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Canadian Expeditionary Force
"Well, news is scarce, (In the permissable zone) so of necessity
can't say much, as I don't wish to look for trouble.." Chaplain Robert Pilling 26 Jan. 1917
Jan. 26, 1917
My Dear Friends:
Am taking the first opportunity of thanking you for the parcel you
were so thoughtful to send me. It arrived in good condition about a
week ago, having had the misfortune to be delayed in the mail, as have
been a lot of the Xmas goods, but whether received on time or a month
late, are always appreciated. I had several surprises in the way of
parcels about Xmas time, as you know, folks in Canada as a rule have
so many relatives to send things to, that it keeps them busy, and all
I figured on was a couple from home, and instead of a couple, I got
seven all told and had quite a busy time getting through them.
Luckily they arrived when things were and I was thus able to do
justice, and you know when eats are concerned, I certainly like to see
justice done. Pleasant memories. The socks just hit me at the right
time, as the next day I got in with wet feet and had to have a change,
so you see your work was well rewarded as I didn't have to look around
to get a dry pair.
I suppose the winter has been fairly quiet as far as pleasure is
concerned, owing to the cold weather, as I read in the papers that
they were serving out the real thing in the weather line at times
here, it felt like real winter. I remember about 3 weeks ago when out
on a little trip we started home facing a blinding snow storm, and
after facing about a mile in the open we all looked like snow men.
The snow was very wet and stuck with us. I know it took sometime to
get it off and dried out again. But the weather now is fine and
excepting for the mud, not too bad for getting around.
Well, news is scarce, (In the permissable zone) so of necessity
can't say much, as I don't wish to look for trouble. I am doing a
little correspondence tonight as it will likely be sometime before I
can tear off much in the letter line; until then, whiz-bangs or "not
dead yet" cards will be the style.
If you have the time, would be pleased to hear from you with all the
news. Give my best regards to all I used to know. Will have to close
up now & get ready for the hay (minus hay).
Submitted by Bill Hendrick
Note from submitter:
The letter was written with Chaplain Service, Canadian Corps.
letterhead and according to the person I purchased the letter from
Pilling was indeed a Chaplain. He enlisted in Winnipeg and shipped
out with the 221st Bn. According to the date, this letter was written
a few months before the assault on Vimy Ridge.
Note from Brian:
According to the CEF database, Robert Pilling ended the war with the rank of Sargeant
Past Voices suggests...
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