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Date: May 17th 1918
Arthur E.Smith

Pte. Arthur E. Smith, son of Mr. J.F. Smith, Hamilton Township, sent to his father the following graphic desrcription, which also appeared in the Daily Mail of "THE ROAD" in France which all our boys travel who go on the great adventure into the maelstrom of war:

I call it 'the road' because all roads to the front are the same, To begin with, being French roads, they are straight, You see then running up and down for miles ahead of you, like the one in Mr., Nevinson's picture of the front.

Next they are hard and smooth. The British army sees to that. Steam rollers from all parts of England meet upon them. You pass now a group of turbaned Indians working at them, after that a band of smiling sturdy Chinese. You may see in the same hour Arabs and Nubians, natives of Senegal and Ceylon. Their dress supplies, in the gray northern winter landscape, welcome touches of color. The Gorgeous East, you would say, must have been ransacked for road menders.

On all roads to the front are the same strings of motor lorries; the same horsemen to whose kindly English faces the steel helmet lends a quality of sternness; the same bodies of infantry, perhaps bound for the baths with towels on their shoulders, perhaps with picks and spades, or maybe in full marching order, with all their goods and chattels slung around them on their way to and from the line. The same games of football being played in fields alongside, the same well turned out young officers taking exercise on well groomed horses, the same fast staff cars speeding on errands that admit of no delay. And then bordering all roads to the front are identical settlements of wooden or tin huts; identical headquarters of this, of that, or the other unit, lying back a little, with perhaps an attempt at a garden: villages whose only in- habitants seem to be British soldiers, for whose benefit the Cottage windows display notices such as 'Eggs and Chips' evidently a favorite dish, 'Stout and Pale Ale' 'Washing done Here', or sometimes more ambitious efforts like this which I saw 'Compare our prices, everything reasonable.'