“The boys promise to be home for Christmas in 1916.”: A letter from December 1914

On December 21, 1915, the Galt Daily Reporter reported that the 18th Battalion was in the front line based on letters dated November 30, 1915, from the “boys of the 18th Battalion”. The letter gives some perspective of the attitudes of the soldiers of this unit, thought, sadly, none of the “boys” who wrote the … Continue reading “The boys promise to be home for Christmas in 1916.”: A letter from December 1914

“…if what I have written seems rather callous and brutal…”: A Letter from the Front

“I cannot go into details but of late it has become easy to shoot down in cold blood a Hun with his arms above his head.”[i] It is not clear, without context, where Lt. Samuel Gladstone Stokes’ anger at the enemy has come from. His latter, dated April 18, 1918 has some very strong words. … Continue reading “…if what I have written seems rather callous and brutal…”: A Letter from the Front

An Enthusiastic Shrapnel Slide: Private Young writes a letter full of irony.

Private Fred Young wrote a letter on February 15, 1916 relating some of his thoughts and experiences as a member of the 18th Battalion, C.E.F. This may well have been the later Sergeant Fred Young who was to become the “poet laureate” for the 18th Battalion after the war. His poetry and efforts as a … Continue reading An Enthusiastic Shrapnel Slide: Private Young writes a letter full of irony.

It is nothing but hell on earth out there, and I know it.: A Letter From Private Blue

In two previous posts the war experience of Private Alexander Blue was reviewed. The first post offered a brief biographical sketch written in pen in long-hand and was part of the Kincardine, Ontario Royal Canadian Legion’s archives. The second post offered, from the same source, letters of assurance from a casualty clearing station immediately after … Continue reading It is nothing but hell on earth out there, and I know it.: A Letter From Private Blue

Somewhere in Flanders: A letter from Captain Samuel Monteith Loghrin

This letter was written in the trenches in Flanders. The 18th Battalion had been at RIDGEWOOD in Brigade Reserve up until January 15, 1916 when it relieved the 19th Canadian Battalion at VIERSTRAAT. On the 16th of January a compatriot, Lieutenant Ambery was promoted to Captain that day but Major Sale was killed by rifle … Continue reading Somewhere in Flanders: A letter from Captain Samuel Monteith Loghrin

“I hope only I get about half a dozen of the “Huns” before they get me.”

A letter written by Pte. Sydney Hampton to his family 99 years ago, almost to the date, is illuminating. The 18th Battalion is in England training and in a month will embark for Flanders. Pte. Hampton letter illuminates and illustrates the attitudes of a Canadian solder at this time. It is interesting as from the … Continue reading “I hope only I get about half a dozen of the “Huns” before they get me.”