LETTERS FROM AT THE FRONT. (IN FRANCE)
Lieut. VICTOR LAPP Writes
In writing to his mother, Mrs W.N.Lapp, The Gulley, Lieut. Victor Lapp says:
I have a few minutes to spare before I go out to inspect the men's huts, the cookhouse, etc. I am still at the wagon line, quite the longest tour of duty I have ever had with that end of the battery. Just now I am O.C. wagon line, as our captain has gone on leave and we are rather short of officers. I am all alone here. I am not fond of this work but there is one greatcompensation. I have some spanking rides on the charters. We have some lovely riding horses and I am quite at home with them.
The other day the Captain had to go and see the General regarding an appointment and I went along. The General was busy when we arrived and so he asked us to remain for tea. He is a fine gentlemanly soldier, a good combination, when a man is a true gentleman and a true soldier.
Of course you will have read the good news long before reading this. It has done a great deal for all of us - bucked us up immensely. It will have a corresponding depressing effect on the Hun. Sometimes I rather expect to wake up and find the whole thing a great nightmare.
There is not very much leave going this summer. Only those who have been out a very long time are getting it. It is about the one thing that every person looks for-ward to, especially those who have homes in the British Isles. As one fellow said, it would not be so bad if we could sleep at home every night.
We seldom have thunderstorms here but the other day we had quite a violent one and a flash of lightning set an observation baloon on fire, apparently no person happened to be in it. When they are sometimes set on fire by German airplains, the occupants jump out and come down by parachutes. I saw a fellow jump one time and his parachute failed to open. He was a long distance off from where we were but undoubtedly he would be killed. Such is war.
In a letter to a friend; Lieut Lapp says:
This is one of those drowsy summer days when we are not irritating Fritz too much and he is behaving quite decently for a Hun. He must feel a bit spiteful though, because on our particular front, we have just recently had a miniature war and have taken some important positions from him and incidentally some three hundred prisoners. About a week ago a German came wandering into our lines and ran into a Major. The Major said, 'Here's another Hun' - The Hun promptly replied in excellent English, 'I am not a Hun, I am an Alsatian.' He said that in his company there were 24 more Alsatians who wanted to come over. I think we should put a sign in front of our trenches, notifying those interested when it would be most convenient to have them call.
At Vimy, the Canadians after the capture of the Ridge put up a sign, so many guns captured, so many prisoners, 'Poor old Hun.' The Hun soon spotted it and blew it to pieces.
We had a number of Americans attached to our battery for instructional purposes. The first two were signallers and I took them with me up to the O.P. It was quite refreshing to hear them, because, it was quite a new experience for them they were intensely interested in everything. They were especially anxious to see a Boche in his own lines but although I took them out to a shell hole in advance of the O.P. Fritz was not on exhibition. They were very nice fellows, not a bit of the blow hard variety. I have seen quite a number of them and they are fine looking troops, much the same style as the Canadians. I am sure they will make excellent soldiers. I saw a copy of a German official report on some American prisoners which they had captured and they evidently were impressed by their spirit and physique. They said the American's attitude was to kill or be killed.
Just now we are in a position where those who sowed shall not reap but 'it's an ill wind; etc.' holds good here because we are having some excellent new potatoes and so we are all living high.