Dear Folks at Home:-
I am writing this to ell you that at last I am on a draft for France. We have been on it now for over a week but I have refrained from writing sooner to tell you about it because one never knows until he is really gone, whether he will go or not.
However we were warned tonight that we were due to go tomorrow night so it seems as if we will be off at last.
Euart , Bill , Archie and I are all lucky enough to be on one draft along with three others. You know signal drafts are always small and we were afraid that we would be separated but luckily we are all together yet.
We are going to the 1st Battalion – the one in which the original Mt. F boys are in so we will feel quite at home there. I know you will not feel very joyful when you hear this news but you know, dear people, it is what we enlisted for and although we are all aware that it is no picnic “over there” yet, whatever happens, we will have the satisfaction of doing our bit voluntarily and not forced into it by conscription or anything of that sort. And when we come back we will be able to look everyone in the face with nothing whatever to be ashamed of.
We were hoping all along that a draft of about 15 would be called for and that the original 153rd Section should get away together but it is very seldom that such a large draft of signallers is called for. However the rest of the boys will likely come in the next draft although there aren’t very many of the original Signal Section left. “Happy” Harrison and Freddie Milne went to the 18th Battalion in France a week ago. It is also a Western Ontario unit.
I am looking forward to meeting a lot of old friends over there. I am going to try and find Jim Renwick at the Base as we shall probably be there a month or so before joining our unit. I will write as often as I can although of course I will not be able to tell you very much about my whereabouts etc.
A Canadian mail came in today – just in the nick of time for me as I just got the letter with the bank draft enclosed this morning and it couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune time.
It is hardly necessary for me to tell you that we are just going to France at the right time of the year ? at the beginning of summer.
From all accounts that I have heard from returned men, the signallers have a much more comfortable time than the ? in the ranks, although of course it is by no means a “bomb-proof” One thing certain the average of casualties among signallers is much less than in the infantry.
Bill Kerr’s cousin of Stewarton has kndly offered to take care of some of my stuff so I have sent some extra pairs of socks up to her, to send for when I need them. My clothes etc. are all in fine condition to go away with so please don’t worry about that part of it. If I need anything over there I will soon let you know about it.
I am in good shape myself too as I have been in fact ever since coming to this country.
Well I must close now
Love to all
My address will be #928829 Signaller J. Cushnie
1st Battalion (Canadians)
B. E. F. France
Transcribed by Anne Hale