Etc. -- Lieut. Roy Whitside's 1916 letter from the Front
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From page 7 of the 16 Nov 1916 issue of the Simcoe Reformer

A Delhi Boy writes home from France

Mrs. Wilbur H. Whitside of Delhi received the following letter from her son, Lieut. Roy Whiteside [sic], now at the front in France:

My Dear Mother, -- A letter from you came in today, before I posted my letter written yesterday, so I'm sending them both together.

I can't tell you where we are now, but I can tell you that we did hold the line at Ypres for a while. You did make a fair guess in your letter though.

Young Dick Quance came in to see me a few days ago. Everything is going along all right and I am very well. Murray and I managed to get a bath yesterday, which is quite an event here.

Ernie McKay has, I hear, gone back to Canada to do instruction work. He has been over here a year and was very lucky.

There is no news at all that I can tell you except things are going well with us, and the Bosche seems to lose heart easily when he is anything near beaten. The one thing he seem to do without fail when you get near him is throw up his hands and say "Merci, comrade. Nix bomb!"

My job as works officer is to have charge of all the construction work done by the battalion; building trenches, dugouts, drains, etc., and I plan all the work parties which have from 100 to 200 men, each day. If a Bosche shell blows down our parapet I have to repair it, and all that sort of thing.

The socks you sent are all right, and I am always very glad to get them, for even if I don't need them somebody always does. Some socks came in today. Thank you and please thank Mrs. Smith. I will write her myself, and would be very glad indeed, to have her send some for the men. They are always short.

I have been through some of the old German dugouts today which are really quite wonderful. One had a suite of rooms 30 feet underground, dining room, bedrooms, kitchen and servants' quarters. Electric light, big leather chairs, polished table and a real live kitchen range. It has an inscription on the door saying it took nine months to build and would take nine years to get them out of it. They were a bit off on the last half, all right. Give my love to all. Roy.

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