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Date: September 12th 1916
Mrs. Mary King


Mrs Mary King (Widow) Has Four Gallant Sons Doing Their Bit For King and Country

Mrs Mary King, 11 Upper Hillsboro Street, City, has received the appended letter from her son, Private Herbert King, who enlisted in Newfoundland with the first Newfoundland Regiment, and went overseas to the front. Mrs. King has also three other sons in the war, namely, John and William, who went with the First Canadian Contingent from St. John, New Brunswick, and Arthur with the 105th. She is a widow. This family have certainly most nobly done their part for our King and country.


Somewhere in France,
September 12, 1916

Dear Mother,

I received your welcome letter to-day, also the box, and you can bet it was a welcome thing to get out here.

Well mother dear, you want me to tell you some of the things I am seeing and through; I would tell you everything, but if I do the censor will take it out; so what is the use of wasting pencil and good paper?

I had a letter from Art; he says he is not stuck on England. He would rather be over here in the trenches, but when he has seen as much as I have, he may not be so anxious to get here, and I have seen nothing compared to what John and Will have seen, who have been here since the war started. I had a letter from John, and he said he had been talking to cousin Bert. Well, they are luckier than I have been, as I have been looking for them ever since I came to France, but could not find them; and now John said they have moved 100 miles further away, so I will hardly ever see them now.

Mother dear, my mind is half on this letter and half on the German shells that are flying over our heads. I don't mind the shells, but when they send over the gas it gets on my nerves. Ask Albert how he would like to be trying to go to sleep in a dugout at night, when a rat as large as a rabbit starts to walk over your body. He will start at your feet, and when he gets to your shoulders and sees the badges, you can hear him say to the rat going over the other chap next to you: "Oh, these fellows are Newfoundland boys, let us beat it," and away they run. Then you can get a chance to have a sleep.

Art said that they were inspected by a general a few days ago. The general said they were the finest lot of men he had ever seen.

The 105th has got to go some if they are better than Newfoundland boys and officers. You can lead them anywhere, but you can't force them. The people of Newfoundland must be horrified at the loss of so many of her brave sons. Good old Newfoundland, she is doing her bit as well as the best of them, don't you think so?

You asked me if you could send some papers. Well, mother, if you can find a paper with peace declared in it that will be the most welcome one; but by the look of things I expect the war will last another year. The Canadians are sending over so many men that they must be expecting it to last some time yet.

I am not worrying about myself, mother, it is John and the rest of them. There are four of us here now and we may not see each other again. Dear mother, do not worry too much; if I fall you will know I did my best. No man can do any more, but I trust Almighty God will spare us to return to you again.

I remain your loving soldier boy.