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Date: June 23rd 1916
T.H. Rowe
H.E. Barnes


The following letter was recently received by Mr. T.H. Rowe, Campbellford, from Pte. H.E. Barnes, who is serving with the British cavalry "Somewhere in France."

"We are getting on as well with the war as can be expected under the circumstances. We are very busy and by the looks of things we shall be at it this time next year. The enemy keeps bringing up reinforcements in- to the field; where they come from I do not know. They seem to come like the pest you have in Canada, the army worm. You may kill them by thousands but still they come. There are hundreds of them going under every day but they do not seem to get any less. The enemy have men here who are sixty or seventy years of age and some who are mere youngsters; but it is not their choice to fight; in the German army they are forced to do so, and I feel very sorry for them; but it is no use as their murderous schemes toward the British army are thrashed into them before they go on the battlefield, and if they turn their heads or attempt to go back their own officers shoot them down. I am in the trenches now and we are getting better weather, but the mud in some places is up to our knees, but we do not mind it as long as it does not freeze and we know that warm weather is not far off. We have now a front line of 100 miles under British control. This will give you an idea of what war means, providing we lose one man per mile a day, which is the least we can count on. I was out to the front lines of trenches one night and about twelve o'clock I left my trench and took a walk around in the dark. Of course I took a big chance on my life. I went into a little village, the name I dare not tell you, and I walked across the market square and came across a graveyard. What I read upon the crosses made me wish I could get a chance to cut the whole German army to pieces with my sword. It said: "Here lie the bodies of 97 women and children who were molested and brutally murdered by the Germans." I turned away in disgust to think that we had such murderous people living in this world. It was once a pretty French village but now a mass of ruins and even the graveyard is being shelled and those bodies are blown out of the ground. I would not blame the Belgian or French armies if they do the same if they ever got on German soil; but they will not as they are civilized which the Germans are not. I am longing for the time when this war will be over and I am able to come back and see you all again, but our life is so uncertain here I may never be able to do so. I have got used to fighting and I go into battle feeling that I am as good a man as any German I may meet and do not think of anything else but coming out best man. So good-bye and best wishes to you all, from