Private Reginald Sachs was an 18th Battalion “Original” having enlisted in Galt, Ontario on October 23, 1914. This letter was printed October 29, 1915 and would describe the end of September or early October 1915 when the Battalion first entered the trenches in active duty after its training as part of the 2nd Canadian Contigent (2nd Division) from May to September 1915.
The letter is not overly informative but is interesting for the aspects of its censorship and the almost cavalier attitude Sach’s has to front-line service. He was about to find out that things would get worse than a little rain. In April 1916 he complained of deafness and this was later diagnosed as neurasthenia (shell shock) and was not returned to the front after his diagnosis.
He would marry an Margaret E. Sacks who resided at 31 Basildene Road, Haunslow, Middlesex, England and he would die February 10, 1929 of causes attributed to his war service.
The connection to Dr. Charlton is unknown.
WAS GOING TO TELL ABOUT THE TRENCHES
BUT CENSOR DIDN’T APPROVE, SO THIS LETTER IS SOMEWHAT ABBREVIATED.
“Just a few lines to let you know ho I am getting along. We have been so busy I have not had much time to write. The weather over here is not as good as it might be. The first week we landed here was very fine and dry, but it has been and is now wet and cold and plenty of mud to walk in. The crops both here and in England have not been as good for years, and I tell you it means a lot to us all at this time. I also note by other letters that you are getting the same very wet and cold weather this summer, but it is the same all over. Well, sir, I have come to the best of the news, which you would like to hear, and that is about the trenches. First is that we had an inspection by Gen. Alderson, commander of the Division, and (here the censor got busy and the description of the trenches go struck out). Well, sir, we have all been in the trenches for eight days and know a little about war. The worst of it was that it rained for four days and it was [hard] walking around in the water and mud, but we must not expect much better these times. We came out Tuesday night for a few day’s rest, and got a good bath and clean clothes, and I tell you that we all felt better and ready for action again. I am glad to report that we are being looked after very well, and have no complaints to make, and I assure you that we shall always think of Galt and you can be proud of us.
Galt Daily Reporter. October 29, 1915. Page 2.
[i] Dr. Sylvester Edward Charlton. Born January 28, 1868. Died 1938.