I am writing you a few lines to let you know that I am still alive and I am keeping quite well. I hope you all are enjoying the best of health and strength especially my dear mother. I also take the opportunity to thank you for the parcel. It is very nice of you to think about me for Christmas. Your parcel arrived in good condition on the eve of Christmas day. I have been thinking of you all for many days. On Christmas day, I had Irish stew and plum duff for dinner instead of having turkey as I had last year. I also had the pleasure to attend church. It was an English one and we had sacrament. We all tried to make it a wonderful Christmas but it was much different than last year. On Christmas Eve, I was on the front. Bullets were falling around us and I was thinking what I was doing last year. I never thought I would be here one day. But you can never tell.
I have been out on working party many times and each time I have been under fire. The worst battle that we had gone through was that of Ypres and brother, the letter that you saw in the paper from that fellow of ours at Ypres is quite true as I was there at that time. It was terrible. I have never been in a battle where the men were suffering in such numbers that their crying and groaning could be heard all over the battlefield. The deadly gas burned their eyes and throat and destroyed their lungs. They choked, gagged, gasped, coughed and die. Some were even shot down to death because they were suffering too much.
War is like a game. We attack the enemy's trenches and they attack ours. Killing, murdering that is what on our mind.
The conditions in the trenches are not really appropriate to our needs. We are all subjected to dawn raids, simulated shelling, water rationing and sleep deprivation. There is mud everywhere in which is mixed up all ruin of the war. They became filthy. We have no garbage disposal, rats lurking in the mud in search of food and needless to say about the mud.