Sam_s_wartime_letters.jpg

Sam's wartime letters

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 8 Nov 1914 to 18 Jan 1916
Location: Variousmap
Surnames/tags: Loghrin Jeffrey Monteith
Profile manager: Tom Loghrin private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 148 times.

Letter #1: To his Uncle Nelson Monteith

Written at Fair Ground, Camp London, Nov. 8th, 1914

Dear Uncle,

Just a few lines to let you know what has happened to your wayward nephew. The Stratford Herald had so much in it that I deemed it wise to leave town on Friday night.
This soldier business is all right in an armchair before the fire but the real thing is very hard work. I will give you a sample day. I reported for duty according to instructions at seven a.m. yesterday at Barracks. (I) was instructed to take charge of the Stratford Company at the Fairgrounds. I marched them to the divisional stores and drew clothing and full equipment with the exception of rifles for one hundred and sixteen men.
Reported to the paymaster with a full roll of the company and got cheque for a small allowance, $750, just to give the men pocket money till the 1st of the month. Had to go down town to the Bank of Montreal to cash this cheque before one o’clock. Then paid 116 men who all have to sign the pay sheet. After having a meal (I) attended a lecture by Col. Wyle[1] at the barracks. Got back to the Fair Grounds at eleven o’clock. Does that look like a day’s work?
At half past one went with Major Milligan to meet Stratford Band. Attended Battalion Parade in the afternoon. Dismissed at four thirty. Nothing but soldiering (;) it is in the air, best style of revolver and a thousand other things. The men are quartered in the buildings (;) each man has a spring cot, straw mattress, pillow slip and three government blankets. The buildings are all lined with beaver board (and say they know more about putting it on than we did). Three large furnaces in each building.
There will be an excursion later on from Stratford by special train (;) come up then or some other time if you prefer and see the 18th Battalion on parade.
We are all to be typhoid inoculated tomorrow. Hope it does not make me sick. We all have to have three treatments before we leave Canada. Hope you are all in good health.

Your nephew
Capt. S. M. Loghrin G Company
18th Battalion, Fair Grounds, London, Ont.

Letter #2: To his Mother

18/1/(19)16
Some-Where-In-Flanders

Dear Mother,

I have an hour or two to spare and can write a few letters! I am afraid you are not a very regular correspondent. But one thing I know for sure is that if you wrote every time you think of Don[2] and I you would hamper the mails. Don is right in the pink. His rank as lance corporal has been confirmed (and) with some more experience and a short course of instruction I hope to see him get another promotion. But rest assured of this, he has to earn it or he won’t get it because he happens to be my brother. But one thing is in Don’s favour; he is very popular with the men.
Major E. is sick in hospital with rheumatism[3] and I am in charge. This is the 2nd time he has been away from the company. Charlie Lale a great friend of mine died in the ambulance on the way to 15 hospital last night. He was hit by what is known as German Sausage last night when on duty in front line. The shock more than his wounds finished him. Shell exploded about a foot from him. The amount of explosive material in them is so great that it simply shatters the nerves and this in turn affected his heart. Such are the chances of war and we have to take whatever comes our way. It is raining today. In this country it rains when it snows at home. It might have been better here but we are all in good health and able to “Carry On”.
Anne[4] must be a grade A housekeeper by this time. Hope mother you are letting her do all the work. That is the proper way to train a daughter. About the husband question wait till the war is over. All the real men are employed in Belgium or on the way there at present.
Some time ago I received a letter and picture of Jane’s[5] baby; he is certainly a husky looking infant. I have mislaid their address in Chicago. Tell Annie to send it to me.
I wrote Bill[6] a long letter the other day. Great to know he has changed his mind about enlisting. Two of your sons are quite enough on this job. I had a parcel one day last week from the Liverpool Street people[7] - a pair of socks were enclosed for Don knitted by Maude.[8] I will have to question that lady about cradle snatching. Don’t laugh!
The Hamilton’s[9] of Glascow [sic] are writing to Don regularly. He will spend his leave there. That is if he is fortunate enough to get leave. Who got elected Mayor of Stratford? What happened (with) the Local Option[10] campaign? Tell Ann to wake up and write me a long letter telling me all the news.
So far I have been very fortunate regarding sickness. Never been one day out of business but I don’t want to brag. My turn may come soon enough. I have become a confirmed tobacco smoker since joining the army. It used to be that I could do without tobacco at times but now I am a constant user. We have more tobacco than we can smoke. The government are certainly treating us well in the matter of supplies.
Because of the way the Germans use poisonous gas we have to keep watching the direction of the wind all the time. When on duty you are like the skipper on board ship. The Huns tried it once here about a month ago[11] but we were ready and our fire simply knocked them cold. They did not leave their own trenches.
With love and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year.

I am
Your loving Son
Sam

Footnotes

  1. This name is unclear in the longhand copy.
  2. Don Jeffrey was Sam's half brother who also fought in the 18th Battalion.
  3. This word is unclear in the longhand copy.
  4. Anne Frances Jeffrey - Fannie’s youngest daughter and Sam's stepsister; she was 20 years old at this time.
  5. Jane (Jeffrey) Grey - another of Sam's stepsisters; the baby was a girl, Anna Frances Grey.
  6. William Nelson Jeffrey - Bill was the oldest of Sam’s half brothers; he was 23 years old at this time.
  7. Lizzie Loghrin, Martha Loghrin and Isabella McLellan were spinsters who lived at 42 Liverpool St. in Guelph.
  8. Maude Loghrin was another spinster who, at this time, lived with her mother on London Rd. in Guelph.
  9. Mrs. Hamilton was a first cousin of Don's father.
  10. This was a vote as to whether the municipality would go wet or dry; Stratford voted overwhelmingly wet in 1916 but overall the province voted in favour of prohibition. Information from www.visitstratford.ca/media/pdf/liquor.pdf .
  11. This may have been the attack at Ridgewood on Dec. 19th which is mentioned in Sam and Don's Service Files.




Collaboration
  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)


Comments

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.