Gunner Bert Cox
Sunday January 21, 1917
My Dear Mabel,
Should have written you before going to Salisbury Plains but could not make it, and here we are again; back at Whitley Camp; it feels like being back home. It's one awful camp up there, nothing but mud, and cold and damp. 1800 Canadians died there from the 1st contingent of 20,000 men.
We had a very successful shooting. More effective shots than any other Battery in the Brigade. Our hut was only a 75 minute walk from Stonehenge. 3600 years old. It's certainly wonderful how they got those stones up there in those old days.
Have been on horseback nearly every day for the past month, and very often morning and afternoon and certainly have a peach of a horse. I think it has a smoother gait than any in the stable; but there's awful news in the air, so will hold this letter over until something definite is known, anyway we hope to be in France in a couple of weeks. (note: switch to 60th Battery)
Received long letters from Ina and Herbert this AM all about your Xmas. Just wish that I had been there to help you celebrate.
Oh, how we'll appreciate freedom and liberty , if we ever get out of this thing.
Words can't express my thanks for the lovely box of candy which arrived about 2 weeks ago and also for your letter. Say, it was a pleasure to see the boys eat up that candy. The N.Y. candies are away ahead of the English 'sweets' and they thought , quite rightly too, that it was the best dope they had tasted for a long time.
Eggs are 13 cents a piece here, nevertheless, I have ham and eggs nearly every evening; meal generally costs about 60 cents ( my whole day's pay but we should worry). Did you receive the photo? Ella's was returned by the censor.
( extra page written January 22nd 1917)
Well, the news is now official, and that is that today the proud 59th Battery of Winnipeg ceased to exist. All Batteries are now to go to the front with 6 guns instead of 4. They have decided to split the best one of each Brigade and as the 59th did the best showing at Salisbury Plains, we got the axe. 1/2 are attached to the 60th and 1/2 to the 61st. All of our bunch (bank fellows) are in the 60th. Of course we were awfully sore, but they should worry! The Officers have all gone to different Brigades.
Your photo hasn't returned yet so hope that you got it, if it has not , let me know at once and I'll send another via Canada.
Write soon and lots of love for Carl and self,