LETTER FROM ENGLAND
Graphic Description Of Zeppelin Raid
Mr. and Mrs. George Dunn, Campbellford received from their son, Pte. James Dunn of the 139th Battalion the following interesting description of a recent Zeppelin raid on England:
ASHFORD, June 1st, 1917.
Dear Father and Mother:
I take the greatest pleasure in writing to you to-day to let you know I am well and hope you are all the same. Well, we are sure getting some hot weather and I suppose you are also. I have not heard from you in some time but my mail must be going astray on account of being in so many different parts of England. Now, I have some very interesting news to tell you, but don't get afraid or start to worry because it is all over now and I am all right. One of the biggest air raids that ever came over England came yesterday. Twelve German battle planes came over Ashford and dropped bombs on us killing 76 and wounding 185. Altogether they buried 25 Canadians yesterday, and are burying 20 today. They dropped them on our camp. We were sitting in the tent and I heard aeroplanes buzzing around up in the air and there seemed to be too many together to be ours, so I went out and looked up and there you could see them all. They were flying so high it was impossible to tell whether they were Germans or British but something seemed to tell me that something was going to happen so I went back into the tent again and down came a bomb just lighting twelve yards from our tent. All the window glass in the houses and plate glass windows in the stores fell out and the whole earth shook. It was a case of run for your life but we didn't know where to run as you couldn't tell where bombs were going to drop next. As I was running out of the tent, another came roaring through the air and tore a hole in the earth that you could put a horse in. The shrapnel flew around and a piece went right through a galvanized building right in front of me and a chunk of dirt hit me on the back of the neck. Luckily it was dirt and it didn't hurt me. By this time everyone was getting bewildered, not knowing where bombs were going to light or how long they were going to drop them, so we took to the fields. Mothers carrying infant babies in their arms were fainting on the way. We laid down flat in the fields and trusted to God. Finally our heavy aircraft guns gave chase and brought down three of their machines. The total number killed, as far as is known is 76, and 185 wounded.
As I said before, they did considerable damage. They put one bomb right through the Palace Theatre and I expect it was full of people. We are getting lots of guard now, nearly stagger for want of sleep. We got some pretty dangerous places to guard too, full of ammunition which would blow half of the city up if they ever hit it with a bomb.
Your loving son,