Letter to Mrs. Stepler from Gordon Stepler, October 6th 1916

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Shorncliffe Oct 6/16
Dear Mother
	I rec'd three letters from you yesterday and of course was glad to get
them. Wasn't it too bad about Mr. Cummiford. I did not acknowledge that
Life Miss Meekison sent as there was no name or anything on it to tell who
it was from.
	Well I am in the Second Reserve Battery no longer. I am on a
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4.5 howitzer battery. There were two of them found one under Major Simpson
of Guelph and the other under Major Harris of Vancouver. I am on Major
Harris. All the officers and noncoms are men that have been to the front
and the men are nearly trained so that we won't be staying here very long.
Harcourt, Colbek and about ten other Varsity
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fellows are on it. It is much nicer going over as a battery as you stick
together. When going over on draft you are all separated. We also get used
a lot better and you get to know your officers and fellows in the battery.
When going over on a draft and you are put in a battery, they naturally
give the new fellows all
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the dirty work to do. If I stayed in the Reserve I would probably be put on
the next draft of eighteen pounders in about for or five weeks. The last
two drafts of eighteen pounders from here were put on trench mortars
instead. They are called the "suicide club" as they are about the most
dangerous branch of the service
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so no one wants to get on them. There is no danger of me being put on them
now that I am in a battery. A draft of 4.5's with some of the second draft
of the [8]th on it left for France this morning. McMurtry & Shipley are
almost through their course in signalling and they expect to leave for
France in two
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or three weeks.
	I think the new battery is going to be called the 2nd Howitzer Battery and
it is going to help the 2nd Canadian Division which is on the Somme. I was
talking to a returned last night who said there were about 100,000
Canadians fighting on the Somme alone now.
	They don't leave the returned's here very
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long. As soon as they are able to move around they are sent back to the
front. It does not seem fair as there are lots of soldiers here who have
never seen the front but they want experienced men.
	It has been raining off and on all week here and so the weather has been
rather rotten but I guess this is the kind of weather they get here all
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	So Billy Rapley had that one cent sale. What did Dad let him get ahead of
him [for]. He had better wake up!
	Have you taken any maps this summer that you could send me. Dorothy will
be so grown when I get back that I won't know her.
	Guess this is all the news now.
		Your loving son