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Letters From The Bowes Brothers – Jan. 1, 1916 Bramshott Camp

Clifford refers to the murder of Sergeant Henry Marquis Ozanne of the 9th Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles during a robbery. Musie is a term of endearment all three Bowes brothers use in writing to their mother.

Dearest Mother,

Well Musie, I received your parcel this morning, also Fred’s glass and dear little Evelyn’s gum and chocolate. The cake came through fine although the icing was broke up some. I gave each of the boys a piece and have enough left for a bit for Jim. Whenever anyone gets a parcel they always share up and we do the same.

I believe our colonel is to be made brigadier-general to command the 14th Western Brigade of the 3rd Division. I hope it is so as he is a fine fellow and would make a good leader. It is rumoured around camp that our brigade will leave England the latter part of January but we don’t know for where. I am telling you this so that in case we get moved and you don’t hear from me you will not be worried about it. It certainly will be a happy day for me when I am actually at the front—and you can rest assured that I will certainly do my duty no matter how hard or at what cost. By the tone of Elliott’s last letter it would take very little coaxing for him to enlist but I hope he will not leave Ada and the wee boy as it is no place for a married man. If I had been married I would not be here today,

I suppose it will be pretty cold at Boissevain now as is usual this time of the year. It has been raining here all morning but at present the sun is shining brightly. If it was not for the cold winds here a person could almost wear his summer underwear.

I suppose you will have read in the papers of the murder of a sergeant of the 9th CMR committed here by an officer of the 41st Battalion. They are all in detention camp at Aldershot and the officer being tried at present. They sure were a tough bunch being all French Canadians. In all probability they will be sent straight to the front—that sure is the best place for them at any rate.

Jan. 2nd continued from yesterday.

We got into crews the other day for machine gun work. I am in No. 1 and Jim is in No. 3. We are working nearly all our time on the gun now. That is stripping it against time and detailing all parts of the gun. Also working a lot on range-taking. Are finished with all signal work except Morse code on telegraph key which we are learning. We also strip the gun blindfolded and assemble it again. That is in case we have to fix it at night in the trenches.

I suppose Dad will be home today. It is nice for him when the holidays come for he then has two days at home. I thought travelling was a nice job but he is sure welcome to it. I got fed up with travelling coming across here. But 6,000 miles is some trip at one time without a break.

Wishing you all the success for 1916 and may it be a banner year for us all.




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