Cecil Gray Frost (1897-1947) WW1 Correspondence  
6th Brigade Canadian Machine Gun Company
Cecil Gray Frost (1897-1947)
WW1 Correspondence 1917-1919

Previous Letter

Postmarked Field Post Office  27th January 1918

[LMF Notes]  Note on the envelope O.A.S.  This meant “On active service”.
The letter is an interesting description of life in the line.  Machine gunners lived better than infantry men and longer.
Mentioned are Lieutenants A.H. Tudhope, Ernest Walker, William Preston, Audrey Mair and Vansickle, all of the 157th Battalion.
In the Field
Dear Mater et Pater -

Hello!  How are you all today.  Am writing from my dugout where I must say that I am very comfortable.  I have a good table – two in fact.  One on which my bateman works and the other upon which I work and eat.  Have a good bed made of canvass, a dandy little fire place made of petrol tins and so all is serene.  Our rations are mighty good too.  In the mornings I have bacon toast and jam.  Also generally porridge.  Lunch – Sardines or some such thing bread butter tea & sugar etc. condensed milk, of course we have this at all meals and canned cherries or strawberries.  These are extras of course.  Dinner I have – Sometimes Irish Stew more commonly known to the troops as “Mulligan” made of good beef, onions carrots and potatoes.

Other times stake and onions & fried potatoes.  So you see I live pretty well.  Am lucky enough to have a man who is a real cook and he can make anything.  I have saved your plum pudding and believe I shall have it tonight.  I do not know what he’ll do for sauce but I imagine he can get something.  I imagine it ought to be pretty good too.

We had a reunion of the 157th officers a couple of weeks ago.  Probably Leslie as told you all about it.  Anyway there were present –
Andy Tudhope - Ernie Walker - Bill Preston - George Vansickle - Audrey Mair – Leslie and I.  We had a good Turkey dinner and we were all mighty glad to be together again.  We woke up about twelve o’clock and departed to our billets.  Andy has recovered from his gas alright.  It’s a nasty thing getting gassed in the eyes but it’s only a temporary blindness.  Andy of course didn’t make “Blighty” on it.

I expect that Leslie is on leave at present.  Lucky beggar.  He went to “Blighty” as you probably know by now.  At least when I saw him last about ten days ago he was first on the leave list then and by now he will surely have gone.  I hope he has a good time.  Will trust him for that anyway.  Say do you know that I’ll be going away on leave too one of these days.  There are only two ahead of me and probably only one at that as the other is away on a course and he may not be back in time before I get away.  Of course I suppose I shall have to have some more money again but will let you know in good time.  I am trying my very best to save since I came out.  It is rather hard but I think I will manage to save about $100 by the time I go on leave which won’t be bad at all.  At that rate I am trying to live on about $35 per month which keeps me going some but I simply have to do it.  When I go I get fourteen days which is quite a respectable little time.  I have not yet decided where to go.

Of course I shall spend some of the time in London as there are always lots of attractions there.  As to whether I spend all the time there or not I do not know.

I figure that it ought to cost me $200 at least.  Of course this may sound rather large but believe me that £40 in England is almost nothing.  The prices are tremendous.  Then besides I’ll have to get another pair of breeches which just cost the odd £4 anyway.  OH this is quite an awful war believe me.

Do you know, I sometimes wish that I had some friends or relations in England that I could go and see in Blighty while on leave.  Not for all the time but just a little while.  Would be rather nice wouldn’t it?

I wonder whether it’s worth while going to Scotland at this time of the year?  I don’t know I’m sure.  However we will see when the time comes.  You see it isn’t quite here yet.  I certainly didn’t expect leave to be coming around so quickly.  Of course it may be another months yet but even so I will only have been four months in France then.  Which isn’t very long in comparison with a lot of others out here.  The chap that roomed with me at my billet had been out here about twenty eight months.  He has the m.e. and the m.m.

I have received all your parcels, and I might say that they were easily the best parcels that came to the mess.  I have also received one from Mrs. McNabb, Carrie Wrigley, Jean, Molly Downey and some others so you see I was fixed up pretty “Jake”.

Have not received any letters re Xmas Trade yet but hope that it was very satisfactory.

Well dear Mater and Pater Goodbye again for a little while.  Please don’t worry about me.  I’m all O.K. and as regards money just send it the usual way to Royal Bank.  It is quite satisfactory.  With heaps and heaps of love –

Cecil XXX

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