Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: September 7th 1917
Mrs. D. Williamson
Cephas Finnemore


Cutting Grain, Threshing and Other Things In France.

Mrs., D, Williamson, Cambome, has received the following letter from her brother, Pte, C. FINNEMORE, written July 19th from France:

Dear Sister:
Just a few lines in answer to your letter received a few days ago. I have just returned from the most welcome parade of the Army and that is pay parade. We got a little extra money this time so it is all the more welcome. We were to have had a big sports day to-day, but it has been raining a little all day so they have postponed it for a while. They certainly get some out to sports in this country. I was at a horse show here some time ago and there certainly was some crowd there. It started about 9.30 a.m. and lasted until 6.30 p.m. So you can imagine what a line-up' of things there were to be shown.

We are having a rest for a while now so everything has been going along very smoothly. The country is looking fine around here and the fruit trees are just loaded with fruit. I got all the cherries I could eat this afternoon for half a franc (lOc). They were dandies too. There was a Frenchman (who) brought us some lettuce the other day, so I had a bully-beef sandwich that night. It was all right too. Some of the grain is ripe around here now. There is a piece just opposite our billets. There has been two old men cutting it by hand for the last five or six days, but they have a lot to do yet. There are no young men around here. It is the old men and the women who do all the work. I was out on a march the other day and saw a cross built up in a field made from three pieces of stone and dated 1592, so I decided this must be what you call the old country, and it certainly looks the part. The houses in the village are all in a heap and they are of every size and description. They still use the old oaken bucket at the well and here and there you see an old fashioned windmill. There are very few fences through the country. They tie all their stock to stakes driven in the ground. I guess it is so they will all get equal rations. I was watching them do some threshing the other day. The machine was built right in the barn and run by a tread mill. There was one old lady putting grain into it and an old man and another old lady gathering up the straw and tying it up when it came through. I am afraid it would take them several days to do their threshing if they were out West.
I was up to see my old section officer, Lieut. Smith, some time ago. He was telling there were quite a few Cobourg boys around where he was, but I did not meet any of them. I went to see CHESTER FRANCY, but he was out somewhere. He is a Red Cross Sergeant over here. I had the pleasure of seeing His Majesty the King some time ago, but it was just as he was passing through.

You asked me about souvenirs. Well, there are none around here, but I may be able to get some later on. I t is pretty hard to carry them around, as we have a pret- ty fair load when we are as light as the law allows in this country.

Well, I do not know as I have any more news to tell you this time as everything is very quiet around here. I hope that you are all well as this leaves me the very best.
Your affectionate brother,
814991 Pte. C. FINNEMORE.