Sept 25. 18
My Dear Dad,
Your long looked for letter of Aug 4th has just arrived. It has chased me all over the Country too finally locating me here.
So far I am going along very well - indeed much better than I expected. The bullet hit me just about the right forward corner of my chest between the fourth & fifth rib up at the corner. Just where it went out I dont know. About the same level but about two or three inches to the right of the spine. As the Doctor says it was a lucky thing for me it hit me on the right instead of the left side.
After I was hit I dropped in the open and all my runners & my batman dropped about me. They tried to dress me but the Machine Gun fire was too heavy. So we lay there for about an hour during which I went out several times and came back to see most wonderful moving pictures of all sorts and sorts of wonderful airoplanes careening around in the sky. Then the advancing being held up for a but Heimer started chucking over the odd 5.9 shell and I began to think it time for me to move. In the meantime my best runner, Higginson, who was lying on my left, raised his head to look about & got shot thru the jaw for his trouble. Poor fellow while he lay there groaning a bullet probably intended for my head missed me and passing thru higginsons haversack probably hit him in the heart or close to it. He died a few moments after without a word for anyone.
I just received word that he had been awarded the military medal on my recommendation for his good work in the Amiens battle. His wife lives at Wataskiwen Sask.
Shortly after this I sent the rest of the runners to report to any officer they could find and my batman carrying my equipment & revolver. I walked as far as I could. This started the blood running so I could only make about 500 yards at the first attempt fortunately reaching a shallow trench which protected us from splinters and bullets. After a rest there I tried to go on again but fainted again. Later I tried again & got down over the hill to where some of our transport were already drawn up. From there I was carried back by my batman and a scottie on a piece of round wood about 2 feet long I sitting on it and clinging to one of them. Fortunately at the next trench we found our own M.O. who looked after me and after some wait got me a stretcher and several hun prisoners to carry it. They carried me back from one station to another for several miles until finally we found a Canadian Field Ambulance & motor ambulances. From & even up to there I remember only snatches of my trip. Once when I saw the O.C. talking to the Brig some distance away. Again when the Hun prisoners dropped me in the centre of the road and ran - this when a hun plane came over & fired his M.G. down the road. My Batman soon brot them back at the point of my revolver he was carrying. Again when just as we arrived at the station an enemy shell came over & burst just the other side of the station. Again when I reached the dressing station in Arras and saw and talked with Capt. Whellans who used to be our Y.M.C.A. man at Tuxedo.
Next I was at the Casualty clearing station at higny near St. Pol about 10 pm that night. They didn't trouble me much here until the second day after when I was beginning to come to a bit. The doc came in about 6 P.M. & smilingly tried to draw off the fluid on my lung but got the tubes mixed & blew me up like a football instead. That was when I nearly died for my heart action almost stopped & my heart was badly displaced. That night about 10 P.M. he came back & did the job properly. You cannot imagine the relief I felt after that though I knew it was not all taken off.
Two or three days later they sent me down to the Base Hospital where I was almost comfortable until the 15th or 16th.
Since then I believe you have a pretty full account of my movements.
Yesterday they took another whack at my lung and got some old blood which I hope finished their digging into me for ever.
As yet my kit has not come over from France but I expect it along any day now and unless I am much mistaken in my present condition it wont be any too soon for I expect to be up almost any day now.
Over here things look as though they were coming to a crisis between the government and labour circles. The minister of labour had arranged a settlement of a railway strike but a few of the men refused to stand by the agreement of this own representation and have struck for their full demands being an increase of almost 100 % in their pay. Now the govt has decided to run the Railways as a military proposition and to leave the strikers out in the cold. Next they will conscript the strikers & send them to France or put them back at their work at one or two shillings a day with rations & quarters - which will be a great saving to the govt. In France every man of military age is a soldier. He is mobilized and sent to the army or the navy or the mines or the Railway or whatever is most required at the time.
Well I think I shall sleep for a while now before lunch, having been awake since six am.