NANAIMO BOYS WRITE FROM FRONT
The following letter from Drummer Arthur Davidson, dated March 18, and written at a point in France with the British expeditionary force has been received by his friend "Ronnie."
"I have had at last my first experience under fire. I will tell you all about it when I describe our billet. We are just four miles behind our trenches and to remind us of the fact one of the German "Whistling Rufuses" comes just above our domicile every once in a while. That has been going on all the morning, and as we are billeted in an attic, we can distinctly hear them. They usually explode about a mile or so behind us. There is a church immediattely behind us with the spire shot off and in the church yard is the grave of Captain Newton who was killed in the beginning of the year.
On the 17th, last night, I went with the company to take sand bags to the trenches and after a march of about three miles got within the range of the enemy's rifle fire. I suppose you know that the Germans keep sending up flares which expose our men to their snipers, and every time a flare went up we had to lie down, and as the flares were going up about every minute or so our progress was slow. Eventually we got to the supports which are about 150 yards behind the first line, and finished our work. The German trenches at this point are about 50 yards from ours.
It was my first time under fire, and with the bullets from the enemy doing everything but hit me I felt rather uncomfortable. Of course that is my luck they didn't hit, but they came close enough to feel the rush of air as they passed. After a short time, I think I became reconciled to them and they didn't worry me so much.
We go into the trenches tonight for 48 hours so I will be able to tell you all about it when I return. I can't tell you where we are as the censor won't allow it, but we are fighting with the - and the -. None of the Canadian first contingent is here. Give my best regards to every body."