Throughout the autumn of 1915, it rains heavily in North America and Europe. Tom and Mrs. Ross shower Robert with gifts of winter clothing and food. Since the Canadian forces are a “people’s army” who must supply much of their own equipment, Robert’s parents also send him military gear such as compasses, riding boots, and field glasses. Additionally, Robert writes his father asking him for an automatic pistol.
Both the brutal natural elements and the struggle of being a “people’s army” reflect the hardships that soldiers like Robert were forced to endure during war. The willingness of troops to supply their own equipment shows the sense of duty and patriotism that many of these young men held for their countries.