A letter written to his mother from the 72nd Battalion’s position near Auchel in northern France on Dec. 9, 1917.
The Battalion had spent the last week on intensive training and sport. The results from the Saturday afternoon football match were:
72nd Battalion FC 7
4th Cdn Divisional HQ nil
“France, Dec. 9th, 1917
There is nothing very exciting to write about today so don’t expect much. Your parcel with cake, honey and chocolate came on Thursday and everything was fine. Whose idea to bake the cake about the honey? Thank Kathleen very much for the honey.
During the week there were parcels from Aunt Alicia and Margaret Owen in Vancouver. Aunt A. sent me a pair of mitts without any end to them, two pairs of bought socks, some chocolate & prepared cocoa & a box of fine dates. Margaret Owen sent a pair of socks, chocolate, toffee, a magazine, salted peanuts & a mouth organ. The last was absolutely no use to me so I gave it to a fellow who plays. It was certainly very good of her to send the parcel & when I wrote thanking her I sent a copy of my photo.
If you got two copies of the picture & don’t want them both, give one to Aunt Alicia as my supply has run short. I sent Elsa one the other day. I also sent copies to Rob. & Geoff.
We are still in our same quarters & may be here some time yet. The weather is now much milder and today there is a heavy Scotch mist. All the week it was very cold and I certainly developed a high water mark during those days.
All last week the Fourth Divisional Concert party was at the Y.M.C.A theatre here. They are very good & I saw them twice. They have a good tenor & bass soloist. The tenor sang “Macushla” but he didn’t get as much out of it as he should have done with his voice.
Yesterday there was a letter from Dorothy. Not much news. They are staying on in the country indefinitely which is certainly wise. She said they would be sending me a Xmas parcel tomorrow. They, the parcels, are all welcome but it looks as if there would be none at Xmas time.
I sent cards to Nancy, Maud & Robbie the other week and have been on the look out for a nice one to send Denis. I wanted to get one with a nice dog on it but the chief class for sale is of fascinating damsels showing much silk.
You will have to exuse scrawl as it is very dark & I can hardly see what I am doing.
This morning we had a church parade. Someone told me Canon a’ —– had been gassed and I hear T.N. Annandale has gone to Blighty for an operation & likely won’t return.
There have been no letters during the week but when they do come it will be in a bunch. I told you I’d had a pair of socks from Olive Chaffey didn’t I?
Love to you all, your own,
View the original letter on Flickr