From Norman McIntosh.
France, June 13, 1915.
As this is Sunday afternoon I am dropping you a few lines although there is little news to tell.
Four months ago to-day we landed in France, and I have seen a lot of funny sights, and many very sad ones also. We are soon to enter into another big battle in an attempt to take a certain large city; if we are successful it will mean a turning point in favor of the Allies. The intention is to rush things as much as possible while the weather is fine, because if the Germans hold us back until they get their crops off it will mean another year's war at least - and NONE of us want that on a bet. You cannot begin to realize the methods we are using to try to start the Germans off on the run. They seem to be there to stay. Their infantry trenches are just like palaces furnished just like home. They have cement walls three or more feet thick on the outside and bricked on the inside. It is these big walls that our heavy guns are trying to and partly succeeding in breaking down every day.
Whenever we do make a break, they try to repair and in many cases succeed in rebuilding.
It will soon be a year since I have been away and if they don't hurry up and finish those 'Dutchmen' in the next couple of months, I am afraid I will be here another year or two. Some papers here say that the Germans will quit all of a sudden, while others claim that the high and mighty Kaiser is going to fight to the last man and that Germany is well prepared for another year of war. We are trying to make ourselves believe that 'quit of a sudden fellow' is right, but I'd rather put my money on the other fellow. I am now going to tell you a story that we got from a source that is fairly reliable. The Winnipeg Rifles men captured some Germans and put them in a dug-out with a guard on the door. The Canadians were getting breakfast ready when one German asked for his breakfast. The Canadian asked how many Germans were in there. 'Five of us,' answered the German. 'Well, take this and divide it up among you.' THIS was a bomb - just some mud and smoke and no more Germans.
We have had a lot of sickness in our Battery and I fear there will be more. Last night twelve of our men went up to our forward trenches to help the engineers build a bridge for our guns to cross on. Ted Raymond was one of them. They told me that while digging a hole their shovels struck something soft. It was dead bodies buried just beneath the surface. The smell was something terrible. Along with that and the hot weather here - and they tell me it gets dreadfully hot in summer - it will be hard to avoid disease but I hope we will all keep well - for my part, I was never feeling better. I had a very nice letter from Miss Haig of Toronto.
Just now, while I am writing this a big battle is raging about two miles away. The Red Cross ambulances are busy carrying in the wounded. But the Germans have not found the location of our Battery, so we are safe for the present.
Ace White is back from the hospital, but he is sick again. Roy Crosgrey has been sick also and Frank Love is back from the hospital. He was only there a couple of days. I left last night with the rest of the boys to move our guns and did not get back until five in the morning. We don't mind being up all night here. Well, that is all for now.