Source:Per news article forwarded via Facebook by Allan Miller.
Somewhere in France. December 22, ‘17[i]
Dear Mrs. Ferne – Just a few lines to let you know that I am quite well and hoping that this will find you the same. I have just got back from a 20 day trip in the line[ii], and have not had time to write before and conditions for getting mail away from here are hard. We are now on rest for about month or so. We will have our Christmas dinner out of the trenches[iii]. We came from here where we are to where we are now in transports[iv] and we passed Sid’s battalion on the road. They were marching out to another village on rest. I looked out for Sid, but our transport was travelling so fast that I could not see him. I received a letter from Ethel the other day which I have answered. I also received today a parcel from the Point Edward Gift Club signed by S. Blackwell. I am sure I greatly appreciate their kindness, but I do not know who to thank for it so I will ask you to thank the kind people for the parcel for me and tell them all that I wish them all a happy and prosperous New Year.
We are living in a barn here but the French lady who owns the barn has kindly consented to let about 12 of us use her house to eat our Christmas dinner in, as it will be too cold in the barn. She has been very good to us. She lets us wash and shave in the house and also write, that is wehre I am writing this. The boys all clubbed together and gave here [her] about $4.50 for Christmas for her kindness. It is pretty cold here now. Have not received [your parcel yet], but expect to soon.
Remember me to Mr. Fennel and Ethel. If I ever get back I will have lots to tell you, but not now.
PTE. F.T. JONES
Sid and I will be home to cheer you up next Christmas.
Source: Sarnia Observer. January 31, 1918.
[ii] The Battalion got relief from front line service on December 13, 1917.
[iii] The Battalion did have Christmas dinner in the rear and not in the trenches. It was a dinner of turkey and pork served by the officers.
Wounded October 10, 1918. NYDN = Not yet diagnosed Nervous/Neurasthenia (disorder).