The following is a letter from Second Lieut. H. A. Powell, to his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel H. Lowry, of Pakenham.
“At present I am in a very nice place and a good many miles behind the lines. We are busy building roads. My company is all steam so I am right at home. I have thirty steam wagons, fifteen Fodens non-trippers, 13 Sentinel Hydraulic tip and two Garret’s screw tippers. So you see I have a pick and choice. Their capacity is 5 to 8 tons, without trailers. The Sentinel wagons are 70 horse power poppet valve engines. Speed five to twenty miles an hour. Just now we are trying some plan to keep the frost away from the pumps but I think we will succeed. Yesterday I was at a steam conference and arguments were comical, mostly by men who only knew the difference between steam and petrol engines by seeing the smoke and steam.
The weather has been very wet for some time but now it is clear and cold, but not too cold for comfort. I have a very fine billet with a French count, his wife and daughter. They are extra well educated people and much different to most of the people I have met. Well, I suppose you have heard that I got married last 30th Oct. to a girl in London. We had a fine time at the wedding and went to Ventnor, Isle of Wight, for our short trip. We were married in St. Mary’s Cathedral, West Ealing, and then went to lunch at the Frocaden Hotel, supposed to be the finest place in London. My best man was a Capt. Harry Driver, Bachelor of Science, D.S.O. and M.C., the two bridesmaids were Dimple and Winnie Middleton, daughter of a multi-millionaire. Their father is manager of the Universal Motor Co., Universal Insurance Co. (automobiles), and a large stockholder in the Phoenix Life Insurance Co. He gave us our lunch, also supplied all the cars to take us to church and back. Flo has been his secretary for ten years and two months.
She still goes up two days a week to look after the paying of the men and do the banking. I expect to leave here some time soon to take over the duties of workshop officers at a base shop. I will be in charge of repairs to Caterpillar and Foster Daimler engines. I have passed all my tests as a work shop officer and the knowledge will be very useful in civil life. It is hard to say when we will finish up out here but I may be home in the fall of 1919. Fighting may finish next fall but it is hard to say.”