Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: August 2nd 1915

Pte JPS No 458189
D Company
60th Batt
Valcartier Camp
Aug 2nd 1915

My dearest Mother

I'm still having a glorious time here performing all sorts of "stunts" with a rifle and attacking imaginary Germans but oh! It's a grand life and the more dangerous the attack the more we enjoy it as in the following "incident" or rather experience.

Yesterday, Sunday aft, while I was having a sleep in the tent, it being extra hot a sergeant in our Company came calling for volunteers to fight a bush fire some 2 ½ miles from the camp at the foot of the mountains, north of the camp, so I jumped up, changed into my fatigue dress and hurriedly got aboard the Army Service motor wagon which took us to the scene of action. Away we rushed singing at the top of our voices something about the "balmy army, then armed with axes and spades, we alighted from the wagon to the windward side of the fire in a dense wood. Here we slaved away at clearing a space in the wood by felling trees and carrying them away. The heat was terrific for apart from the excessive heat of the day the smoke and hot air from the raging furnace 100 yds away was blowing in our faces. Having cleared this sufficiently we were called upon to rush up to the edge of the flames and put them out at the edge by digging up sand and earth and flinging it upon them. This was so successful (apart from our own discomfort, which didn't matter) that it was decided to entirely surround the whole fire by more men and so keep it in check. We kept at this for a couple of hours and then we were relieved by a new set of men of another battalion, while we went back to tea.

I had just finished my tea when more volunteers were called to relieve another set of men in a different section of the fire. So again I went and our company were relieved 3 hours later when it was quite dark and when the whole conflagration was well under control. Well done the 60th! Especially D Company under our beloved Captain, who is a splendid fellow, but my it was an experience and wasn't I tired when we alighted from the wagon at D's lines.

By the end of August or the middle of Sept it will far to cold at this elevation for a camp to exist at night so something is bound to take place and there is very little doubt that we shall pack off to Old England, so look out! Who knows!

Don't forget the "consent" will you. Now I must stop.
Best love to all ever your loving boy.