Monthly Archives

August 1916

The Hun is on the downgrade

August 24, 1916


24th August, 1916.

My dear Mother,

I am still a tourist, and enjoying it. We have seen some more of France. it’s a splendid country and very fertile. It is worked in little garden-like farms in an old fashioned manner, but they grow everything. There seems to be more wheat than anything else.

Fruit trees are planted along the roads in places as if they belong to the traveling public.

A chum and I went for a days ride on bikes along a fine valley. It’s farmed all the way and towns which are so close together they have to put hyphens in the names of pairs of them. It’s all open country – no fences except an odd one right in the villages and there are a good many hedges but they are only for yards about houses. the towns are in the valleys and the farms on the slopes. They plow as soon as the harvest is finished for fallow.

We get English papers one day old pretty often and see descriptions of affairs we have had a hand in. our papers give true news. They have nothing to hide being British. The Hun is on the downgrade. It may take some time to finish him up. He is a very poor last in the air. His trench fighting is second class and so is his artillery and his old fleet – well, I haven’t seen it in action or otherwise, but it seems second too. His artillery is the best of him. He will use long distance fighting machines then when it comes to hand-to-hand work, throws in the sponge. He is only a cad at best or worst. We see a good many prisoners whenever there is any fighting. It is wonderful the way our fellows have dug them out of the earth. Our artillery is wonderful. It’s impossible to describe it but when it lets itself loose the air sounds as if it is full of express trains that collide when they hit the ground. One of our boys says there are so many in the air at one time two more were let loose the whole lot would jam in mid air.

Gordon Low got injured in both legs. He is getting along well, but is crippled.

Love to all, STID.

Lost some of our chums

August 10, 1916
Letter from Stid France 1917


10th August, 1916

Dear Mother,

I am still sailing along well. Have seen a little more of France. The people are harvesting now in many places. There are some reapers and binders about but they do a lot with scythe. Many of the crops are self-sown but they will reap very well. There is much wheat that looks like Federation only it grows much higher. Some plows are horse worked, threshers about as big as a winnower. Women and old men are doing the work – and the youngsters.

All the timber about has been planted in rows. Fruit trees are growing along the road in some places. It has been pretty warm lately, a muggy heat that is pretty distressing to work in, but it’s cool at night – too cool to sleep without blankets and we have none. One great coat is on our bed plus the clothes we have on and a waterproof sheet.

When we can we get straw and make a bed. It’s plentiful – so are sheds, barns and stables etc. There are few horses about. They are probably in use for war purposes.

Rabbits are kept in cages and bred like fowls. We see a few hares running around. We shot a few and cooked them. They are good for a change. I have seen some of our chaps get quail and partridge.

I met G. Low recently. He has been wounded in the eyes. G. Irons, Lockhart was killed by a shell, hit in the head on the 27th of July. Poor boy’s body was buried decently by his chums Frank Crane, (our old mail was injured in the same action, but not badly. (Poziers ??)

I saw W. Davies, Lockhart. He is OK.

We got into a big push for a while and succeeded well, but lost some of our chums. 10 signallers got wounded and sent away, none killed.

We are back spelling for awhile now and probably won’t get into action for awhile.

Love to all, Stid