Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: June 4th 1915
Douglas McIntosh
Norman McIntosh

Mr. Norman McIntosh writes to his brother Mr. Douglas McIntosh, from Belgium under date of May 5th, as follows:

Dear Brother:
This is Wednesday evening and things are getting quieter here now, but we do not think it will be long this way. We expect another call from the Germans soon, I just this minute receive the writing paper and tobacco and gum from home and you bet I was glad to get them, and some of the boys was just as glad as I was, When I opened it they asked how much I would take for a pack or two, but it had to be credit until pay day. So that settled it right away. I am giving Frank Love and Roy Crosgrey each a pack. I received your papers last night and mother's two letters the night before, so I got a lot of mail. I am glad that you are all well as this leaves me in the pink of condition. We have nothing much to do in the daytime but to lay around and take care of our horses, but we always have to be on the job for fear we get a quick call to move our guns or take them out of action. You ought to see a couple of our guns. One is broken to pieces and left just where a gun or shell struck it. It is of no use for anything anymore. You would not believe how those Germans can shoot with artillery. We cannot get out of their way, they can drop a shell any place they want to. I wish I could mention the names of the cities in Belgium that they have shelled to pieces. A couple of our boys went down to a large city yesterday about a mile away. They said it was awful - dead men, dead horses, and churches and other buildings knocked to pieces. They told me it was hard to get along the road in some places as it was blocked with ruins. You see the names of the cities in the papers every day.

Our officers are getting more strict. This country is full of spies, I saw the men and a woman yesterday pass by to be shot, and to-day they were shot all of them. They signal to the Germans in different ways where our battalions are situated and then we catch it. You will see in the letters I wrote to mother how many were killed and wounded, and it has just begun. Other Batteries have suffered worse than we have. The battery I was with in Salisbury Plain had 50 casualties. Fellows I knew well all gone. Sometimes I cannot believe it. When the big shells begin to come over to us you ought to see us duck. We drop right on our faces. It makes no difference about getting muddy. Tell mother to watch in the papers for casualties of Canadians, but not for me because I am not going to get hit at all. I cannot mention names, but you know the man who used to run the Singer Sewing Machine office, well his son Calvin (You know the other name) was reported killed in an English paper I saw. You will see all the names of the Canadians and it will surprise you but I think it will soon be over, I mean the war. I think the Huns are getting fed up on English, French and Belgian shells. The Allies sure handed them some hot stuff to swallow.
I sent you cards a couple of weeks ago, and I have written two letters this week to mother. She ought to get them before you receive this.
The weather is getting warmer now. They tell us that in a week or two we will be nearly cooked with heat. Well we can stand a lot of that before we get warmed through.
With love to all,