“…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