Nov 12th, 1915
We have moved again and arrived here on the 8th – Monday. We are billeted in a big factory here and it’s the warmest billet we have had yet. There are big dyeing vats in the buildings in which the whole battalion bathes. It was about time some of us got a bath. The only thing wrong is that it smells close and stuffy in here after being in fresher air.
We have been transferred to another division and got a great speech from our old Brig.-Gen. on leaving. I hope we get as good a man where we are going and I also hope that the Universities reinforcements will be able to carry on the record of the old P.P’s.
I saw in a French paper that at the last part of the trenches we were in our saps had been blown up and part of the German trench destroyed and their mining operations stopped. This was by French Engineers. When we were on sentry at night we could hear the Germans working below us and I suppose they could hear our men. Our miners used an enlarged kind of stethoscope to estimate the Germans’ progress.
I have had to write letters to the relatives of a man from my section who was killed some time ago. It was not an easy job but it had to be done.
We have had no further word from Bill Moyle after the Chaplain’s letter saying he was less hurt than they had thought. The other wounded man from my section – Ferguson is not getting on so well.
The Alberta men are all well except Harris Brighton. He is all right just now but I don’t think he is strong enough. Poor Harris has been in the hospital quite a bit with rheumatism and is quite often on the sick parade. Of course to get any medicine or salve you have to go on the sick parade.
I am starting again. We are likely to stay here for some time, I think. We haven’t done much except C.O.’s parades so far.
We had snow yesterday and again today. There is some of it left yet but it is melting and the ground is wet and slushy.
Has Rob given up Architecture altogether that he is starting in Arts this year? Bill Moyle will be another absentee this year.
I am starting again on the 17th – Wednesday. Your letter of the 23rd Oct. and the parcel came in this afternoon. Thanks very much for everything. The things to eat didn’t last very long, I can assure you, but were certainly appreciated.
I am afraid my letters are very uninteresting but please remember I can’t say anything about the troops we see here, where they have come from, or where they are going. If a letter is posted in the ordinary way it is read by one of our officers and if posted in a green envelope is liable to be opened at the base.
I see by the casualty lists that Garfield McConnel has been killed and Sam Anderson’s brother wounded. Of course you knew long ago that Jock Parker of the University had died, after being brought down in the German lines. Did you know that after he died a German aviator flew over our lines and dropped a note giving us all the particulars? It was rather decent of him, wasn’t it?
I see it’s Jim’s lettering on the parcel. I would ask him to write to me but I am ashamed to when I’m not even answering those who write to me now.
Congratulate Father on his L.L.D. I suppose it will help in his job as Judge of the Children’s Court.
I am not sure of our Brigade and Division yet. The address below will always reach me. I will have to close now but will try to write to Tina and Helen later.
Your loving son
L/C A. R. McQueen
McG 62, No. 4 Coy.,