MR. NORMAN McINTOSH WRITES(FROM FRANCE)
By the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Alex McIntosh we are privileged to publish the following letter from their son, Mr. Norman McIntosh, who is at the Front In France.-
France, March 8th, 1915
Dear Mother and Father:
Just few lines written with the hope that you are well and happy, as this leaves me in the best of health. I received your welcome letter of the 22nd of February and as usual was very glad to hear from you. Well mother, we had a bath yestesday. What do you think of that? It was the first in four months and I guess it will be the 1st for some time to come. We have no change of underwear or anything else except socks. I have a couple of pairs of them. We have not got our kit bags. We do not know where they are, and all our clothes are in them, but if we had anything of that kind, we could not carry it, as we have only our pockets to store things in.
When I was coming out of the bath, just putting on my coat, I met Major (Rev) Wm. Beattie. We had a big handshake and quite a long talk. He had just come back from burying a Canadian soldier; he got back at 12 o'clock at night. He says this is a bad war and he thinks the Canadians are in the centre of it right now. He pointed out to me the map of the battlefield. It is of horseshoe shape and we are right at the top centre. All our battery guns are in action now. I drove the team that put our last gun in section last night. We left here about five o'clock last night and I met Mr. Beattie on the road again. He yelled, 'Hello, Norman,' but we had no chance for talk, then, as we were driving our gun.
It is told to-day that the Canadians have captured a big German city. I cannot mention its name. It is against our orders, but, if it is true, it will make a decided difference, in the war in favor of the' Allies'. There was one of our battery men wounded since we have been in action, a gunner by the name of Thunder. I do not know where he came from. He was lying in a barn sick when he was struck by a piece of shrapnel shell. Mr. Beattie told me he would lose the sight of one eye. It is hard luck for him, for if he loses the eye he will be sent home. We drivers are quite a way back with our horses, but we may move nearer to-night. Frank Love, Art White, Ted MacNachtan, and a lot others that you would know are now in action with our guns. I hope nothing happens to any of them. The Allies are preparing for a big battle and after that you will hear of the Germans beating it good and plenty. The Battery right next to us arrested three Frenchmen to-day as spies. I saw them marching them down the road to be searched. Good night to them if they find any proof on them. Tell Don to be sure to send that pup home for me and I'll take him down to the horse show in Cobourg with me in August. I guess I will come home to run a booth with Tom Lavis, maybe. Tell him and the rest to write me a line or two. Tell them not to wait for me to write as I cannot get time or writing material. I guess, mother, that by this time you will have received my last letters. I wrote three to you about a week apart. You ought to have received some of them by now unless the authorities stopped them on account of something in them that they could not let pass. I tried to be careful and not say anything that I should not have said. I hope you get them alright.
The weather here is cold and wet and the mud is as bad as on Salisbury Plain. I wish the good weather would settle in. We are in mud right up to the knees. We are to have new suits pretty soon and boots. We certainly have an awful time getting on our boots in the morning. They are wet and our feet are swollen, so you can imagine that we have troubles of our own. But we must cheer up, for the Major says ‘The worst is yet to come.' I am holding my own with the biggest and strongest of them as far as health goes, so I cannot kick.
I am certainly happy to know that you and father are keeping well. I guess I have told you all the news for this time. Hoping this finds you all well and happy, goodbye for now.
Address - British Expeditionary Force, 1st Brigade, 4th Battery, Canadian Contingent, France.