Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: October 12th 1916

Near Albert - France

October 12, 1916

Darling Girlie:

So glad to receive your letter at last, and was so delighted with the pictures. Yes! You do look so nice all in white, and little Bubs frowning in the sun. I looked at them and studied them so long I just felt homesick.

Well, we had another trip up the line. Some of the boys have been up there 25 days with only 48 hours rest, and they are the toughest, wildest looking bunch you could imagine. Not being able to shave, or even wash for 14 days, and covered with mud. We were very lucky this trip having only five casualties during the whole time (where some of the other Amb. Corps had as many as twenty to thirty casualties, and not in the thick of it any more than our boys).

Harry and I turned in about 9 o'clock last night and were playing a hand of rummy in bed when the Sarg. Major came into the tent and told us to prepare to move up the line in 10 minutes, so we dressed again, got our rum ration, and a car took us a few miles - then we walked the rest of the way. We hung around the dressing station until 3 o'clock in the morning, then had breakfast and started off for the advance dressing post. It was a bright moonlight night and we expected a rough trip in, but we were fortunate enough to have it very quiet. On the road up we passed big guns, ammunition columns, ambulances, soldiers coming in and going out, and on nearing the trenches we saw some ghastly sights. I'm not going to mention more because it makes me sick to think of it. We saw two planes that had been brought down by the roadside, and two disabled "tanks" that you have heard so much talk about. Our advanced dressing station is one of "Fritz's" old dugouts that was captured two weeks ago. Say! Fritz has made some dandy dugouts - large and roomy with wire beds and straw mattresses in each one. Of course you must remember he has held those trenches some twenty months, and we only just captured them. But talk about louzy! My Lord! Harry and I were on duty up there for 24 hours and during the time we were waiting for stretcher cases we were lying down on the beds, and when we left I have a few quiet moments "lousing" and only captured 46! One boy pulled off 126 in half and hour's search. We cannot get clean shirts yet so have to put up with them until we get to the baths. The last patient we carried out on our way back from the post died on our shoulders before we reached the ambulance. At one time, such a thing as that would have upset me, but not these occurences are so common one gets hardened by them.

All the boys were very glad to get out, and we are now quite a piece back from the line, running a rest station. But not for long as we are on the move again tomorrow moving to another part of the line and, I imagine, allowing for our division to get more reinforcements. Our Division sure got hell this trip in. Was there any mention of the work the boys did in the Canadian papers? There was devil a bit in the English press.

I am enclosing a postcard that I got from a German prisoner. We had quite a lot of wounded go through our dressing station and had to search them all, so I kept the P.C. as a souvenir. Am also sending another book of postcards. I was down in that city a few nights ago - went down in a car to bring one of our Majors back who had been to England on leave. Did you receive the last P.C's that I sent?

Well, I must close now. It's supper time and I've got to pack my kit after supper. Don't expect to go up the line for quite some time now, so cheer up.

Remember me to Ross and Nine.

Ever yours, Cis.