TEN DAYS WITHOUT SLEEP
Gunner Mitton Praises the Brave Canadian Infantry
The following letter has been received by Harold B. Hockin from Pte. Will R. Mitton, written on May 9, at the front in France.
"Just a few lines to let you know that I received the tobacco all right and I'm sure I thank you very much.
I was rather unfortunate with the lot of tobacco I had at that time. I had my kit bag almost full, and one night the Germans made a sudden attack with that new gas they have on the French troops immediately in front of our billet. They gave way in rather a hurry, and consequently we had to pull out still more quickly. I had no time to get anything as the "Allemands" were right on top of us. To tell the truth it was as near a touch for the whole show as I ever want to see. For my part it looked like the finish of the last act for all of us, and the Kaiser well on his way to Calais.
Too much credit cannot be given to the Canadian infantry who made two desperate charges and stemmed the tide. After that we were fairly sure we could hold them till more reserves came up, but you may be sure had to go some. For ten days we had practically no sleep at all and the shell fire they put on us was the limit. They sure have some fine artillery and they know how to use it. It was only our great good luck that kept us from very serious losses. Our gun park looked as if giant moles had been working day and night in it. "Coal boxes" had made holes all over it. One landed within two yards of our gun and the morning after we pulled out for a rest a ï¿½Jack Johnson' hit right where our gun had been. We had only seven men wounded through it all and thirteen horses killed. I guess it's the "Lucky Seventh" all right.
We are now resting and having our guns repaired and about to-morrow I guess we will go into action again.
The Canadian division as a whole have won great praise here and Gen. Alderson says the only thing he is proud of is his armlet saying "1st Canadian."
Our bunch had won great praise from the general commanding a division which we had to support. He said "there is no better artillery in the world."
This big battle has been a good thing for us, both officers and men. We have found that the officers are all right and I guess they have found out that the men are not so bad after all. Well, I'm sure I thank you and Art for the tobacco, even if I didn't have much of it. I hope it chokes the first German that tries it.
Regards to everybody, etc.