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Date: November 2nd 1918

November 2, 1918

Dear Mother:

As the French we are billeted with say: "Vous travaillez toujours, toujours". which being interpreted means "You are always working, always!" which is about the fact of the case nowadays for we scarcely get a minute for ourselves. Have been intending to write a letter about my trip ever since I came back from leave but have never had the time. I hope I will have some time to tell you about it soon in the next letter, not in this. Am merely writing to tell you that I am still on the job and am fine.

The last six weeks so full of new and wonderful experiences have passed very quickly but they will always remain a sad but pleasurable remembrance, sad because of untold suffering with which we have come in contact, suffering of homeless refugees, widows and orphans made destitute by the war. One instance will show what some of them have to endure. In one town where we had a position, the Boche had moved all the civilians that were left into one section. On our entrance they started to return to their own homes and we helped one family next door move their stuff by the only means of transportation they had, two little push carts they had made for themselves. There were four of us on the job, Alison Tait from Charlottetown, my fellow bombardier and a couple of other signallers. That night when we had finished work we went up to their house in answer to their invitation and scarcely had we got there when Fritz opened up quite close. Of course we went to the cellar where we were practically out of danger. There were in the family an old lady of eighty-two, a daughter whose husband had been taken back by the Germans and four of the family ranging in age from eighteen to ten. Every shell put out the lights and with every explosion there was the sound of breaking glass. To us of course it was nothing. There was only a chance in a thousand against us but for them it was a tremendous nerve show. and they also had their house to think of and with every shell the house was liable to go west and with it the labour of years. I honestly believe if we hadn't been there they would have gone into hysterics. However, we were able to reassure and comfort them and they were certainly glad to have us. This is but one example of what thousands are enduring and I merely mention it to show what sacrifices these people are making "pour la patrie". Then there are pleasant memories of rapid advance, of glorious activity, of people liberated from hell on earth, of good billets with a good cup of tea or coffee when we come in wet and cold from work, and from the freedom from the old monotony of trench warfare.

Now I must ring off. Don't worry about me for I am OK. Things are still coming our way now and think the war is very near an end. Have every confidence that this year will see it over, then back to good old Canada.

Love to all, Harold