Dec. 14, 1918
Germany at last! We are really in Cologne! And as I write tonight I can look out my window at our guns commanding the bridges of the Rhine and beyond the guns with their muzzles but a foot from the river walls, one can see the glimmer of the lights on the opposite side reflected on the water. We can scarcely realize what it all means yet, that we are really in Prussia, and that proud nation lies crushed and humbled by the power of right; by the armies of truth and honor. Yesterday forenoon we watched General Plummer take the salute of his army as they marched across the Rhine, an event which can scarcely be surpassed in modern history. Tonight I am doing "The Watch on the Rhine", that is I am in charge of the guard and while my sentries pace their beats by the guns we are within easy call across the street in a German hotel where we have our guard room. Cologne is a very fine little town of about half a million, nicely situated, with fine buildings and bright clean streets. The cathedral is specially fine. We went to see if this morning, but did not have very long as I had to get back and clean up for guard. Have some postcards which I will send at the first opportunity.
We crossed the border into Germany on the morning of the 9th and arrived here on the afternoon of the 12th, 15 days after leaving Mons. Don't know yet how long we will be here or what we will do when we leave but I expect they will take us to Blighty before going back to Canada. However I think we should be back about March. But of course one never can tell. However there is no cause for worry now as we are in absolutely no danger unless we fall downstairs and break a leg or something. Was glad to hear from your last letter that Gordon was so much better. It must have been a bit unpleasant all around and certainly must have come hard on Clemmie and she had herself to have the two at once.
You ask what the four blue stripes on my arm signify. They are for length of service overseas, one for when you leave Canada and one for every year overseas, that is three years service overseas from Canada. You also asked why I have my mail addressed as gunner instead of signaller. It is immaterial. Gunner is the rank that I enlisted with and I never bothered changing its after I took up the specialist course.
Well Mother it his time to change sentries so I will say au revoir.
Love to all from, Harold