Gunner Bert Cox
Gunner B.H.Cox (327964) 59th Battery C.F.A.
Canadian Army Post Office London England
January 7th 1917
My Dear Carl,
Was so glad to receive your letter yesterday and many thanks also for the one enclosed in Ina's, some time back. The parcel of candy arrived on Thursday and believe me it was a pleasure to see the boys in the hut (30 of them) eating some real N.Y. stuff, which has a very different flavour to this dope we buy here. I fed them all and then had about 1\2 box to myself which I have been gradually reducing till now there is only 1 bar left.
I got a Xmas box from the lady I boarded with in Lennoxville (Canada) and from my (bank) manager's mother: a big cake, socks, hand'chiefs,tobacco, cigarettes etc. Yesterday I received another box from the (bank) steno at C.B.of C., PortageAve. Branch. She is some queen and only sticks around with officers but I used to take her to dances when in civies. Also had more hand'chiefs from another steno at the Winnipeg branch.
At least 150 Xmas boxes of eatables have come into our hut within the last 3 weeks so we have been just living on cake and candy. You asked me if there was anything you could get me. They say one can't buy eatables in France, and that a parcel of this kind is a godsend at the front. So if the war isn't over in 3 or 4 months, why slide her along.
We had a very quiet Xmas. We drew for passes and I got stung so I stayed at home and looked after the horses. The army gave us a good dinner though, even potatoes cooked without skins, fruit, plum pudding and cigars. Each one of us got a parcel from the Ladies Auxiliary of the 59th Battery. I pulled off a pair of socks, dish towel, and cigarettes.
Finished up the day by going to a concert in Godalming. We are going to Salisbury Plains tomorrow to have our final test in firing and hope to be in France in a few weeks.
Our gun the 18 pounder, is not effective against infantry in trenches, the trajectory of the shells is too flat. (Howitzers are used for this purpose), but is used against infantry advancing, or for purposes of destruction to buildings etc.
The Headquarters Party Chief work, at the front, is with the telephone, as means of communication, and is of greatest importance in this war. I might be the telephonist for the Forward Observing Officer, almost in the 1st line trenches of the Infantry, we are supporting, or might be at the battery, on either of the other 6 phones.
Nearly every day we have an inspection parade with all the equipment. I have a very nice horse, quiet animal in the stable but goes like mill (?) tail of Hell.
The accountant at Portage Ave. Branch has my trunk at his home. He's a decent sort of fellow, and I wrote him today, asking him to send it on to you C. O. D. and if he could not do that to send the bill on and you would settle. Get whatever it cost you from Herbert as he has my assigned pay. I wish you would drop this fellow a card. His address is:
H. C. Hutton Esq. Canadian Bank of Commerce Portage Ave. Branch Winnipeg , Manitoba
I understand the photos which I posted to you three weeks ago are being returned to me, on account of USA being a neutral country.
Will give you more particulars in my letter to Mabel. Had a long letter from Ella yesterday.
Write soon again.
Lots of Love for all and self;
from yours affectionately, Bertie