France, January 31, 1917
I got a letter from you recently and have some from Daisy and Maude. Tell them I will write soon.
The IWWs are a lot of miserable humbugs – even a dog will fight for his home so a man is lowdown when he won’t.
I would like to be able to mix some of Australia’s sunny climate with this for a mont. it would make it more pleasant in both places. This is a beastly cold land. It is all white with snow now and we had 16F of frost two nights ago and when the wind blows across the snow it is rotten but we have managed to get along without ill effects so far. It will be getting warmer from now on. It’s easy to get sore feet, sore hands or face. We use oil principally on our feet. I’ve been wearing my boots full of sox and it’s a good idea for the cold but they stop the circulation and unless the foot is rubbed it is very easy to get frostbite and lose a toe or two.
I was made signalling sgt. on the 29th. They sent me to a military school for N.C.Os for three weeks and I got a 1st class report. The Colonel told me he was sending me to a military school for officers for a few months in England and will give me a commission if I can do well there. I am under orders now to be ready to go at an hour’s notice. The Adjutant told me the school is only a matter of form and I am to get the commission anyway. So, I am a lucky boy. The trip to England will be pleasant and a good rest, too.
In fact I am being sent as much for the trip as anything from what I can learn. The officers have generally been very friendly with me for some time and I look forward to wearing the star. The Adjutant sent for me to do a special job some days ago. he had used several others and they didn’t satisfy him and he said Get Arthur on the job and it will be done. You see I am getting good at blowing my own trumpet but I mention it because those I love at home will be pleased I am getting up the ladder which means more pleasant work than at the bottom and it’s so much nicer to be working a team than with ones own hands. For a month I have had the section on my own without an officer over me and I find I like it so in the future I will have the job altogether.
Best regards to all, Love from Stid