One of the brave young recruits of the 139th Overseas Battalion, now drafted into the 36thBattalion, who was a high school boy when he joined the colours, Pte. Harold]. Taylor, son Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Taylor, Wicklow, writes to his father in a spirit that ought to inspire others to enlist. His letter is as follows:
October 19th, 1916.
A Co., J6th Battalion.
West Sanding Camp, Kent, England.
I am writing to you this time. I wrote to mother as soon as we arrived in camp. Well, we are all settled down now. We are all transferred from the 139th to the 36th Battalion. I like the camp all right so far. It has been wet and muddy these last few days but the weather is clear again to-day and the mud is drying up. They work us pretty hard here but we expected that. We have to go to the ranges to shoot on Sunday next. Of course we do not have to drill every Sunday. It just happened this time because every Battalion is allowed on the ranges for certain length of time. There are a lot of Battalions here now and only the one rifle range for us all.
I do not know how soon we will go to the trenches but it does not worry me in the least. I am not a bit sorry that I enlisted. I should be ashamed to walk around in civilian clothes. When we get to England and see some of the things the Germans have done we commence to realize that we are really at war. I was in London last week on five days' pass. I saw several places where German bombs fell in air raids. I saw the exact spot where a woman was killed, her head and arms blown completely off. When you think of that I do not think that you will blame me for enlisting. Please do not worry about me at all. But remember if anything happens to me that thousands of others have fallen too, and I would a thousand times rather die in France than stay at home and shirk. I am not saying this to make out that I am brave at all, but if you know just how I feel about it, it may help you and mother to bear it if anything happens to me. Remember I am here because I wish to do my duty. Well, Dad, I will close now. Give my love to mother and tell her that I will write to her soon.