans hers untill next week I try to write her every week but I guess the time flies so that I don’t always do it. The time just goes by leaps and I am enjoying every minuit of it. Our days may be short on this earth no matter where we are and we should under these or any as good circumstances enjoy every minuit of life. I may come out of this all right and if I don’t and go under I will be at rest with my father in heaven and we will all meet up yonder. then on the other hand if I get wounded, I will take it and be as thankfull to God for sparing my life as I am today for the health and strength I am enjoying and the blessings that go with a life fully consecrated to God. Mother there is a great reward here on earth for one who lives the richouse life. I feel that God is my comrade every hour and as I walk or march I can pray to him for comfort of mind or change of thought or for the boys that are marching beside me or for the dearest ones at home o’er the sea. these are the thought that are making the man of me, every day. I have all the good literature that I can read such as christian endeavor papers and pamphlets Stanley’s parents keep him supplied and Corporal Ternie has a lot of christian friends that send him good leaflets. Did I tell you that I bot the nices little bible while in London it cost me 3/6 or 84¢

Razzel[sic] and I were boxing here to night we had a great time for a few minuits then I started to write. I have to read a chapter in my little bible before I go to bed I have to get a lesson prepared for the sunday school class of boys they are bad little boys but I think they will change in a week or so if I can stay here and stay with them. I like them and they seem to like me but, they don’t like to listen to any thing but stories about canada or something like that and that will never suit me, they have to come to Sunday school for a different thing or they have no business there. Well Mother I have to quit for tonight so good night dear.

We. 9.30 A.M.

I just sat down to write to you and corporal Speller brot me in an other letter from you say it is great to get your letters, but don’t stay up when you should be resting, to write to me. we are pulling up stakes this a.m. and moving about ¾ of a mile to other Huts nearer head quarters.

You have got nothing to regret in the way you have done thru life with your family. you have done enough work for two wemen, and I can’t see how you kept going year after year with out any encouragement as I remember things they looked worse every year instead of better. Any one can keep at a thing if they see any prospects of any thing better but that was not the case. And the big mastake we boys made when we did not get along we would not owe a dollar to day and would be well fixed if we had just got down to work and aggread as we could do now. I see that there is no use of this individual farming now but I did not see it then. And if Ted only will realize what I do now and carry things along, helping you and Horace, it will be a lot better he will have to do enough on my place to pay the interest and taxes and see that nothing is stolen. but other than that he can stay with you folks and I hope he stays right with it. Steady this what I mean. I have been here for six months now and I find that 10.15 was early enough to get to bed and 5.30 was not to early to get up so if he would get started at the system he would not feel a bit tired and he would get a lot of work done. I set him an awful poor example when I was there but he if he will can see where I made my mastakes and he can profit by them I think A system is what counts a boy should not spend much time evenings seeing the girls thru the seeding and harvest but there is a time after the harvest and before seeding that one has nothing to do evenings also in the middle of the summer steady and being on the job will put a man proserous in no time well Mother I have to go to dinner the other boys are gone long ago. we postponed moving untill tomorrow. Dinner is over and I am dressed in belt and pouches my rifle is cleaned and we are ready for musketry drill in less than 15 minuits we fall in for 3 hours but there is changes in the drill first muscle exercises then arming then a lecture and etc. Well I have to go now to fall in. I have to go several rods from the hut.

6 P.M.

Well Mother we have to go out on night duty at 7.15 so I could not go down to Milford for tea at my Milford home, So I think I will take my Kodak with me on Sunday and take my S. S. boys class I will give the boy each a picture if they are good. I received my photos today so I will send you what I have left and will tell you the one I have sent them to so you know now if you want any more of them I can get them and send them to you they cost 15 shillings a dozen. I should be able to write a lot more but I havent time so good by Mother dear

as ever your loving son Laurie.