A MacNaughton – May 7, 1916

A letter written to his mother from the 5th Field Battery’s position near Sanctuary Wood, Belgium on May 7, 1916.

The 5th Field Battery were relieved at 1am on May 5 and returned to their wagon lines.  On May 7 one section of the 5th relieved a section of the 3rd in Sanctuary Wood.  It’s unknown whether Alexander was in this section or if he remained at the Wagon Lines and returned to the front a couple of weeks later.


“May 7/16

Dear Mother

Just a few lines in answer to your last letter. The parcels sent by you got here in fine shape and was glad to get it as we were very tired. I took a lot of the boys in and gave them some maple sugar they all thought it was fine. I also got the —– and towels.

I wish you would thank Jean Ch—- for the knife and tell her I will write him at first opportunity. You don’t know how hard it is to write home as we are kept so busy on account of us holding one of the hardest parts of the line. Well I near died when I saw Bert’s name on the Casualty list he had —-, that was all that was the matter with him. Also that letter that Gerald Harris wrote home, about being in the trenches and seeing more than any infantry officer, well if you want to tell anybody this you can, and tell them that I said it. He came to France with a draft in the artillery, and he didn’t know his job, so he was in the D.A. Column which is miles from the firing line, he is now back in England getting married or something as he was no use at all out here. Now that will give you an idea about those guys who write those letters home.

You all seem anxious to find out about my promotions well I have had three since I came to the battery. I am now a corporal and am getting along fine and if this war continues much longer I intend being a General. I saw Joe Forbes the other day and he is still fine. He had a pair of military boots that was sent to him from home. They are just like the ones we had in Canada. I would like to get a pair of them if you can get any —- as my feet get tired in these big canoes that they give us out here. I am sending another post card with some of my friends on it. They are all a fine bunch of fellows. The Sergt is G– Rice the famous piano player. The fellow with the X above him has been in my subsection but was wounded. He was another J— all over. He was never satisfied unless he was teasing someone. Well we had a church service last Sunday the first one for months. I —- — — —- time is way precious and I have a lot of —- to look after. Say hi to all the folks and —- as old Bill and —- Donald also Garry —– and ask him why he does not write. — — well and have — —. I remain yours, love to all


Corporal Alex MacNaughton”

View his original letters on Flickr

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