Letters from the Front

Private John Cushnie

The Ontario version of Tipperary

Private Collection

Sunday, February 18, 1917

Transcribed by: Anne Hales

153rd Batt. St. Thomas

Feb 18, 1917

Dear People:-

     Sunday afternoon again and everybody sleeping or writing letters.  Outside it is nice and warm again but the walking is very sloppy and you can hardly walk up street without getting your feet wet.

     Well we haven’t had our medical exam yet.  I expect it will be sometime this week and I will drop you a card as soon as it comes off.  They are pretty strict and are turning quite a number down.  Gordon MacPherson is going to be discharged altogether and Bill Evans is going to be transferred to the Special Service Company at London which means that he will be a home guard for the rest of the war.  It is certainly tough luck after having been in it for so long.

     One night last week there was a concert in the barracks given by a Methodist choir and one of the ladies sang the enclosed song adapted to the tune of "Tipperary".  It certainly took great and also shows that the people in St. Thomas think the 153rd is O.K. I was up to the dentist first thing after I came back and he fixed my tooth up so it won’t ache while I have to go up sometime soon to have it fixed up when he has more time.

     Herb Brown has been discharged as medically unfit so he ought to be satisfied now.  He has been up in the London hospital for quite a while past.  Hope you are all well.

Lovingly John


(Typed words of song  sung to and about the men of  the 153rd Battalion – sung to the tune of “Tipperary”)

Down to fair St. Thomas came a troop of men one day,

Tall and short and thin and stout, and dignified and gay;

Training every day to fight against the foreign foe,

And when they leave for overseas, we’ll hate to see them go.


Out the end of Cheeter street we find the men “at home”,

Writing half the names of them would fill great big tome;

They’re from Guelph or thereabouts, in County Wellington-

I wonder where they keep the Duke, there surely must be one.


When the war is over and hostilities have ceased,

They’ll come back to Canada, and we will have a feast;

They’ll be wearing D.S.O’s and many a V.C.

And nothing then will be too good for the men of the One-Five-Three.


It’s a tough job to beat the Kaiser,

It’s a tough job and slow,

It’s a tough job to beat the Kaiser

But you’ll do it this we know,

Goodbye then to “Kultur” farewell, monarch too;

It’s a tough, tough job to beat the Kaiser

But that’s what you’ll do.

This is part of the John Cushnie Collection. This is a collection of approximatly 98 letters from 1916 to 1918, and a diary with 220 entries from 1918. These letters and diary entries, were very gratiously provided by Anne Hales.