Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: June 5th 1916
Read by:

Wayne Gretzky

Reader Bio
Wayne Gretzky, CC, nicknamed β€œThe Great One,” is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League for four teams from 1979 to 1999. He is the leading scorer in NHL history, with more goals and more assists than any other player, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999, he held 61 NHL records: 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records. In addition to four Stanley Cups, Gretzky captured nine Hart Trophies as the most valuable player, ten Art Ross Trophies for most points in a season, two Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP, and five Ted Lindsay Awards for most outstanding player as judged by other players. He also won the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and performance five times.

Dear Mother

Just a line to let you know that we are both allright for which we must thank God for we have been through a terrible ordeal. I don't know if I am allowed to say much about it but you will see by the papers what a fierce fight the Canadians have been into. How we Mart & I came through without a scratch I can not tell as we have had terrible losses. It has been simply awful I cannot describe it in words but I know there has been nothing worse in this war. We did our eight days in allright and were bombarded pretty heavy all the time but did not suffer much. Then we came out for a rest. The next night they broke through and we had to go back. We had to make a charge in broad daylight but they were ready for us and opened up an awful fire on us we took what cover we could get in old trenches and were there all day. They opened up again two or three times in the night but we kept them back. That night we were supposed to be relieved but the relief could not get in so we had another awful 24 hrs during which they sent over the terrible high explosives & shrapnel but we held firm. Two or three times they nearly landed one in our trench. The force of the explosion threw us down and I could'nt hear nothing but ringing in my ears. I was hit on the head about four times but my steel helmet saved me. Then I had a bullet go right through a mess tin strapped on my back. I am going to keep it as a souvenir. But I wasn't very frightened although the strongest nerves could'nt stand it for long while the shells are bursting around & above. We had to stay in that trench for 8 hours without water & no food but about two dry biscuits each. It was up to our shoe tops in water and we got all stiffened & cramped up. We were thankful when the relief came at last. Of course we had some very close shaves but God must have been watching over us and it made one think about that. The wounded were very brave and bore the pain and suffering like heroes, and some had ghastly wounds. I expect to be home soon now then I can give you a good account of it. We were so tired when we got home that we just fell down and slept for a long time. I will close now as I am pretty shaky to-day through nervous strain & loss of sleep etc. We havn't seen [?] but we are trying to find them now. They suffered heavy too. I think we are out for a good rest now.

Good by with love