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Jonathan Cleavely
Jonathan Cleavely

    January 25, 1917

    The children of the school at Rama Reserve sent presents to each of the five boys from the Reserve who are now overseas. Following are letters of thanks received by the teacher from members of the 157th Battalion:

    The first is from Private Bert Williams:
    “ I have the greatest pleasure in writing these few lines to let you know that we got the letters from you and your pupils. We were glad, and it was entertaining reading them. We will be very glad to get the presents that you are sending us. We know they are on their way now. Well, we like this country very much, only we had wet weather for a couple of weeks. We didn’t see a sun all that time. When we went to London, we were up to London Tower. We saw what we never see in Canada, and I am sorry we don’t get a pass again. I would be very glad to meet that Sergeant-Major. I was looking for him at Bramshott and I couldn’t find him. Well, we’re taking musketry. We’ll finish that next week, so we’ll be ready to meet the Germans. I will send you the Weekly Mirror. I know you’ll be glad to see it. I haven’t time to answer all the letters from the children, but I’ll send some cards next week. I’ll write again soon.”

    From Private Ben Sawyer:
    “Again I am sending a few lines to you to tell you we are all well at present. Of course myself, I got a bad cold mostly right along, and also good many of the boys. I guess the climate up here don’t agree with us, and I know the weather is often changeable this time of the year, and I guess you ought to know. Thank you for the Christmas parcel. I received it yesterday, and I am really sorry that parcel was undone when it reached me. I got the other things, all o.k. except the socks. I am really sorry for them. I got mine first, before the other boys. Their’s might be all right. I am using this notepaper that you sent me, and also the lead pencil. I also sent some post cards to the pupils who wrote to me from Rama. I saw where they keep lots of deer near London, and we saw that tower clock on Westminster Bridge– Big Ben. In London, to go to picture shows, we are just too busy sizing up the big buildings. Only once we went to a picture show since we came to England, and it was last night, in the little town of Godalming. It is only three miles from Witley and it is just a nice little walk for the evening. I never thought to fill this paper-note when I started to write to you. Do you have much news from Bert and perhaps better? I think when you read this letter we will be somewhere in France. We received a call some time ago last week and so we are busy getting ready for France. Today we received a draft of 200 men to fill our battalion, but we are not drilling much now, only once in a while. When we go, I will drop a card to someone at home to let them know. Every time the bugle band plays the tune of “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and smile, smile, smile,” my it makes me think of home.”


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