July 20th, 1918
I am on duty this morning and must write home this afternoon. Since my last letter I have received two from you, one dated June 16 and the other June 24. Also received some papers the day before yesterday. Was glad to see the results of the Red Triangle fund campaigns. P.E.I. certainly did well and to those who so generously contributed I can say that their money has been well invested and that they will be well rewarded in the added comforts it will bring to the boys over here. The Canadians Red Triangle is one of our best friends over here. Don't know what we would do without it for we depend on it almost entirely for canteen supplies, for reading matter, for entertainment when behind
the lines, for quiet sing songs, for writing letters and innumerable other little comforts, as well for hot tea and biscuits when they are most needed etc.. I have not the slightest doubt that many a man owes his life to a timely drink of hot tea or cocoa and a cigarette given free by the Y. M. C. A., when half frozen by a drenching rain and dog tired He has seen that welcome sign, the Red Triangle, on a dugout in the trench and made his way to it, knowing that here he will meet sympathetic friends who will not turn him away without some comfort which will ease the strain and a good hot tea to warm his shivering body. Possibly you are a bit skeptical about the use of tobacco even at the front and naturally so. Many of us were a bit skeptical until we got into it ourselves, but now we know its value and appreciate for what it is worth. No one who has not been through the mill can know what a smoke means to a fellow about to go out on a difficult job. By some strange means, possibly by diverting one's mind for the time being from what is ahead it brings a feeling of strength to a fellow whose knees are knocking but who, for the sake of those with him, possibly with the "wind up" worse than he has, must show no sign of fear so invariably before starting out on a difficult bit of line work cigarettes are hauled out and lighted. Ordinarily if one has good tobacco a pipe is preferable but on the line work the cigarette case is almost always substituted for several reasons the most important being
convenience. It is much easier to carry than a pipe and tobacco and when one wants a smoke perhaps in a place where every second is valuable a cig takes only a second to light while a pipe must be filled and takes much longer to light especially in a high wind thus losing valuable time. Y. secretaries and chaplains always carry a cigarette case and while some of them do not smoke themselves they know that Tommy needs it and especially when wounded and so always have a smoke ready.
Was sorry to hear about Lloyd but hope that by now he may be much better. Had a letter from Harry yesterday. It must certainly come hard on the poor little fellow and also on
Clemmie for she will have to be with him most of the time. Was glad to here that Fred Donald had been awarded the D.C.M. He certainly deserves it. Has been out for some time longer than we have and I believe has done splendid work as a signaller. Saw Joe
Clark yesterday. He is fine and dandy. Wanted to be remembered to all.
Now I must bring off and get my supper. All well. I am fine as usual.
Love to all, Harold