NOVEMBER 18, 1914
With the Contingent.
Miss Pineo, of the Farmers Telephone Central, has kindly handed us a letter received from the camp at Salisbury Plain.
Miss G. M. Pineo,
Grafton, Kings Co.,
DEAR GERTRUDE. At the time of writing I am encamped on Salisbury Plain. We are really here at last, after three weeks on the pond. We went on board the Bermudian at Quebec on the 28th Sept. On the 29th we transferred to the Cunarder Franconia, and sailed on Oct. 1st.
The voyage was very pleasant; it was a fine big boat and the weather was good we also had the nurses on board now, arent you sorry you are not a nurse? I wasnt a bit sea sick.
We landed at Plymouth on the 15th of October. We got a grand reception from the populace; especially the girls.
They handed us apples and chocolates and took all our buttons and badges as mementos; which got he Sergeant-majors goat, as he had to supply new ones.
We entrained at Plymouth for Salisbury Plain and landed up at the little village of Patney in Wilts. From here the Battalion made a route march of 12 miles to the South Downs Camp. I stayed behind on fatigue.
Worked all day handling kit bags and slept out all night on the depot platform. Next morning I breakfasted at a house in the village and got in bad by offering to pay for it. You simply cant force your money on the villagers. They received the Canadians with open arms. Well, to continue
I worked all that day at fatigue and slept out for a second night. Next day we started for camp on a truck of baggage drawn by a steam tractor. Incidentally, we had a dozen drunks on board. I held up two myself. About half way the tractor broke down and we had to foot it. Also the drunks. We arrived at camp about one a.m. next morning, after wandering about half way around Salisbury Plain.
The camp is a desolate place save for a few small old-fashioned, dear little villages, where the churches all date back to 1299, and the villagers sit around the Black Horse Inn and wonder if wool is selling at eleven pence hapenny.
We will likely stay here a month or six weeks before going to the front.
The shells will soon be bursting over us. Maybe Ill get mine, and maybe not.
At present we are having some blow out on our five shillings a day. Compared with the 1/5 of the English Tommy we are some millionaire. Our motto is, "While we live, lets live in clover, for when were dead were dead all over."
Well goodbye, I must go, the "fall in" is sounding. Sincerely,
8th Battalion Infantry,
Canadian Expeditionary Force,
War Office, London.