BULLETS WERE NEAR
LETTER WRITTEN IN THE THRENCH WHILE LEAD PELLETS FLEW PAST OVERHEAD
[Mr. W.J. Enwin] has received the following letter form Corporal [C.W.] Chatten from somewhere in France:
“I received your welcome letter last night and was very pleased indeed to hear from you . A letter in the trenches is very acceptable. I can assure you. They bring our mail right up to the firing line to us and when one is away from home a letter sure is good to get. We have been in the trenches 3 days now and will likely be here days before we are relieved. We relieved the 19th Battalion, Canadians, so they will likely relieve us when our six days are up. It isn’t too bad here. The night we came in it rained to beat the band and made [lots] of mud and wet clothing for us. When once you get wet here you have to dry your clothes while they are on you as there is no artificial heat. The sun though came out for a few hours yesterday which helped us greatly to get things dry again. It is not very pleasant to be wet here, as the nights are cold. However, these are things we have to put with, and we are getting along fine.
We are just 40 yards from the enemy’s trenches, which isn’t far, I can tell you. We are under fire continuously from where I am sitting now the bullets are going over less than a foot above my head. The only time we take a look over the top is at night. Just to let them know we are still here. One night they gave us some rapid fire with a machine gun, which only lasted about an hour period at night you would think we were at a tattoo over at Dixon [Dickson] Park. They shoot up all kinds of star shells. We use rockets too. When they are in the air it would be suicide to put your head over the parapet. These Jack johnsons and make a noise like an express train when they go over. The only thing I don’t like is the rifle grenades. They drop the trench from the top. It sure is exciting for us , always something to do. So we don’t get much sleep, but that is nothing. I won’t know how to behave when I get back to civilisation again.
Another nice job we have is the listening post. We crawl out of our trenches and go about halfway to the enemy’s trench, lie on our stomachs for an hour, hearing and seeing all you can, a fine job for the beginner. Hope all the folks I know in Galt are good health. Must go now as my spare time is up.”
Source: Galt Daily Reporter. October 21, 1915. Page 3.