My Dear Betty:
I received you letter No 5 last eve in which you tell of Smalley’s invitation – I guess I have already answered it, after reading your letter Pryor & I went for a ramble over another part of the battlefield, & we saw still more awfull sights than hithertoo – I would not be exaggerating if I said that we saw scores of unburried Germans in battered trenches & arround shell-holes, here & there what had been a French soldier & sometimes we would come across one of our own Canadian boys – when we found any remains that looked like a Canadian, we would bury them as well as we could – for there are all kinds of picks & shovels etc, lying around – I came across one of our boys – decomposed beyond all recognition of course but he lay just as he had fallen – the head was missing – but all the accoutriments was buckled on, his rifle & helmet lay close by – I cut the buckle off the belt as a momento, & we burried what remained of him – I tried to find something by which he might be identified but it was impossible – poor boy - in some far away home in Canada some-one is mourning the loss of husband – son or sweetheart - & the saddest of all is, they will never know how he died – or where he is burried, & even now they may be clinging to the hope, that he is still alive, a prisoner, for he would be listed among the missing. Talk about the “glory of war” there is no glory, it is hellish devilish. We saw places too where the trenches & ground arround was literally bloodsoaked & here & there shell holes with blood & water still standing in them. I must close this letter now, will write as often as possible. I have written to Rose & also the Bank about that money.
Love & kisses.
The poppy’s and batchelor’s button are from the battlefield which will be one of the most famous in all British History & upon which, our Canadian boys by their heroic achievements have woven garlands of immortal glory round the name of Canada, bright & imperishable. The little golden coloured plant grows on walls etc & I plucked it from the broken grey wall of a shell shattered & century old church – you will be reminded again of Tennyson’s – “Flower in the crannied nook” The red cloth or band is trimming, which I picked last evening from the clothing grey uniform on the decaying body of a German soldier.