Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: August 19th 1918
To
Janet
From
Jack
Letter

Ontario Military Hospital

Orpington

Kent. Eng.

19/8/18

 

My own darling Wife-

 

This is just a few lines to let you know where I am & how I am getting on, as you will see by the above address I am back in Blighty again & this is a fine Hospital with nice long cool wards & everything is so nice & clean & comfortable that it is like a bit of Heaven after what I have been through. I have been here six days now & since I got wounded I have had three operations but I am getting on fine now & the Dr says that he will be able to stitch my back up in a couple of weeks, which is good news to me as I will probably be allowed up by that time, it is getting awfully wearisome lying in bed all the time, there is one thing about this wound that sounds good to me & that is, I will never be able to carry a pack again which means that I am no longer any use to the army & the Sister was telling me this morning that I will be sent back to Canada, she is perfectly certain about it, as she says no board could ever pass me for duty again with the back I have got, she says if the wound had been any deeper I would have had no back left, & the doctor was telling me that I am mighty lucky to be alive as there was hardly a hairs breadth between me & death, he cant understand how the spine was missed, I remember when I was hit & I regained consciousness that I thought I was paralysed as it was quite a long time before I was able to move any part of my body & when I started to crawl out of the trench to look for help I could only drag myself a few paces, luckily I was found & put on a stretcher & the jolting knocked me unconscious again. I sure thought my number was up that time, I don’t think I told you how it all happened, so I might as well tell you now, we had advanced about four miles & had reached our objective, my platoon was in a German trench by itself just in front of a captured battery of big guns & we had started to collect all the enemies stores when a shell came over & landed right on the edge of the trench we all started to take cover when I saw that one of the boys was hit & I & the officer ran over to him but we could not move him as he was hit in the leg & an artery was cut so we started in to bandage him up, I had just opened up my field dressing & was handing it to the officer when bang, I got it, when I came to I was on my knees with my head on the ground & the blood was running all over me, I thought it was all up & I remember saying good bye to the officer & telling him I would be all through in a few minutes, he said to me, “it is too bad Mc, I will write & tell your wife,” & just as he said that another shell came over & killed him, but just grazed my head & right leg & made me bleed worse than ever, I then lost my senses again & when I came to, the trench was like a shambles, I think there was 14 or 15 killed or wounded there, but I could not count them, however, thank God, I got out of it, but it was Hell getting out, the Ambulances & stretchers jolted so much it was perfect agony. At last we got to a Red Cross train which was much easier travelling, we went to a place called Abbeville to an Australian Hospital, where I wrote to you, I was operated on there & in a couple of days was put in the train again for Boulonge where we got the Hospital boat & landed at Dover & then came on here in another Hospital train, & I can tell you I was real glad to arrive some place where I would not have to be moved any more, I have had two operations here & am now getting on fine, the next thing will be to get stitched up, after which I will soon get well & strong again. I do hope they will send me back to Canada, they might as well as I know I will never be any good to the Army again, but if they do send me back it would be five or six months yet before I would get away, however it will be something to look forward to & I don’t mind waiting so long as it come through. Now Dear love, I think this is all I have to say just now, I don’t feel just strong enough yet to write a very long letter, but I will write again very soon & keep you posted as to how I get along, I am looking forward to getting a letter from you soon as it is a long time now since I heard from you, I hope you are all all right, give my darlings a big love & kisses from Daddy & tell them that I hope it wont be long now before I am home again & then our troubles will all be over, So keep up your Heart dear & look forward with me to that happy Home coming & pray God we may not be disappointed this time, So with all my love to you my darling I remain

As ever Your own loving

Husband.

Jack.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

I had collected some dandy German souvenirs but unfortunately, I had to leave them behind, all I got away with was a watch, but it is a good one. J.

Original Scans

Original Scans