Monday November 13, 1916
At Witley, they were beginning to think about Christmas — there might be a six-day leave, and there was even a rumour that after three months, soldiers could get a six-week furlough to go home to Canada: “We all went to sleep after deciding to send home for the money next morning. We inquired about it next morning and found that there was nothing in it.” But it was fun to think about, no doubt. (1)
Christmas parcels were already being despatched from Canada, but that didn’t stop last-minute requests:
“I suppose you will be sending me a parcel for Christmas and if you do I would like you to send me about four or five plugs of McDonalds chewing tobacco. Several of the boys in the section chew tobacco and it is impossible to get the kind of tobacco they like here. I would like to be able to give them a good chew on Christmas. I expect to be here on Christmas and we all get passes at Christmas for six days. I wish you would send me some money for Christmas if you can, so I will have some money when I go on pass. The only fun a soldier gets here is when he goes on pass.”(2)
(1) MacArthur, John Alexander.Letter to Hazel Challoner. November 12, 1916. Available from Canadian Letters and Images Project.
(2) Polson, Archibald John. Letter to his mother. November 12, 1916.Available from Canadian Letters and Images Project.
According to ebay, the advertisement dates from 1920.