Letters from the Front

Private John Cushnie

Christmas Day in Bramshott

Private Collection

Wednesday, December 26, 1917

Transcribed by: Anne Hales

25th Reserve Batt.

Bramshott Camp, Eng.


Dear Folks at Home:-

     Well another Christmas has passed although I can hardly realize it now.

     We had a very good day although there wasn’t any of the “home atmosphere” present.  I am enclosing our menu so you can see that the eating part of it was all right.  I really enjoyed the supper more than any of the other meals because of the salad and mince pie which were really good.  Of course we had all our own stuff on the side such as fruit cake, candy etc.  I think that sweet tooth of mine had its fill for once.  I think I must have eaten about 131 different makes of Christmas cake.  I am keeping Grandma’s for New Years.

     I received your box containing the scarf, mitts, sleeping cap a few days ago and Wells, box on Christmas Eve.  I haven’t had any Canadian letters for nearly two weeks as I suppose they are holding them back until they get the boxes all distributed.  They must have an awful time up in London with the Christmas mail as the bags have been coming into this reserve in a steady stream for the last week. 

     Thanks very much for the muffler etc.  They are just what I need and I like them fine.

     I think we all felt a wee bit homesick on Christmas Eve as it is the first Christmas away from home for the most of the boys in this hut and of course we were all thinking about what the folks at home were doing but we had a good old sing – song which made us feel more cheerful.  Old songs – they say are like old friends and I quite believe it.

     On Christmas morning we had the luxury of lying in bed until 8.30 when we got up for breakfast.

     Some of us went to a short service in the recreation room from 9.30 – 10 am and we had a good sing of Christmas hymns.

     Christmas day was a fine bright sunshine day although it was rather sloppy underfoot.  They have been having skating in some parts around here although there hasn’t been any in Bramshott yet.

     This being Boxing Day we are having a holiday today too as it is celebrated in England.  Work is almost at a standstill during the Christmas week and we are left quite to ourselves.

     Archie Gillies is at the Whitley Camp only 6 miles from here.  He is now on his landing leave and I think he is spending it in Scotland.  I think I will make a trip up there soon.  I haven’t seen the Findlay boys for several months.  They may be in France for all I know.

     There is a concert party of 8 from London here now.  They have been engaged by the battalion for the Christmas week and give a concert in the mess room every night for our benefit.  They are really good.

     Captain Riddiford has gone to France so I hear.  He is very popular around here and is always getting up concerts or boxing matches etc.

     My leave seems just as far away as ever but I am still living in hopes.  It is not much good to lay plans in this country because they are always being knocked on the head by some order or something.

     Well I must close with heaps of love.


This is part of the John Cushnie Collection. This is a collection of approximatly 98 letters from 1916 to 1918, and a diary with 220 entries from 1918. These letters and diary entries, were very gratiously provided by Anne Hales.