W.J. Stares. 59907.
21st Canadian Battalion
2nd C.E.F. 4th Brigade.
British Expeditionary Force
Army Post Office
Sept 25th 1915
Somewhere in France,
Dear Mr. Irwin.
Received your cheering letter this morning, I am writing this in the trenches, which we entered on. We have been heavily bombarded every day with practically no casualities at present. Souverniers are very plentiful in the way of pieces of shrapnel & shells. We are about 350 yds from the German trenches, and a little piece to our left, they say only 40 yds between
Received word yesterday that Brother Charley has been admitted to hospital at Havre. No word as to nature of wounds. All the Boys are feeling fine and standing there first baptism like old Veterans. The Boys make fun of me ducking my head so much, but I said it is a habit we all have to get use to. I am at present, Battalion Sniper, and our Boys have been very successful in bringing down the German Snipers from trees into the wire entanglements. Airoplane fight are a common occurrence, and we take little notice of them now seeing so many. It has been raining here yesterday and to day and we are encased in mud the trenches being in an awfull state. The Germans must be worst as they are down in a hollow and get the drainage from us and the hill behind them. Food is plentiful, and tobacco inexhaustible. I have in my possession at present over a pound and a half, and still more is coming. 21 seems to be a favourite number with me. 21st Battalion, entered trenches
The Bay I am in is the 21st. Glad to hear that Tommy Robus is well again and ready for another smack at the Germans. Yesterday we went on a hunt for a Sniper who is doing some damage behind our lines, but sorry to say without success, anyhow we shall get him yet with a little patience. There is nothing but Ruins in this part of the country. Towns, Villages, and Farmhouses nothing but a heap of bricks and mortar. There is a church here with a little tower, and the only thing left is the clock. How it stands I don’t know. I am feeling good under the wet circumstances, and with plenty of news from home. Keeps me busy writing when I am not ducking my head.
Remember me to all the Kind friends at Norwood. The Register came yesterday and read with much interest the Recruiting scheme- and fancy you being a weilder of the Baton. An understudy of Sousa I imagine.- Success to the Boy Scouts under your tender care. Would like to give them a few pointers in the game. Expect to get relieved tonight or tomorrow for a week rest. We shall need the whole week to clean ourselves up. Will write at every opportunity. Will close for the time.
Hoping You & Family are enjoying the Best of Health.