Sunday evening, July 7, 1918
Am on duty at the near section for twenty-four hours and want to write some letters tonight. I am laying out on my great coat behind the exchange enjoying the beauty of a perfect summer evening. Away to one of our flanks there is a bit of a bombardment on but out in front everything is very quiet. It is one of those ideal summer evenings on which one feels like living and an evening on which the longing for the old life before the war comes home to a fellow more strongly than usual. I can picture it in the imagination - the old home as it will be tonight - everything peaceful, the sun setting across the bay, a scene of beauty which cannot be surpassed anywhere. During the last two years and a half I have seen some of the world's famous beauty spots, Sussex with its profusion of roses, Berkshire with its rolling downs and picturesque capsules, the environs of Paris with its magnificent parks, but best of all Scotland with its lowlands and the wild, rugged beauty of its highlands where the rough precipitous crags shelter shady glens and peaceful lochs. I shall never forget the hour I spent lounging in a motor boat on the bosom of Loch Lomond drinking in with eager eyes its gorgeous beauty, the Loch itself dotted with verdant islands while on every side the rocky highlands rising in many places sheer from the water's edge with in the distance the snow peak of Ben Lomond towering
majestically to the skies, rocky fortresses holding of the Loch with all its splendor in their close silent embrace. It was a scene not easily forgotten yet no more beautiful than the sunset scene at home for after all "be it ever so humble there is no place like home".
Have done quite a bit of reading lately. While out in the woods I took full advantage of the Y library and managed to get through a number of good books, Conan Doyle's "White Company" Gilbert Parker's "Battle of the Strong", Baroness Orizy's "Beau Brocade" and "The Elusive Pimpernel", "Barriers Between" by Charles Garvis "Smoke Belleu?" by Jack London a couple of William Le LeQueen's diplomatic yarns and am now reading "The Broken Eagle" by Orezy. Not doing too bad am I in that line. We have had no Canadian letter mail since the 21st but are expecting one tomorrow. There were a few parcels today. I received one from Clemmie so there must be mail down the line somewhere.
We have a very good position here and while things keep as quiet as they are having good time. We do twenty-four hours on and twenty-four off but our twenty-four here at rear and on the exchange in the main battery forward are pretty easy. We can get a good part of our night's sleep on each. At O. P. we can get some sleep also but I usually stay awake most of the night for when not on the phone down below I usually go up to the O.P. and keep the officer or observer whichever happens to be on
duty watching, company. It is a rather lonesome job alone and they are glad of the company though with someone to talk to it is rather interesting work, watching the display of fireworks which one can see at almost anytime along the front, and spotting the flashes of enemy batteries firing. At intervals one of us will go down to the dugout for a skin of heat by the fire and probably play a game of cribbage with the man on duty on the phone to pass the time. So the night passes quickly and we never feel the loss of the night's sleep. Snatch a couple of hours in the morning to make it up. Having trained ourselves to sleep at any time of day, whenever most convenient, we can miss a night in four without ever knowing it and can easily stay awake for thirty six hours without feeling sleepy.
Now I must say good night as I want to write to Clemmie. Hope tomorrow will bring a mail. Will is write you again in a few days. All well. I am as usual fine.
Love to all from, Harold