Interesting letter from Mr. Norman McIntosh
Following is an interesting letter from Norman McIntosh, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex McIntosh, Division Street:
France March 3
Just a few lines to let you know that we are all in the best of health and doing fine. The only thing I can complain of is that I am troubled with chillblains on my feet - better than having 'cold feet' anyway. We are always on the move here and are now getting well up into the country. I get the local papers occasionally and they are a treat for the boys. They all want to see the paper. I could write oftener, but writing paper is a luxury here. When we do get it, there is no place to keep in without getting damaged or wet, and the envelopes stick together.
Well, I may as well tell you (if the censor don't strike t out) that we have seen real warfare and although I do not wish to toot my horn, I will say that our section has the best of this battalion to put a gun in action, and in which three of us from Cobourg had the honor. This happened on March 1st at midnight. The boys from Cobourg were: Gr. Roy Crosgrey; Driver Chas. McDonnell, and myself. Our sub-section consists of a lieutenant, a sergeant, six gunners and three drivers. You see, we place the guns at night and the firing is mostly done in he daytime, although there is often firing going on at light as well. It was a grand moonlight night when we put our first gun in the trenches, and I will never forget t as long as I live. We started for the firing line with the gun at about 4:30 in the afternoon and placed it in position before midnight so we had quite a ride on horseback. After the gun was in position, we three drivers drove back again to our billets, while the Gunners stayed with their gun and are likely killing some Germans right now. I hope none of our men get hurt. This is a funny war. The way they fight is different from the South African war where they used to have a little scrap one day, and then nothing more for a week or so. Here they are at it all the time. We dig big gun-pits for four guns and trenches for the men. The Gunners are pretty nearly safe for they are practically under cover. Our other section is going to the trenches to-night to relieve the men we took out, but I don't go as they have drivers of their own. Roy Crosgrey should be home to-night, if nothing has happened, so I will hear all the news.
The night I went out, there was not as much firing as usual, but when we got near the trenches, the English officers made us lie down on our horses' backs so as not to be seen.
Our machine guns have been doing a lot of firing lately. A few of the German shots passed over where we were. We could hear the 'whiz' plainly - plain enough, but they were away high. We are billeted in barns about four miles from the firing line. We are a reserve battery, so if they need us, we may be called anytime. We might not be needed for a month or two, but we can't tell - a call might come anytime. The general opinion here is that the war will be over by the first of May, so you can look out for us marching into Cobourg on the 24th of May.
There is hardly any other news that I am permitted to tell except that our Canadian infantry is now at the front too.
We have an awful time over here getting onto French money. It is like Chinese money.
Hoping you are well and all is well with Cobourg. Any Horse Show this year?