Mrs. S. C. Isaac, Bowmanton, has received two letters from Mr. Oni Isaac, who went with the second contingent and who was at the Sandling Camp, England at time of writing, May 17th and May 27th. We use by kind permission the following extracts from his letters to those at home, knowing that they will be of Interest to many readers.
On May 17th he writes: (From England)
We have arrived safely in England without seeing any Germans at all. We carne over alone, there being neither warship or troop ship with us. We saw some dandy ice- bergs on the way over and a few whales and sharks. We had a very quiet voyage with only one heavy storm. I was not sea-sick at all which surprised me very much. We sighted land at mid-night last Friday night and dropped anchor at Plymouth where Drake and Hawkins played their historic game of Bowls before the coming of the Spanish Armada. The last night we were accompanied by a fleet of destroyers. At night they looked like snakes sliding along in the water.
On Saturday morning we landed at Plymouth. In one of the dry-docks there was a battleship from the Dardanelles getting repaired. She had one of her funnels blown clear off and her deck was all twisted and tom up. They are building a battleship there, the mate to the Queen Elizabeth. She is certainly a big bigger. We travelled all Saturday night by train and arrived here Sunday morning. We are living in huts which hold about thirty each. The fellows at Shornecliffe, about three miles away, are in tents. I would sooner have the huts especially when it is raining as it is now. In fact, out of the three days we have been in England, two have been rainy. I hope the record does not keep up.
From where we are it is about forty-three miles to the trenches in Belgium and you can hear the roar of the guns even here. There are hundreds of wounded Canadians and Belgians and Frenchmen and English at Shornecliffe. They keep coming every day and others are going to France all the time.
The country certainly looks fine around here and around the part we travelled over. It is just like a picture with he fields all green and the houses covered with ivy. I did not expect to see the railroads look as fine as they do. They look great with the tunnels and overhead bridges.
There are just two battalions of us at the camp, the 18th and 21st. The 19th and 20th of Toronto are coming soon so I believe. I hope they do not get sunk on the way over. The German submarines are pretty bold these days. They attempt almost anything.
On May 27th in writing again about their camp life, he says:
It is funny to hear the cuckcoo birds calling on a warm day. I never heard them before. This is a fine place we have for a camp. We are getting lots of work for sure now. Mostly all bayonet drill and shooting. The instructors lay great stress on the bayonet work. The troops at the front use the bayonet whenever they get the chance. Fellows who are back here wounded say the Germans won't stand up against a bayonet charge at all. I can- not say that I blame them for that either. We have got a completely new equipment since we came over - new uniforms and new packs for carrying extra clothes, and cartridges, etc. The harness is much easier on our shoulders than the old was. All our Brigade is here now. The Toronto men got in a couple of days ago. There are several North Bay fellows in the 20th from Toronto.
Mr. Isaac's address is: 21st Battalion, 3rd Company, 4th Infantry Brigade,
C.E.F., Sandling Camp, Kent, England.