July 23, 1917

Dear Ma:-

At present, I am stationed at the office of the medicin-chef of the sanitary service of this division. There is nothing to do, but still there is always a French ambulance and one of us here. We stay only 24 hours as it is very near the cantonment, and really the only reason we are here is for looks.

Since I last wrote, I have received my underclothes, two notes from Mason about term bills, two bundles of newspapers and two letters from you.

I am awfully glad, both for myself and the section, that you are sending all the various things, but please don't send strips of bacon and hams and stuff that has to be kept. Canned and bottled things are fine, but my ambulance won't hold much. However, don't think that the section won't be appreciative of bacon and canned tongue; at the same time, Ma, don't please think that we are starving. This hero stuff that is spread in the States is true, but not the whole everyday truth. Now, for six weeks we have been in a nice town, where we can got chocolate maybe two days a week and where we have a fine house and orchard. It is true that what we get is not A-l food, but we usually get enough, and especially when we are at post. However, things that have sweets in them, and some other things, are seldom obtainable. For instance, we go to post and things run something like this: breakfast (6 A.M.) coffee and bread; lunch (10 A.M.) meat, potatoes and soup made of boiled bones; perhaps some stuff that resembles American apple butter, but usually tastes like cider. Supper (5 P.M.) same as lunch with perhaps a salad something like water cress.

Now in all, there is lots of nourishment, but needless to say, we seldom get up for coffee and bread at 5:30 or 6 A. M. as we can sleep all day if we have nothing to do - no wounded to carry. The result is, we get two meals with seven hours between in the day and 17 hours between at night. Now, what we want and what the fellows usually write for is sugar for coffee and tea, then things that can be eaten right from the can or bottle in case we have to work through the night, or finally, bouillon cubes or coffee or tea in such form that all we have to do is add hot water and we get tea all made. This is very handy also for tea in the afternoon, or coffee about eight in the morning. Besides, Ma, please remember that everyone writes home for what he likes especially, altho convenience has a lot to do with it. Therefore, don't please think that you have to send huge quantities of food to a starving child in France, or a starving section. We aren't starving, but it isn't pleasant living on beans and meat, potatoes and meat, and soup made of water, grease and bones. I only ask one thing; don't send sardines. The section lived on them for the three weeks we were on the road and now, at the sight of them, everyone is almost sick. That was when I most likely wrote and gave you the impression of twenty husky boys starving. Things are much better now, although I can understand why you may have that impression. In Paris, we were fed wonderfully and told we'd get better at the front, then for three weeks we lived on sardines, coffee and condensed milk. But enough of food. If I can have a little sugar, malted milk and tea with possibly crackers and sweets once in a while, it is all I want; and maybe a little burner of some kind to heat water for tea. There are two or three in the section and they are awfully handy. But, please, ma, remember most of the others are getting sugar, etc., and so only send enough for one, and otherwise you will have us swamped. Now, I am going to shift the subject for good.

For the last two weeks we haven't done a thing. I was out at another post (I have been at them all now) for four days, and got in yesterday. While I was there, not a thing happened. Of course, the Bosche had to drop shells on the neighboring batteries, but that happens every day. The last morning was very clear, and there were a great many observation balloons up. Five Bosche planes came over to try and get some of them, but failed. The French batteries filled the sky with white shrapnel puffs and one of the Bosche strayed away and was cut off by a French plane and brought down. I also saw a balloon fall in flames the other day, but I don't know whether it was Bosche or French.

This is all that has really happened for two weeks. I am sorry I can't tell you anything about Mr. Hyde's plans, but I don't know much about such (plans) for altho' he is Musgrave to you, he is Lieutenant Hyde to me.

Please stop worrying about me while you are with Mrs. Hodges, and have a good time. I can just imagine Dad telling you that you must rest and forget some of your many worries. I am fine, and really I could get along in much worse places than this. I hope this reaches you all right, as you did not give me a very definite address.

I will try and write oftener, but there really is so little that happens that there is nothing to say. However, please don't think of me too much or worry about me.


Last letter dated July 6 received today, only 13 days.

B. C. M.

Bureau Central Militaire

S. S. U, Section Saintaire,

United States.

This is how we get orders:

"Direction du Service de Sante du 10' Corps d'Armee
Une voiture de la S.S.U. 26 se rendra a' l'Ambulance 4/10.
Pour predre 1 malades (..couches qu'elle transportera a' l'H.O.E. de Souelly)
S.F 72, . 23 Yuillet 1917
Le Directeur du Service de Sante
P.O. Le Mededin Major Adjoint O. Sautier"