The letter is transcribed in full.
April 1, 1918.
This is my night for a letter home so will have to get busy. Got your two letters yesterday, one from Papa today but I guess everyone else has forgotten me. My [unknown] was a big mail. The weather keeps very good here but not quite as fine as it was
a week ago.
How the time is flying, here it is the first of April, be busy at the [unknown] now if there is to be any hauling. That [unknown] must be [unknown], I can just hear him talking, would only take [unknown] a shovel full at a load anyway. I hope there
is some good hauling this spring for it always seems to put the work so much farther ahead. You may have a fine early spring after the winter being so cold and rough.
So far as we know now this will be our last night here before we leave for France. We were warned to get ready for overseas Thurs, and they took a draft that night of seventy-five from old A+B companies of the 104th. They had been outfitted with clothes
that day so we're ready. Ray went in the draft. Wish I could have got away with him but we may be able to get together over there. We are all going to the 26th. Must expect them to be in some big scrap soon for they have sent over every A man in the
reserve. They claim it came out on order in France that the Fifth division drafts were the best drilled that ever went over there. All we had today was half an hour P[hysical] T[raining] in the morning and inspection this afternoon in heavy marching
order. We are to be inspected at Brigade tomorrow morning and I guess we are ready. I wish I could get weighed with our whole equipment on, see how much it would weigh. I will give you a list of the stuff we take. We have on: one suit underwear; top
shirt; sweater; tunic; Kitchener boots; one pair socks; pants; cap; jackknife; pay book; identification discs; first aid dressing; work equipment consisting of pack, haversack, entrenching tool and handle bayonet belt, two ball pouches hold 150 rounds
of ammunition, water bottle, some other small straps. In haversack, hold all containing razor; brush; tooth brush; paste; soap; also ration bag; soap and towel; knife, fork and spoon. In the pack, blanket, suit of underwear, shirt, socks (I have four
pairs), towel, balaclava caps, house mugs, mess tin and cover, handkerchiefs. Overcoat rolled bandolier around the pack, steel hat, and rubber shirt on outside and anything else you care to take. They gave us all kinds of clothes here, so all well outfitted
leaving. We may be quite a while before we get up the line as they have so many men over there.
Bills Will must be hard up for something to do to go and get married. He can't keep himself let alone a wife. That seems to be the one great ambition of this life up there to get married.
Must have been a nice present you gave Ruth. Jim wouldn't make much at the hauling. How does Nettie shine those times! Must have about given up hope of getting Jack Ray. I saw a picture Jim got of Gracie MacNaughton tonight, didn’t know her at first.
Suppose she is quite a young lady now. So J.W. going to build a dredge! [unknown] is petty [unknown] is working against him. Poor Annie McKenzie couldn't have had much enjoyment in this, enough to draw any one crazy living up here with Alex. Katie must
be getting on fine at school, wasn't it nice of Miss Murphy to make that [unknown], I sent Kate a little money, she may need some little things for herself. Wish I had some to send you. I sent give pounds [unknown] home to Kate. We had been saving up
for a pass. I had over twenty pounds last week my own and what I was keeping for other fellows. They were all saving up for a pass but the draft cancelled them all.
Well I guess there isn't much to write about here, you mustn't worry about me for I have a feeling I am coming back, am ready anyway what ever way it goes. Twenty one months next Friday since we landed here, I bet we have been here longer than other battalion
that has come across and didn't go to France as a unit. I may not be able to write to regular from France so don't worry If my letters don't come so often. I will write as soon as we get to France but I guess the old address will find us till we get
settled. We will go to the base at Etaps (that is the way it is pronounced, I don't know how it is spelt) first, don't know how long we shall stay there.
Lots of love to all,
PS. Maj Pringles [unknown] spoke in the Congregational church in Seaford last night. Wish I had known, would have gone down to hear him.