Lt. H.S. Burnard
20 July 44
Lt. H.S. Burnard
S. Sask R.
Have a few spare minutes so thought I had better drop you a line to let you know I'm O.K. and living well. As you have noticed I'm with the S. Sask. R. again I have been a reinforcement officer for that reg't for quite some time and know most of the officers real well so certainly am glad to be with them again. At present I'm several miles behind the line even behind our heavy artillery so am more or less out of the war so to speak. The Reg't went into action this afternoon and advanced several miles without many casualties because of our superior artillery and tank support. I spent a night with the Reg't the day before they went in and they sure looked great. They were living in a large country hotel formerly used by the German airforce for an officer's mess that was our officers living in this hotel. I guess you read about the airport the Canadians took at Capriquet well it wasn't far from there. The airport is a complete wreck but the runways are all concrete and asphalt so it will be a real help once the engineers get it fixed. Here are plenty of airfields over here but not good enough for our fighters to take off and land on at night so we are more or less at a disadvantage at night.
The night I spent up there a Jer 88 came over and our ack ack brought it down. All the crew were killed and no one could get near the plane because of the ammunition that was exploding in the guns. The thing went right over my slit trench before it was hit. It was only a few hundred feet up. In a four or five foot slit trench you are perfectly safe unless you get a direct hit which would be about once in 5000 times. The fellow that dug the slit trench must have been a dwarf because it wasn't much more than 4 feet long. I think I was tireder when I got up than when I went to bed. I'm living with a Sigt in a Super Slit Trench that we dug yesterday we have about a foot of wheat straw in it and a good tip on it to shed the rain. These slit trenches are very warm and comfortable providing you don't have to go down to deep. Back here there is the occasional bomb so only dig about 2 ft down to keep out of the blast. There is no use putting a bomb proof roof on them because you would need over 20 ft so again we trust in luck which have been OK so far.
The grub is super here with our bar, 5 sweets and 7 cigs a day thrown in. I've managed to get my laundry done for my cig ration and sometimes trade the 7 for a bar. The apple crop here is wonderful. Were dug in in an apple orchard at present but the apples are not near ready for eating yet. The boys at the front sure live high sleep in white sheets etc and have all the cider they want. The civilians suffer much more than the soldiers in this war. Its sure tough to see them comming back to a town thats just rubble. Hope your all fine.