Pridham 27 September 1916

This six page letter was written over two days from Camp Borden where the 166th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force was training. In it he talks about training, family, duties, rumours of going overseas, being a musketry instructor, playing rugby and of course, the weather.

You can click on each page to see a larger version or see a complete transcription at the bottom of this page.

Page 1 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden
Page 1 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden
Page 2 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden
Page 2 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden
Page 3 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden
Page 3 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden
Page 4 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden
Page 4 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden
Page 5 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden
Page 5 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden
Page 6 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden
Page 6 of a letter from CSM Laurence Pridham to his Uncle Will dated 27 September 1916 and sent from CFB Borden

__________________________________________________________

166 O/S QOR Bn CEF
Camp Borden
Ont

Sept 27/16

Dear Uncle Will,

Received your pcl [parcel] last Friday night 22 Sept, having just come back from leaves of absence and at the same time I must apologies for not thanking you sooner for the dinky pcl both pr of socks being in use now one pr in the laundry bag & the other on so you see I appreciate them, but in the meantime- : I was immediately detail for Quarter Guard and on being relieved of that, duty marched with the Bn in full kit & armed to the trenches for 2 days & went through the trials & tribulations of actual warfare, midnight attacks & everything that would try the nerve of any man from the want of sleep. The first night my company was in Billets & it was very cold the other 3 Coys were in local reserve, support & fire line trenches.

The 159 Bn [Battalion] was occupying the enemies [sic] trenches, the two mazes of trenches about 1/2 mile long & no mans land & wire entanglements in between the two forces.

We got back to camp about 11:00 PM last night & today there is a terrific sand & dust storm & my eyes are burning with impact of the sand. It is a wonder to me the whole camp is not blown away.

I have moved my family to Tottenham Ont where we have a 6 roomed cottage & have fixed things up fine for to leave when I go on our questionable voyage across to help retain our homes and independence, of course it hits me decidedly hard to leave my little family behind & I respect the feelings of those married men that are still home with those that depend on him & often kick myself for not being home too, but perhaps I will do well & come out ok. Let’s hope so anyway. I see by the paper last week that I passed my Sgts exams at the P.S.I. I now hold Sgts & Musketry Instructors certificates.

I have some photos taken a little while back & I intended to send one & moving to T-Ont [presumably Tottenham, Ontario] and only having short leave I missed doing so & will try & send one in the near future.

I have changed my moustache since though & have a spear an inch long on both sides now…so – so Charlie Chaplin style (not full) & then the spears. Some of the Sgt get quite discouraged & when they have a baseball team organized they show it off and try to kid me as being the Kaiser.

Nevertheless notwithstanding the matter of fact is consequently but in 5 minutes. Excuse me theres the bugle I am BOS to day & must inspect the mens mess tents with the officer of the day –

Well it’s about 7.30 p.m. Inspected mens mess for complaints, inspected the New Guard, Old Guard, Picket, & Horse Line Picket. Next will be tattoo parade 10 p.m. Dismiss picket & hike to Brgde Hdqtrs [Brigade Headquarters] with reports & go to Bed after I make out my own report for the day.

We have had a sprinkle since supper & the wind has abated. Now I would like to take a shower and its dark and you can’t tell when you are clean but I guess I will take a crack at it.

Yes we expect to go overseas very soon if there is no hitch, we get all sorts of rumors but when the orders come in type why we will know, we expect to sail by the 15 Oct from Halifax if the transports come from England ok.

The rain is now coming fine, let her rip. There goes the bugle for Coy Orderly Sgts I wonder whats up now. Oh well I don’t go this time as I’m Bn Ord Sgt.

Excuse my slang but as far as Egg ice & hot water are concerned the general opinion is that camp Borden is the nearest place to H-LL that Hughes could find without losing a huge graft for himself.

It certainly is a great training plain but the scarcity of rain has made it almost unbearable at times.

Please excuse my script as I have only my knee & a wax candle to perform writing duties.

Im afraid you have all seen me for the last time unless we happen to go to Toronto first, as I will go to Tottenham & enjoy the last days with the family & see that all is nice and cozy before going. Mary, Dick & Evelyn are in pretty good health, Dick is attending school & is in the Premier reader & is pretty smart.

A fellow has to be full of pep & a good instructor these days when Logie & Campbell come nozing around.

I have a pretty good reputation with the musketry teaching & am a fair shot with the rifle.

Notwithstanding the fact that it was raining last Saturday and that I had a big greatcoat on and of.
Bulls Inners
Bull = 4 200 yds { 5 Rds application Possible 5 = 20 –
Inner = 3 { 5 Snap shooting – 200 yds 2 = 8 – 3 = 9
Magpie = 2 { 5 Rapid 30 seconds 4 – 16 – 1 = 3
Outer = 1 Rds 11 44 Rds 4 12 ?
12
56 out of Possible 60
In good weather on rapid fire Thus making
with mark Vll cordite bullet 11 Bulls = 44
I can figure 9 Bulls up to 500 yds out of 4 Inners = 12
10 every time. Rds 15 56

Well she’s raining good now so I think Ill get a shower.

5.30 p.m. Sept 28/16, Well here we are again I believe I left of shooting, I ought to be a fair shot as I was Bn Musketry Officers assistant for 4 months & I think I saw every man nearly fire his 60 rounds at the armouries & I used to tear of 10 or so Rounds with the officers every day so I put a lot of powder through.

Well I have been practicing rugby all day and we were to have played the 228 Bn at 5 p.m. but on account of their Bn being Inspected in their work so we will probably play to-morrow.

If you were here you would laugh at the rumors about going overseas, and I don’t believe anyone will believe the orders when they come through.

Well again I must thank you for your very useful present & please excuse the manner in which I have torn off this letter as I’m in the army now and we get queer ways and times to do things.

With love to all I remain
Yours sincerley Sgt LDP
Lawrie

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