News From Ollie


These are postcards that Ollie sent home to his mother and father.  I have stuck them together back to front.


   



These letters came to me from my cousin John Glen Mowat who took the time to transcribe them all.  This must have taken a great deal of time.



Onboard S.S. “Megantic”.       Feb. 4 1915



Dear Everybody,

  Just have time for a line this morning.  Here we are at Queenstown, Iceland ready to disembark.  We had a lovely voyage over and think of it little Willie was not sea sick.

We traveled all the way over without a light showing & we left the convoy last night at 9 O’clock & beat it in to here at the rate of 20 knots per hour.  Some speed.

  We were met by 17 cruisers and 2 battle ships, some pretty sight.  We’ll never forget it.

Am feeling fit as a fiddle and gained about 10 lbs..  Expect to loose that though.  We had quite a few passengers on board so we had a merry trip.  Don’t know where they are going to send us, but expect it will be in Ireland.

  There is no more news at present, say hello to all my friends.  Please excuse haste

Ollie.





Front line trench    19 – 8 – 15       August 19 1915



Dear Mother –

  Here I am writing you again today from my OP.  Weather delightful today but mud in the trenches remains the same. –

  Received yours of Aug 2nd last night in the first line trenches with five others.  I’m glad you are going to meet Lillas.  Give her a good time for yours truly.  She is a good sport & and gave Ollie a good time in St. John last winter.

  She also know Goog very well, and gave him a good.  Why?  Because he was my brother, at least that’s what she told me.  I hear from her every now & again.

  Now don’t get cross because I gave you an address  of 15 July.  I always get your letters, and have answered every one of them the day I get them, or the next day anyway.  If you just put my rank & name with Artillery on the Address I would get it.  If the war Office knows where I am.  But I just gave you the right address so I would get your mail two or three days sooner.- Yes I got the tobacco & Cigarettes O.K.

  About three weeks ago I wrote & thanked you and Dad & Wian for the contents the day I received same and no doubt your parcel will be waiting for me when I go out to the battery tomorrow.

  So will drop you a line as soon as I get it.-  I know you don’t get all my mail for some of it goes astray.  Just think of the job they have looking after all our (MISSING)  Oh . Yes. You (Missing)  have done down to Inch Ana(M) when  Austin wanted you too,  for then you would met a girl who is at present visiting there from Montreal.  (In fact there are two sisters) and I hear regular once a week from her. – Goog also hears from the other one as often as I do.  See what you missed.  Rather clever of you in reference to the bouy. Eh?  But that was a mere trifle.  Wake up Mother or I will be married when I get home.

  Everything is quiet today as far as our line is concerned.  Must close now & please keep up the writing as I love to get your letters.

Love Ollie.





Frontline line trench                  Aug 18/15    august 18 1915



Dear Mother, Dad & all.

  Just a line to let you know am still kicking and this time at the Mud.-  Has been raining for the last couple of days and our trenches are in a very bad state.  Especially the communication trenches, but the sun is out this afternoon & it will dry up quickly.

  Our heavies have just finished shooting at the Germans and the line is very quiet at the present.  Have a couple more nights here and then I go out for four days.  The mail is just in at the battery & they told me those were five or six letters for me I will get them at 6P.M.  when the orderly comes up.-  I stay where I am at present(that is in my OP.) till six thirty.  I then go down to the front line trenches which is about 80 yards away, and have dinner with the Infantry Officers.  I stay with them till 9:15 after this stand too, and I then go back to the infantry headquarters about 1500 yds back & spend the night there with the Col. of the Batt. Coming up here again in the morning about 9. am.  Unless something is doing. – Then I come up at daylight.  I always have a telephonist with me and am always connected to the battery.  & can open fire at a seconds notice.  So you see we have a lot of  pleasure in this life.

  Must close now & my glasses & have another squint at the Germans lines & try  to get a few of them.  If I can see them.

Love Ollie.





<LOST PIECE>


to start. – I do hope it’s mighty soon, as this waiting is hell.

  Sir F. Borden inspected some of our troops here the other day, but didn’t come near the

artillery, as we are always in action.- He just inspected the Infantry that were out for a rest.

  Orders came down the other day, to fix our horse lines & billets up for the winter weather.  Not very pleasant to look forward to is it.  Eh?- It will be quite awhile before little Ollie tucks his feet under the home table again.

  Best regards to Glen, Babe, Morden, and love to Dad & Yourself

<LOST PIECE>



Ollie’s Letters



Military and Defence, Canada

Fredericton NB   Jan. 28 1914



Dear Mother,

     Have been waiting for a line form you for the last month.  What is the matter.  I got my hockey outfit OK.  Also blue suit.  Had a letter from Googe yesterday & he wants his long pants.  So I suppose I will have to send them to him.  Where is that hamper you were going to send me.  With the turkey & pies & leakes.  Ha!  Ha!

    Well mother I am working very hard.  We sure have a good bunch of men in our battery, and you wouldn’t want to meet any better officers.  “I love the cows & chickens, but this is the life”  Tell Glen I am going to send his music some of these fine days.  I got his letter also babes.  Tell them to duplicate them.  I think you & Father had better run up to Fredericton when you go to St. John you can stay a day here anyway.  What do you say?

    Well I haven’t very much time to write you today.  Am very tired was out to a dance last evening.  I am rooming with Keiter(?) McKay & we have good times together.  He just received his Majority this morning, qualifying him for a field Officer.  Did I tell you I received my certificate from Kingston too.  Did you hear if Bernie McLatetily has received his yet?

    We are having beautiful weather down here at present & are working the battery into shape.  Hope to be able to take a trip home before taking the final plunge.  But I am not sure if I can get away.  If I do I will leave here Saturday night & leave home Monday morning.  That’s all the time I will get.  Please excuse haste.

Your loving son Ollie.

Don’t forget to write…?





Onboard S.S. “Megantic”

(No date, have only page 5 and on)

and will enclose it.  They also gave a cup to the O.C. of the battery winning the most number of points.  The 24th Battery C.E.F. won.  My we were glad.  Some time. I will mark our wins in the program, there were eight different units on board so you see the fight we had.

    I am writing this tonight by Candle light that is all the light we have in our rooms.  And it seems like the olden days.  I can almost see a ghost sitting on the other side of the table.  Ha!  Ha!  But thank the Lord we are not at Sailsbury plains.  This is a beautiful spot & it’s near where the Germans sometimes run in with there submarines & cut up a little.  Oh I didn’t tell you our narrow escape coming from Ireland did I.  Well the tug boat our pilot came out from Liverpool in rammed a german submarine fifteen minutes after we left her.  I think our navy is simply wonderful the way it is guarding the British Isles and everybody ought to be proud of it.  You bet the blue jackets got some cheers from our men when we got into Liverpool.  The pen is not working to perfection you will have to excuse writing as the candle is awfully hard on the eyes, and I am so darn tired I can hardly keep my eyes open.

    I am enclosing a twig of Shamrock I picked from Irish soil with my own hands, it is pretty stale at present, but that’s a mere trifle.

    Some of our boys walked over to Folkestone today & they say it is just full of Belgium people.  You notice all along the line wounded soldiers.

    We didn’t bring any guns or horses over with us for which we were very thankful, for it saved a lot of work, we will get all those here.

    We had a fellow in from Toronto today to see us, he is a Cambridge boy & has a commission with an English Battery he hates the English Army.  There not at all like the Canadians.

    I have to blot every page with the heat from the candle you will notice where it caught fire once but I saved it in time.  It is now 10:30 English time which is about 5:30 our time.

    I am also enclosing a list of passangers on our boat & I am marking the officers of our battery.  I will not be able to get them all in one envelope so will send two.  It is funny getting onto the English money & their ways but it will come after awhile.  Guess I will have to close for now my address will be Lieut. OAMowat c/o 24th Battery C.E.F. Shorncliffe Camp England.  So please tell all my friend I haven’t time to write them all.  Give my love to all the C’ton girls.  I haven’t had my clothes off for 48 hours so will be glad to turn in tonight.  All the C’ton boys are well.

   Your loving son,

               Ollie.



Onboard S.S. “Megantic”.       Feb. 4 1915



Dear Everybody,

  Just have time for a line this morning.  Here we are at Queenstown, Iceland ready to disembark.  We had a lovely voyage over and think of it little Willie was not sea sick.

We traveled all the way over without a light showing & we left the convoy last night at 9 O’clock & beat it in to here at the rate of 20 knots per hour.  Some speed.

We were met by 17 cruisers and 2 battle ships, some pretty sight.  We’ll never forget it.

Am feeling fit as a fiddle and gained about 10 lbs..  Expect to loose that though.  We had quite a few passengers on board so we had a merry trip.  Don’t know where they are going to send us, but expect it will be in Ireland.

  There is no more news at present, say hello to all my friends.  Please excuse haste

Ollie.



Kingsley Hotel (Near the British Museum)
Hart Street

Bloomsbury Square

London

Sunday March 28/15




Dear Dad Mother & the Kids.

    Well you will see by the heading I am in London Town, and having a swell time.  We came up from Shorncliffe yesterday afternoon & have to go back again in time for parade Wednesday morning.  Capt. McKay Mr. Reid & I came up together.  Our Capt. Is on his way to France already.  I wish I were going with him.  We found out the reason why we were rushed out of Canada.  We are not the second Contingent, but reinforcements to the first Contingent from Canada.  We have already sent our Capt. & four man to fill up one gap, and our turn will come very soon now, as they are making the gaps very quickly over at the front.

    We will never go over as a brigade or as a battery the call will likely come for so many men, & so many officers, and just as soon as we are qualified we will be pushed right over.  I was talking to several of the first contingent who were wounded, they are all artillery men and have just come back.  They say it is hell over there at present.  The Princess Pats have lost heavily among there officers.  I am darn sorry we are not going as a battery for when we go we will likely have strange men & strange officers over us, after working so hard with one’s men, it is hard to part as you know them, & become attached to them.  We have two dept batteries of the first contingent at Shorncliffe who are training us, we have no guns or horses of our own & will not likely get any now.  We have to use the depot horses & guns.

    Saw Jim Fraser Friday night, nearly all the C’ton boys have moved down to our camping grounds, Mersereau, Junes (?) Ned Sargent & a lot more are there.  I will take a run over & see them when I get back.  This is the first leave I have had since joining the Battery at Fredericton Jan 8/15, & it is only for two days, as I said before Mr. Reid is also with me & he knows London like a book, as he has been here several times before.  We were out to the Royality last night & saw the play “ The man left at home” It was rather good.  Don’t you know.

    We were out to teas this afternoon at Mr. Chatterys.  He is one of the leading Lawyers of London, all kinds of money.  He has two very nice daughters who Reid knew before.  We area going out there for dinner tomorrow evening & then we are going to have a little theater party.  Oh this is some binge.  A pound here is like a penny home, it goes so fast.  You got to tip everybody here.  We were out to Buckingham Palace & the Soo today & I also had my first drive on an underground railway.  We are going to get passes & go through their power houses.  It is some system believe me.  We are right near the British Museum here which we are going through tomorrow.  We also got passes for the House, which we are going to see in session.  We are going to be busy every minute believe me.  It is going to cost a couple of Lbs. but then we should worry, dear knows where we will be this time next year.  When we go back we are going to put application in for 6 days leave, and are going to Scotland.

    Mr. Reid has some relations there.  He is a corker to travel with.  He knows the ropes so well.  We were out to Place Gate Gardens this afternoon too.  It was simply wonderful.

    Got your letter last week that is last Friday also the papers, & I was indeed glad to hear from home, as it was the first letter.

    Did you get the lot I sent home from Fredericton, you didn’t say anything about it.  Please send me all the Graphics, you get a lot of news in them.

    I was sorry I did not get a chance to see some of you before leaving.  But in this game, your not your own boss, nobody is for that matter not even the king.  I was sorry I did not call on him today but I was rather busy.

    Well dad I don’t know of  anything else I can write you about.  Will write again when I go back to camp.  Hope you & Mother & the boys are all well.  I was vacanited (I know that’s not spelt right but we should worry) last Friday & I am just beginning to feel it now.  It’s going to be mighty sore.

    Don’t forget to write as often as you can, as there nothing like news from home.

    Hear Major Crockey is at the 28th Battery at Fredericton.  Has Googe left Canada let me know his address as soon as you get it, as it is pretty hard to get it here as England is just full of troops.  If I knew where he was I would write him, & get him to run in and see me.

    This is a peach of a hotel we have about fifteen Canadian nurses here at present there were fourty of them here last week.  Well it is now 8:45 & dinner is just on.  It is only 3:45 by your time so you see we are quite a bit ahead of you here.

                                         Bye Bye for present

                                               From you loving son,

                                                                     Ollie

P.S.  Say hello to all my friends for me.





Canadian Artillery Depot Brigade, Shorncliffe.

April 16/15    (April 16 1915)

Dear Mother,

    How you was?  Hope you have fully recovered by this time.  What do you know?  Just think I got eleven letters from Canada last Mail.  I was a glad boy believe me.  But I will be some busy answering them eh?  They made me a little lonesome at the time reading them.  But I have gotten over it.

    Everything is in doubt here tonight.  All (unreadable) & Motor Cycles are not allowed to run after 6 PM.  I expect an air raid any moment.  If one comes our orders are to get our men out of barracks & take them in the open fields or in woods & make them lay down on their stomache’s(Darn the pen) with their face and hands under them.  Wouldn’t if be fun if we had to do that.  They raided a place about fourty miles from here last night.  They are looking for this place as there are quite a few troops here.  Last week they sent 40 000 men from here to France in the night & hardly anybody knew anything about it till they were over.  I hope our turn is not very far off.

    I was very glad to get your last letter last Tuesday & also the Easter Card.  I have nothing new to write you about so will ring off.  Heard that the second contingent is on it’s way over.  They are going to place them about a mile from us.  That’s the word now anyway.

Saw all the C’ton boys day before yesterday & they are looking fine.  Mersereau is coming over to dinner with me some day next Week.  Must close now please excuse haste as I have to run off a few more letters.

Love to all  Ollie.



Canadian Artillery Depot Brigade, Shorncliffe.

April 27 /15


Dear Mother Dad & Glen & Babe.

    This letter today has to do for the whole of you see.’  There is hardly any news to write you about anyway.  I suppose Googe is on his way over by now.  They took all the  Canadian Infantry they have over here now & sent it too France yesterday.  To fill up the gap in the last battle.  The Canadians lost very heavily didn’t they eh?  But they sure had their nerve with them.  We expect to go very shortly now.  Shiney Mersereau (?) & all the boys of the first contingent have gone, and they will go right into the firing line.  It will help recruiting in Canada and I think the fourth & maybe the fifth will see service.  It’s going to take every man England can get together to crush the Germans.  So far we haven’t won anything at all to speak of.  But we’re going to do it.  Believe me.

    I hope Mother’s arm is better by now and she is able to use.  I am going to London next week.( If I am here ) and buy the rest of my equipment.  I haven’t got my Shooter or Binoculars as yet, but will get them before I go.

    News is very scarce at present will have to ring off for now.  Don’t forget to write when you have time.

                                                       Yours as ever

                                                                 Ollie.

Belgium July 24/5  

Dear Mother:

                   Have just finished censoring about twenty five letters, and thought I would drop you a line: - Every day I have to censor any where from twenty five  to fifty letters, and when the Canadian Mail comes in twice as many, for the boys are always busy answering their mail.

    Have not been feeling up to the mark for the last week, but am coming around now.

    At first the M.O. wanted me to go to the base hospital for a couple of weeks but I told him I would rather stick it out.  I’m glad I did for I’m feeling better now. – It was a

(Missing)

P.S. – Have not heard from Goog since writing last. OAD.(?)



Belgium   July 28  1915

Dear Mother,

  Yours of July 8th received today, and needless to say I was glad to hear from you.  But why all the worry about me?  Mother there is absolutely no need of it at all.  Please let me do all the worrying about myself, and everything will turn out Ok.  I am sorry I wrote and told you all my experiences.  I will know better next time.  I suppose it was just like my first visit to London, everything was new, and I took in all the details, and just had to tell everybody else what it felt like to me, on my first experience.  But now after being here awhile everything is different, and I don’t mind it a little bit.  Just laugh at it all now.  I don’t even mind a shell at all, and never loose any sleep over them.

  I told you that we’re in a new position, and it’s very quiet, to what the other on was.  I think I also told you I was back at the Column, and have been for quite awhile.  So instead of 12th Bty.  Put Ammn. Column on my mail.

  I had a parcel from Goog today 7 he sent me some Cigarettes & some chocolates which I enjoyed very much.  It was sure good of him.

  You are awfully good to send me the parcel I am looking forward to receiving it.  You remember about 1900 around Xmas time.  How we kids used to enjoy Xmas.  Well it’s just about the same to me here, when I get your parcels.  We dearly love to get them – but you better not send me any more till I ask you for some, at present I have about 150 Cigarettes, and when I get the parcel from Hugh & the one you are sending I will have more than enough.

  Tess, Haze, & Earl sent me some fudge & Cigarettes which I rec’d Ok, but nothing left now but the boxes.  It was sure good.

  I also had a parcel from Miss Ahetty(?) from London.  She is the girl Read is going to marry.  I often hear from her.  Major McKay & Read are still in England, and they both want to get over here.  I would like to see Read.

  I hope Glen got through his Matriculations with honours.  Tell him to write me when he is finished writing them, and tell him to be sure & go to College next year, or he will miss the best time of his life.  I’m sorry I was so crazy but that’s gone and past now.

  And poor Babe, please don’t let him rely on his voice.  It might be excellent, but it is N.G. without the education.  Keep him at his books.

  Don’t worry about the liquor part of it.  It doesn’t appeal to me a little bit.  It never did & never will.  If I liked it, it might be different.  But I don’t.

  In reference to my trunk I never sent it home.  It is still in England, and Capt. Chisholm is going to find a place & store it for me.  As soon as I find out definite, where he has stored it, will let you know.

  The Graphic!  Oh yes I get it about once a month.  It still goes to Shorncliffe & when they feel like readdressing it to me, I get it, which is about once month.  You might give Macbell(?) my correct address, so it can come direct.

  Always have lots of pencils you know the gov’t supplies them.

  As far as clothing goes I have plenty, I can always send to Eng for any clothing I want, my tailor over there can supply me with anything.  He has all of my measurements.

  This is the last page in my book so will have to close, and pursue some more gov’t paper.  It’s very handy for letter writing.  It saves a lot of bother carrying note paper around.

  Will likely see you all by this time next year.  In the meantime DON’T WORRY.  PLEASE.  Am in the best of health.  Hope you all at home are the same.

  Love to all.  Ollie.



Belgium   July 29/15

    Am enclosing a couple of clippings taken from today’s paper, which I think are very interesting.  Especially the map of Warsaw.  It will mean a lot to us if the Russians can retain Warsaw.  That’s one reason why our front is so quiet.  The Russians are a great nation, and they know how to fight.  I don’t think they ever won a battle without retiring about the middle of it, and then coming back strong.

    Mail is just today, and no sign of your parcel as yet, but I guess it will be along soon.  How are things in general this summer with you?  Write & tell me all about them.

   Our front is very quiet at present, one would hardly know that there is a war on, except for a few shell coming over now & again.

    Had a parcel of Cigarettes from Goog yesterday, and they were certainly great.  He knows a good Cigarette when he sees one.

    Don’t feel like writing a letter today so guess I had better put the brakes on.

    Saw a cricket match last night, and it’s a very tame game, nothing to it at all.  Drop me a line when you have time.

As ever Ollie.



Frontline line trench     

Aug 18/15    (August 18 1915)

Dear Mother, Dad & all.

  Just a line to let you know am still kicking and this time at the Mud.-  Has been raining for the last couple of days and our trenches are in a very bad state.  Especially the communication trenches, but the sun is out this afternoon & it will dry up quickly.

  Our heavies have just finished shooting at the Germans and the line is very quiet at the present.  Have a couple more nights here and then I go out for four days.  The mail is just in at the battery & they told me those were five or six letters for me I will get them at 6P.M.  when the orderly comes up.-  I stay where I am at present(that is in my OP.) till six thirty.  I then go down to the front line trenches which is about 80 yards away, and have dinner with the Infantry Officers.  I stay with them till 9:15 after this stand too, and I then go back to the infantry headquarters about 1500 yds back & spend the night there with the Col. of the Batt. Coming up here again in the morning about 9. am.  Unless something is doing. – Then I come up at daylight.  I always have a telephonist with me and am always connected to the battery.  & can open fire at a seconds notice.  So you see we have a lot of  pleasure in this life.

  Must close now & my glasses & have another squint at the Germans lines & try  to get a few of them.  If I can see them.

Love Ollie.



Front line trench    19 – 8 – 15     

(August 19 1915)

Dear Mother –

  Here I am writing you again today from my OP.  Weather delightful today but mud in the trenches remains the same. –

  Received yours of Aug 2nd last night in the first line trenches with five others.  I’m glad you are going to meet Lillas.  Give her a good time for yours truly.  She is a good sport & and gave Ollie a good time in St. John last winter.

  She also know Goog very well, and gave him a good.  Why?  Because he was my brother, at least that’s what she told me.  I hear from her every now & again.

  Now don’t get cross because I gave you an address  of 15 July.  I always get your letters, and have answered every one of them the day I get them, or the next day anyway.  If you just put my rank & name with Artillery on the Address I would get it.  If the war Office knows where I am.  But I just gave you the right address so I would get your mail two or three days sooner.- Yes I got the tobacco & Cigarettes O.K.

  About three weeks ago I wrote & thanked you and Dad & Wian for the contents the day I received same and no doubt your parcel will be waiting for me when I go out to the battery tomorrow.

  So will drop you a line as soon as I get it.-  I know you don’t get all my mail for some of it goes astray.  Just think of the job they have looking after all our (MISSING)  Oh . Yes. You (Missing)  have done down to Inch Ana(M) when  Austin wanted you too,  for then you would met a girl who is at present visiting there from Montreal.  (In fact there are two sisters) and I hear regular once a week from her. – Goog also hears from the other one as often as I do.  See what you missed.  Rather clever of you in reference to the bouy. Eh?  But that was a mere trifle.  Wake up Mother or I will be married when I get home.

  Everything is quiet today as far as our line is concerned.  Must close now & please keep up the writing as I love to get your letters.

Love Ollie.



 Sept 9 1915

Dear Mother, Dad & Boys:

    As promised am writing you from the trenches.  It is now 12 A.M. and I have been here from 7 A.M. and will be here till 8:30 PM. Tonight, and longer if the situation demands it.  However if things remain as they have been this morning I will get away on time.

  I have just finished firing our battery at a working party with good results.  Oh it’s a great game, this was game but it takes so long to finish.  I tell you when I get home I’m going to have a dug out built in the back yard.  I like them so well.

  Lunch today consisted of bread & jam, with a piece of cake my man had received from home. – The cake tasted pretty good.

  Expect mail in two day & I’ll likely have a letter from you tomorrow.  – I go back to the battery tomorrow morning, and after a clean up will feel like a new man.-

  Don’t feel like writing a letter today.  In fact there’s no news anyway. – I shall repeat I received the tobacco & leake Ok. And it was indeed very good.

  Hope you are all well at home, and are having a good time. – Received a letter from George the other day & he expects to be over here shortly.  Love to all.  Ollie.



France  10th Battery  

September 23  1915

Dear Mother,

  Your letter of Sept. 5th to hand today & needless to say was very glad to hear from you.  (Please excuse pencil but I’m not in love with the pen)  I certainly would like to spend a days fishing, but I guess I will have to wait.

  I received a parcel from you today which you mailed me to F’cton last winter.  Norman McLeod just remailed it to me today from England.  It consisted of a hold all (which came in very handy) and a collar belt.  Which I was glad to get.  Thanks very much fro same.

  Glad to see you are having a good time I wish I could join you.

  I have never rec’d a parcel from Mrs. E. A. Smith.  Perhaps it has gone astray.  I certainly will drop Mrs. Fraser a line and I will do that tonight.  I might not have another chance.

  You will see by the heading that we are back in France, and in a pretty tight corner at that.  This time tomorrow night I shall be down in the trenches waiting to open up.  It’s going to be some experience if I get through it.  It sure is a big chance against it.

  I’m jolly glad I was picked for the job.  I was down to the G.O.C. Division last night for my final instructions and they’re pretty stiff.  I would like to tell you all about it but I possibly can’t.  However I will let you know about it afterwards.  One good thing it will be over by the time this reaches you and you will know what has happened by then.  I will get a letter or card away to you as soon after as possible.  So you see there will be no worry at all.

  One satisfaction anyway I know I will get a few of them before they get me, and that I went under doing my duty.  Which I think after all is the best way to die.  If the worst comes to the worst you might say hello and good bye to all of my friends.  Something seems to tell me Mother that I’m going to pull through Ok.  I don’t feel a least bit nervous about the job.  In fact I’m in love with it.  Not many fellows get the same job.

  I wish you could hear the Artillery fire tonight, they’re not letting up at all.

  I have from 11 to 1:30 AM to take my turn with our battery, firing it.  Capt. Lancaster is at present with it, and Mr. Churchill relieves me.  Mr. Hyde has taken my gun up to it’s position.  It was fitted out with rubber tires so the Huns wouldn’t get wise.  I will put them wise soon enough.

  Had a letter from Goog yesterday & he is left at the base.  I’m sorry for the kid.  He feels just the same way I did about it.  Anybody that comes over to do his bit doesn’t feel like being left at the base.  However he will get his chance later.

  Must close now, will write you later.  How is Dad & Glen & Babe hope they are all well.  Tell Glen to take my advice & go to College.

Bye bye for present.  As ever.

Your loving son Ollie.



“Same old place and worse than ever” 

  May 17/16

Dear Mother

    From London to the trenches, finished my journey.  Just came out of the trenches today after spending two days in.  My what a difference from civilization.

    I left London last Friday afternoon at and spent Friday afternoon and all day Saturday in Folkestone.  Left Folkestone on the 7:20 PM boat & arrived in Boulogne about 9 PM and had to stay there for twenty four hours.  I arrived back at the battery 3:30 AM on the Monday morning & went up to the front line trench at 9:30 same morning & just came out this morning.  Your letter of 21st and 27th were waiting for me also your parcel which indeed I was very glad to get.  Thanks very much for sending same.

    I was up to see Goog Friday morning before I left London & he was feeling much better.  I also sent him his trunk from Folkestone when I was there.  But don’t know whether he got it yet or not?

    I have about fifteen letters to answer & am going to try & get a few of them away tonight.  I also had a parcel from Aunt Alice & must write & thank her for same.  News is very scarce so must close.  Hope you are all well at home.  Please excuse note.

Love Ollie.



Same old place

May 21 1916

Dear Mother:-

    Just a line today.  I received three parcels from the G.C.A. one contained fudge Mouse sent.  One was a pair of white socks & some Cig’s & tobacco, and the other was the letter case, and it very neat & handy and I like it fine.  I must write Aunt

(MISSING)

see me.  I sure was glad to see him.  I had him stay for dinner. (Such as it was) & we had a great talk.  He has changed quite a bit since 1910.

    Haven’t had any word from Goog or Morden lately so have nothing new to write you about.  How is Dad & Babe.  Hope they are both enjoying



Reserve Brigade

Canadian Field Artillery

Witley Camp Surrey Eng.

2-5-18    (Feb. 5 1918)



Dear Dad,

    Have few minutes to spare so thought I would drop you a line.  Ever since arriving at this camp, have been extremely busy, fighting with paper.  Was given the job as second in command of the above unit, which consists mostly of paper, and the discipline of the outfit.  It’s quite a job and I’m kept quite busy.  Up every morning with the birds and in bed every night with the owls.

  Have written no less than twenty Official letters today, besides being president of the court of Inquiry, and prosecutor of Court Martial.  I should also have had my medical board, but had to cancel it till tomorrow morning.  That reminds me I have to take a Summary of Evidence for Court Martial also tomorrow morning besides attending to my correspondence.  So you can see I’m making up for the pleasant time I had while home.

If the board pass me A’ tomorrow am going to try for France immediately.  If not shall hold this job down till I am fit.  Here’s hoping?

    War news looks much better lately, and believe me at no time during the great enemy offensive was there any cause for worry.  They can’t break the line and they damn well know it now.  If we wanted to sacrifice our men, we could do the same to them at any time.

    Had letter from Glen this morning and he expects leave to London shortly. I’m afraid I shan’t get off to see him for I’m certainly tied down.  Also had a letter from Goog today.  He tells me you were sick.  Hope it was nothing serious?  He also tells me you require assistance financially.  What’s the troub.  Write and let me know please, and remember I have about 70 pounds or $400.00 you can have at any time.  I’m only sorry it’s not larger.  Wire me if you require it immediately.  At any rate let me know all about it, and remember I can stand it.  So make it quick.  When I get my March and April pay I can spare you 100 pounds.  Have had trouble about my pay over here, but ought to get it settled pretty soon.

    Must close now.  The weather has been delightful here lately and when I get time I generally go out to the Golf Links.  It’s a great game and I’m coming fine.

    Please remember me to Mother & the rest and don’t forget to let me know re above immediately.  Urgent.

Love to all, Ollie.





PHOTOGRAPH AND POSTCARDS

Ollie’s Trench Pics

 

Top – This is a mine crater in front of our front line trench.  It is about 40 yds from the enemy front trench.  Have often been in it & it sure is quite a hole.  They have quite a few scraps with bombs from this spot.  Ollie.






  Bottom – The telephonist dug out.  Ollies




 Dome des Invalides, Church



Ollie's Military and Battle Honors


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