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Date: May 21st 1915


Corporal James Brown, of No. 4 Company, 16th Battalion, writes the following letter from the trenches dated May 1:

Have been in the trenches for four days under heavy fire all the time but we are driving the Germans back day by day.

The 30th Battalion has been split up into drafts for the various Canadian regiments at present at the front. We, No. 2 Company, are reinforcements for the 72nd Seaforths and so I guess I must wear kilts. I saw Charlie Bywell and many other well known members of that regiment. They are quite well and as lively as crickets. He sends his best regards to you all.

Henry and Archie Brown being in other companies did not get off with me so I cannot tell whether they are at the front or not. We were in the trenches 48 hours after leaving England. I can now tell in an instant whether a coming shell is a Jack Johnson or a coal box.

I am in the best of health and as we get plenty to eat and drink I have no kick coming. I feel most sorry for poor old Belgium. All her fine cities are in ruins. The Germans have done their best to ruin her, but we shall, with God's help, avenge her. Tell Eugene and Willie that I shall try to bring a German helmet back for each of them.