To keep promise made in my last letter will try to-night to finish the account of my experience in the battle of Langemarck - writing helps to while away the time. I think I had myself back to Major Beattie's improvised dressing station at the turn of the road just over the pontoon bridge at the Ypres Canal. Here the wounded were bandaged and made as comfortable as possible before the stretcher bearers carried them over the Canal to the motor ambulances that rushed the wounded to the Field Ambulance Stations. Might here give you a description of an improvised field sorting station - for it is more nor less than sorting. Many die before their turn comes, some though living can only be comforted, etc. I could tell you pages of heroism and of unselfish conduct but no doubt you read of the self sacrifice of these noble men in many other letters. So you can fit one in here for they are real. Major Beattie can tell you of hundreds he sees after every battle. Well, my turn came before I bled to death, my bandage was put on in place of my rude tourniquet and a stretcher took me over the Canal to the motor ambulance that landed me in No.2 Station when my wound was properly cleansed and dressed by Dr. Mussen of St. Thomas, Ontario, whom I had met in Quebec last Autumn. From here I was taken to Poperinghe to a clearing hospital early Saturday morning when I rested after two terrible nights and a day of real experience and I could rest. Although a Hun bullet got me in the end have the pleasure of reading in many papers of how the 1st and 4th Battalions supported by St. Kitts guns held a wide front against great odds for a whole day. My rest was not for long however for the wounded were coming as fast those able to travel were pushed on Saturday afternoon to Hazebrouck, where I stayed until Monday. Monday I was put on a St. Johns Ambulance train and arrived in Boulogne about 10 p.m. but the hospitals were all full, so the train was sent to Rouen, where we arrived about 2 o'clock the following afternoon. The Hospital at Rouen is an excellent one, built on the outskirts of the city; it has lots of fresh air and now the Spring sunshine, Thursday noon saw a bunch of us who were not seriously injured on the move again. We arrived in Havre about 11 p.m. and were at once put on board the hospital ship Estrunan; crossed the Channel and was transported to a red-cross train at Southampton about midnight Friday. This well equipped hospital train brought us in comparative comfort to Newcastle-on-Tyne at nine o'clock Saturday morning where - to use the language of the story book - we have lived happy ever since.
The bullet hit me in the front and went out the back of my thigh. On entering it made a very small wound, but as all good bullets are supposed to do, it turned sideways and ripped quite a chunk of flesh, leaving a hole at the back nearly two inches in diameter. It is healing up rapidly however and I hope to be about again in a week or so.
Could tell you how kind doctors and nurses are about the Hospital and the Newcastle people but this is Northumberland County, too, so you know the answer
With lots of love,