Pte. A A. Smith letter 8 July 1916

Canadian Y.M.C.A headed notepaper


Pte. A A. Smith

No 27521

Reply to Essex Regt

15th I.B.D  A.P.O 817

B.E.F. France


July 8th 1916


Dear Father


You can see by the above address where I am stationed now; it is a bit further than Dovercourt now, too far to come home for a week-end but I must put up with it for a bit.

I cannot tell you very much news. We had a good crossing & the train ride was very interesting.

The food is very good here much better than Dovercourt. I don’t know much about the drills yet but I don’t think we have to work so many hours.  The ground is all sand it is very tiring for marching.

We are not allowed out of the camp but there are several recreation huts &c so we can pass the time away alright when we have finished duty.

I think this is all I can tell you now. Glad to say I am quite well & hope you are all enjoying good health.


With much love to Jess, Ethel & yourself

Your devoted




P.S. I shall be pleased to receive a letter from you when you have time to write.

A.A. Laporte Payne fragment early July 1916

Fragment undated


matter in the Brigade either. The young ‘shop’ boy who was with us in the battery until April was killed on the first day of the bombardment.  He was an awfully nice cheery fellow – never in the dumps – He had worked very hard for sometime laying telephone lines – sometimes all day & all night.  When he had practically completed his job and was sitting down under a tree for a short rest a stray shell burst in front of him.  I dare say you saw his name in the papers – Freemen Cowan.


What do people at home think about the ‘move’? I should be interested to hear.  I have seen a paper of the 6th – La Boiselle seems to figure very largely in the communiqués.  There really was some very hot fighting here but some of the things the reporters say are not exactly truthful.


I am disgusted to see that while the Ulster Division did such heroic work out here and suffered such a lot, the politicians at home betrayed them.


I am afraid I am writing a very serious and gloomy letter to you this time. Please forgive – it must be the weather which is again cold, windy & wet.


Au revoir


Yours very sincerely