July 4, 1915
This is the first time I had time to write you since we landed. They have been working the very dickens out of us. This is the first Sunday any of us have had off. We get up at 5:30 in the morning and work till 6 o'clock and go and dig trenches after that or have a night march which lasts till about 1 o'clock and nothing to eat when we come home.There is 9 of us in a little round tent. We are packed in like sardines. Our meals consist of porridge, meat, bread, jam and tea, and eat it off tins on the ground. Some life, believe me. But I always feel good. The packs we carry all day weigh about 50 pounds and the rifle about 10. That is some load to carry all day. All I wear is a cap, shirt, pants and boots. They take us down to the sea twice a week for a swim. It is lots of fun when the water is rough. The sea is only about a mile from camp. I was down this afternoon and it was real calm. But there was a lot of jellyfish which will sting if you touch them. Did you get the card I sent you when we were coming thru Ontario? I had one letter from you since I landed here. I have not heard from Will's yet. We were 11 days on the boat coming over and about 10 hours run after we got here. We had to go from one side of England to the other. It is a very pretty place here but awfully rough and hilly. The towns are not like ours but very old fashioned and things are just about as dear here as in Canada. I had quite a time getting on to the English money. But I can count it all right now. I have only been down town twice yet. It is about 4 miles and when one works all day he doesn't feel like walking to town and back. I don't know how long before we will leave for France. It will likely be a month or more yet. We have had no rifle practice yet, but are starting in the morning. The ranges are four miles from here and we have to get up at 3 o'clock every morning next week. All the old country boys are getting passes to go home and I am going to try and get one to go over to Ireland or to Scotland. I get lonesome here sometimes and wish I was back in Canada. I would like to be back for tonight. Now I must close for now. Hope you get this O.K. and answer soon. I wish you would write to me every [day] whether you here from me or not as I don't get much time to write. And I sure like to get letters from home. I will close and please write soon from your loving brother, Martin
Address: Pte M. Dand
B.Coy 28 Batt'n
6th I.N.F. Brigade
P.S. Tell Jennie to write too, and everyone else who will.
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