B W Robertson – Nov. 24, 1916

A letter written to his sister Margaret (“Beah”) on Nov. 24, 1916.


“November 24, 1916
#743179 58th Howitzer Battery
c/o Army Post Office
London, England

Dear Beah,

A new address, and a new home. I got my transfer all right. I came down to the Artillery Tuesday of this week. Of course I had to revert to the ranks, so now I am ‘Gunner Robertson.’

I can’t tell you much about it yet. There are about 140 men to a battery. It is light artillery so we have horses. Can you imagine me grooming my first horse. I didn’t know whether to start at his head or tail. I got through it without having my brains kicked out. The gunners have to go to the stables three times a day. I like horses. In fact I like everything here so far. It is far superior to the infantry. Much better men. They have to be educated. There is a lot of studying to do.

There is a piano in our hut and lots of fine players. Most of the fellows are from the U.N.B.

I am going for a ride this afternoon. My first lesson on horseback. Wish me luck.

I was in London last week for four days. I only went to get away from camp. It was getting darn monotonous doing nothing. I think I am pretty lucky to get in the Artillery. The 58th is called the best Battery in Camp. You know I had some trouble with my left lamp. The Doc wouldn’t sign any transfer. I put up a kick and went to another one. He signed it. He didn’t examine me though. It is too bad I should have such a slight thing give me so much bother. I can see miles.

I hear from home pretty regularly . Ru mostly. I am getting him a very nice girl to write to. Most of the young ladies over here jump at the chance to write to the other side. They will never meet so what is the difference.

I will try and get some papers to send to you. Guess they will go through all right. I don’t think post cards will.

When I took my stripes off I saved them. I took all my 115th badges and pinned them on to the stripes. It makes a very nice souvenir to send home. I don’t regret losing my stripes any. I am just as rich at $1.10 as at $1.50 a day. It was kind of nice at times but I would do it every again to get in the same place.

It was just like enlisting all over again. New friends and surroundings. New clothes and no heavy kit to carry. I will not have any harness to carry like you saw on me when leaving St. John.

No long route marches. All the distance is covered by horses now.

I will have a more coherent letter when I get settled. I don’t know just where I stand yet. It isn’t that I have got so much to learn but I have got a whole lot to forget about the Infantry.

I will write again of course before Christmas but I now wish you the Merriest Christmas and New Year you ever had.

With Love


743179 Gunner Robertson Bu
58th Howitzer Battery C.F.A.
c/o Army P.O. Lon. Eng.

View his original letters and family tree info on Flickr

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