Interesting Letter From Major Beattie.
Biddulph Grange, Congleton, Jan. 17, 1916. Major (Rev.) William Beattie, Chaplain of the 2nd Canadian Division at the front, has written Rev. Mr. Horne as follows:
I have, as you will see by this letter paper, been granted leave of absence and am with my family. It came quite unexpectedly. I got notice about 10 p.m. Sunday, the 10th, and left 5 a.m. Monday getting here 9 P.M. the same day. I leave again tomorrow for France.
I found Mrs. Beattie and the children very well, indeed, and tremendously excited over my sudden homecoming.
I have little news of the affairs at the front that I am at liberty to give you. Things are very much at a stand- still. Either side may take a bit of the first line of trenches at any time but it is a very questionable victory as the opposing artillery can make it untenable in a very few minutes. One cannot hold a position long if tons of high explosive shells are being poured upon it.
Did I tell you in my last letter about our New Year Communion behind the trenches, about two and a half miles. We received into membership a fine group of young men. It was splendid to see them come forward in the presence of their comrades and take upon themselves the vow, receive the right hand of fellowship and take the Sacrament. Many a fellow has courage to face shot and shell who lacks courage to do what those fine fellows did.
I had the pleasure of finding VERNON LORD, son of Rev. C.S. Lord, formerly of Grafton, one Sunday recently. It is a good illustration of the difficulty of finding men here. He has been billeted one-half mile from me on a main thorough-fare, past which I go often. I have also given them all church services they have been able to arrange since going to France, but we never met until quite recently. He is a fine type and worthy representative of the manse. Give my regards to all my dear people.
Yours very sincerely,