Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: June 18th 1915
Howard Curtis
Read by:

Scott Hartnell

Reader Statement
Reader Statement
I was honored to participate in a reading of one of the fallen soldiers’ letters. Reading Howard Curtis' letter allowed me to better understand what went on during WW1. I have great respect and admiration for those who have served our country and have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country. It was sad reading the attached letter knowing that Howard wasn't able to make it home to see his family once again.
Reader Bio
Scott Hartnell is a Canadian professional ice hockey left winger currently playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also played with the Nashville Predators and the Philadelphia Flyers.Hartnell was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, grew up in Lloydminster, Alberta, and was drafted in the first round of the 2000 draft.

June 18, 1915

Dear Sister,

I received your welcome letter to-night. Glad to know that you have already heard at home that I am all right. In our last action I got a slight wound. There is no cause for worry and I am back with the battalion. We are a few miles from the firing line now and will likely have a few weeks' rest before we go into action again. Fighting was fast and furious this time in, under continuous shell fire. Perhaps I was lucky to get out of it when I was wounded. Part of the First Brigade made an attack and took three lines of trenches without many casualties. Our fellows say it sure was hell under fire. A British division to our left suffered heavily, and the fighting is still going on. We had a large mine under the German trench, and when it went off it was awful. It blew men and all about a mile up into the air. The German prisoners seem glad to get over to our side. We are not anxious to add the extra burden to the country of keeping prisoners. You ask if it is more dangerous in the machine gun section. I only wish I could run ten guns instead of one. So would you, if you understood the way things are here. I would just as soon be one place as another in spite of the danger. Just the same, I don't believe in taking foolish risks. Getting souvenirs does not occupy my mind. It's myself I want to bring home as a souvenir. Well Eunice, I suppose you would like a picture of me at home. I have had pictures taken at different times but they never sent them on although I paid for them. I am in a place now where I can try once more and I do hope the pictures will be sent home this time. I have one of those decorations called a moustache - what's the difference, it will make a good souvenir. There are sheep near our billet here. Last night it was baa baa all night long. I felt like using my gun. It is a very interesting and exciting tour marching through France. It's a pity that all of us won't be able to come home and tell about it. Many good fellows who had such fine plans now lie beneath the soil. Some will be lucky enough to come safely through and I sincerely hope that I will be one of those. It's a game of chance living in this land of war - whole in body one minute and the next in a thousand pieces. Let's keep hoping the war will soon be over and there will be peace on earth once again. I must close now. Please give my best regards to everybody at home.

With love to all I remain as ever,