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Date: November 16th 1916


In a Chatty Letter Frank Teague Mentions Having Met a Number of Old Nanaimoites at the Front.

France, Oct. 23.

Dear P-:

I haven't any news I can tell you; you know what I mean. All I can say is that everything has been a joke for the past two weeks, seeing we haven't been in the shell area but I have seen so many Nanaimo boys in the past few weeks in different battalions, I thought I would mention all I can remember.

Out here it seems good to meet boys you know since they were kids and then people at home are generally glad to know if any person has seen them. I haven't yet got the habit since I've been out here of writing startling letters to newspapers, and this isn't going to be one of that kind; just one to let their people know someone has seen them. Of course where some of them are now, and if they are yet unwounded or alive, I can't say; particularly I mean this for any of those who were with Mr. Leighton's battalion, or the one Albert Hilbert and other Nanaimo boys were in, and also the one that left Comox. They [?] in the division numbers [?] than ours, and as you know, [?] out long after we did.

In our own battalion we have more Nanaimo boys, been coming in occasionally during the past few weeks. I heard Frank Shepherd is in one of the companies, and in our company is one of the Vozza boys. Under very funny circumstances I came up against Billy Martin (Charlie Martin's eldest son) and next day saw young Hillier, who used to work at the Union Brewery. I saw Sergt. Bert Shaw the latter part of August; he is still with the Medical Corps. And about the same time the - division came up and I saw and spoke to Jimmy Pender and George Hunter for a few minutes. This was at the place which the Canadians will always be connected with. I heard then the Caldwell boys and King Cavalsky were with the same battalion, but didn't see them. Just two weeks ago I saw J. Pender again, he was looking well then, and I wished him luck. At the same time in the "big push zone," a young fellow whose name I couldn't recollect though I remembered his face, spoke to me as we passed along. I think it was Johnny McMillan's brother. Further along the road, in the transport of the - battalion, I recognized another Nanaimo face, I think it was Williams, who, if I remember right lived on Kennedy street, and that reminded me the other boy (they called him 'Nig') joined our No. 1 company not more than five days ago. The same time as I saw these fellows I called to the billets of the - Battalion to see if I could see any one I knew, and there I saw Frank Morgan, looking fine and well, and talked with him for over an hour. He and I then went around to the billets of B.C.'s first battalion (they happened to be there at the time) and we saw Charlie Stevens and Barnes of the Band, and the younger Dendoff, who however is not in that unit. Mesher who has sergeant's stripes in the Red Cross, was also close by. Although I did not get to see the battalion A. Hilbert is in, I understand that there are a good many Nanaimo boys in it. Then the next ones I came across were Billy and George Waddington, both looking well as usual. I was sorry to hear Arthur had been injured again. If any man has done his bit, it's Arthur Waddington. I wasn't quite through with meeting old faces, for only two days ago I was going along the road with a small party when someone hailed me and I turned round and saw Ed Bennett. We went along together for some time and then he had to go ahead and catch up his party. I think that is about all the boys I've seen. Malcolm, who used to work at the Union Bank, is in No. 1 Company, also J. McMillan, J. Aitken and Rex Bryant, and H. Whiteside in the band, and of course I often see them, Malcolm's brother has been wounded four times. He has the three gold stripes on his arm now, so will have to put up another when he recovers. I don't think he ever lived at Nanaimo, at least I can't remember seeing him there.

All Nanaimo boys I've seen were looking good and fit. Oh yes, there are some more; I forgot about them before. Ted Harrison and W. Bryant passed us one day a few weeks ago and the eldest of the Gowland boys I've come across several times, and I just heard a few days ago he came through the hot stuff O.K., where the biggest fighting is going on.
I have not been lucky enough to come across Mr. Leighton. That's all the information I can give about the Nanaimo boys I've been pretty fortunate myself, and beyond the slight hit I got in June, I haven't been touched by anything more than deluges and showers of earth from the shells, and occasional bits of shrapnel. Have gone through the same stuff as the rest of the boys in the battalion, had the same thrills and scares and hair raising escapes as the others, not to mention the hundred and one other things a fellow encounters and has to put up with out here.

Speaking of the various branches of the service when giving accounts of battles in the English press, the great British war correspondents say all are splendid but the artillery are the most wonder. There's no getting away from it, the artillery has and is doing wonderful work, but I don't see how anyone who has seen all the branches of the service in action can help but hand it to the infantry for wonderful work .I think theirs is the worst of all work, and the way they do it without flinching is nothing short of wonderful. I can't give you any idea here of it, you have to see everything here to fully realize the whole business.

Well, I'll have to stop now as there is really no news to tell you. Best regards to all and hoping you are feeling in the best of health, and love to all at home.

Your loving brother FRANK.