France March 19/18
Dear Mr. Irwin
Your letter of Feb 17th receved O.K. was very glad to hear from you indeed
It is rather a hard think to tell you how I won the medal I hardly think the censor will passed but as you are anxious to know I will just take a chance
On the 22nd of August 4am my Unit was attaking the Bush they gained the objective took two lines of trenches then after that about four hours later the Bush was counter attacking my part in this attack was as runner dispatch carrier I, am what you would call the Colonels runner the Colonel never goes out by himself I, am always with him rather beside him in the trenches or out of trenches we are always together I also must tell you that a runner is most the important job there is in the Army, I might be mistaken but that what Sir Douglas Haig & other Generals are saying.
My part in this attack was to run messages from the Colonel to the front line under heavy shell fire & machine gun & rifle fire. I run 3 days & 4 nights with messages with out anything to eat, drink or sleep rations were blown up by the enemy artillery fire and also the bush was counter attacking for 3 days. we captured 200 prisoners I also got valuable information from some prisoners.
I guess you have seen in the Paper about the attack in front of Lens on the 22nd of Augusts 1917. It was a real success
On my tour to the front line I also done a little bit of sniping I can account for 8 or 9 [?] anyhow and that is the way I won the Military medal!
By the way I forgot to tell you there is 10 runners in a section of a Battallion and out of those ten we lost 7. 5 killed & 2 survived wounded.
A runners life is not worth two pennys in a attack I, am in the trenches at present and enjoying good health. It is rather mudy been raining all morning
Well Mr. Irwin this is about all for just now. hoping this letter will interest you. With best regards for all at home
I did not see Karl yet!
By the way in the same attack there was a Russian Corporal in our Batt engaged he came from Ottawa from the same Batt as I came from he shot 17. bayonettes 5. captured a machine gun single handed, killed 3 of them and captured 2 of them, men belonging to that machine gun then he took a 10 pound of amino tube and blew up a German Machine gun implacements then he got wounded himself he is O.K. now and won the V.C. his name is Cpl F. Konuwal. V.C.