A letter[i] written by Private David Aikin reg. no. 880497, of the 186th Overseas Battalion[ii], gives wonderful insight into the process involved for soldiers of the reinforcing battalions of the C.E.F. being transported from Canada to England. The letter shares the travels of a soldier from Canada to England at the start of 1917. The … Continue reading Going Overseas…
“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
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.
4th Canadian Infantry Brigade Order No. 142 outlined the details of a raid on the German lines in detail. The order specifically directs the Battalion in the intention and actions during the raid and was an important preparatory step for the Battalion, and the other Battalions of the Brigade for the attach on Hill 70 … Continue reading The Raid at Hill 70
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