Letters from the Front

Private John Cushnie

A bit of rest, away from the front

Private Collection

Sunday, August 25, 1918

Transcribed by: Anne Hales



Dear Folks at Home:-

     Received your letter of the 4th instant last week.  I haven’t received the box you sent at the same time yet but as none of the others have been getting boxes lately, it will no doubt turn up later.  I have noticed lately that the letters and papers nearly always come regularly but that the boxes are always delayed.  Probably caused by difficulty in transportation.

     Just at present we are having a real rest for a few days and I am certainly enjoying it.  We are in a little town just far enough from the line that we can't hear the guns.  We are billeted in a mill and I have the best bed that I have had for some time, as there is plenty of clean straw and the first night it felt just like a feather bed after sleeping on the ground for a few weeks.

     This morning we had Church Parade followed by Communion which most of us took part in.  I don’t care much for our chaplain because he is Church of England but he is very good and does his best for the boys.

     The country around here is very beautiful just now.  I suppose if appears even more beautiful to us after just coming out of that scrap where things certainly weren’t very pleasant.

     The French “madame” who owns our billet has just been out having a little talk with us.  The conversation is about one half English and one half French.  The French I learned at school is all right as far as reading is concerned but if I try to talk with a Frenchman I usually find that they go about 50 times too fast for me.

     Many thanks for the Red Book Magazine which arrived yesterday.  We often have long tiresome shifts to do on duty and any reading material helps to pass the time.

     We saw Harry Steele the other day.  He is with the 8th (Winnipeg) battalion.  Also saw Charlie Wilson who is with the same outfit.  Charlie looks well and isn’t getting any thinner like the rest of us.

     I am going to try and let you hear from me more often in the future because I know I have been going rather on the letter writing lately.  If you get a Field P.C. from me now and then, don’t think it is because I don’t want to write a letter but because I haven’t a chance.

     Must close hoping you are all well.

Lovingly Yours



Haven’t got this posted yet so will add a little to it.  Last night I received your big box of July 16th Everything in it was fine and was sure glad to get it..  Please tell Mrs Rutherford and Stanley that I got it and will write to them as soon as I get a chance.

     Everything is very unsettled these days and we never know what they are going to do with us. We expect that it won’t be long before we are in the middle of it again.

     I know that these will be anxious days for you all.  Sometimes I may not be able to write for a couple of weeks at a time so don’t worry unduly on that account.

     We are all in good spirits and well and although we know that we may have a tough time ahead of us yet it all helps to hasten the end of it all which surely can’t be long in coming now.





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.