Did you know? H.B. Beard served with the Oxford Rifles during the Fenian Raids. Discover more at… https://t.co/yV0plxzwEA
WORLD WAR I - A LETTER HOME TO WEST ZORRA
1st Canadian Casualty Training Battalion
Hasting, Sussex, England
December 5, 1916
How are you getting along. Have not heard from you for some time. Whats the matter are you too busy to write or are the girls too many for you. I heard from more than one that you were getting to be a wild fellow.
Never mind who told me news travels fast. I have not saw anything of the tobbacco yet but suppose it is on the road trying to find me like the last letter I got. Do not forget to send the tobbacco for you cannot get anything worth smoking in this country for love or money. If I keep on at this rate I will have to ask you for an allowance for my pay dont last me anytime and I am drawing anywhere from ten to fifteen dollars a week and staying in most of the time now. I do not know what I would do if I went out every evening. If I was like you I could find alot to do for theres a lot of nice girls around here.
It handly seems a year since I had Xmas dinner at Sandling. It wont be long befor I sit down to Xmas dinner here. I dont know what it will be like. I'll think of you and the dinner you will have. If you go away and Annie is there give her a good for my sake if for no one elses. At the last one two years ago I hardly thought I would be here now. I thought I would be home long befor this. By the looks of things I wont be home befor a year from now and be lucky if I get home then. We will have to liven things up if I am away much longer to make up for things and the time Ive lost. I will have to get married to have something to hold me down or else I will run away and take everything with me. I want you to keep the shack in working order for I will want somewhere to use some of the language I am in habit of using and it would not do to use it around there. They are used to a little, but I use a lot.
This is a cold place at the best of times but its rotten after nine oclock at night. Sometimes I stay when I donot want to and sometimes I stay when I have to. I am staying tonight because I want to get this letter off. I wrote it sometime ago but did not have the stamps to send it so as I was looking in my writing pad today I found it so I thought I would send but type it out this time. I am getting quite handy with one now except for the mistakes I sometimes make. If I owned one myself I would type all my letters out. It is quicker than writing. You might not think so. Seeing that I am not a green horn at the game. YOU will see me at this game making a living at it yet. I do not know when.
Anything is better than going back to FRANCE this winter. I am trying to get the winter in in this country. I do not like to be up to my eyes in mud and muck to say nothing of the cold weather you would have to put up with. It is bad enough digging ditches in that country in daylight but when it comes to doing it at night when its pitch dark and raining and half way to your knees in mud then I draw a line. Do not think of going to that GOD forsaken country if you dont want to break my heart if I happen to have one.
I think I will have to close now. Will write again when I have more time and can get the typer for I am going to write a letter without making a mistake some job at present.
So long for this time. Write when you have the time which you will have in the near future.
Q. R. Sutherland