Letters from the Front

Private John Cushnie

Letter to his Aunt and Uncle

Private Collection

Sunday, July 28, 1918

Transcribed by: Anne Hales

Dear Aunt Lillie & Uncle Jack: -
Your two letters dated May 12th and April 21st arrived respectively on two successive days last week and I was very glad to hear from you again. I have written to you several times since coming to France and no doubt you have received at least some of my letters before this.
I am writing this in a deep "sap" which is simply an underground tunnel some 30 feet below the trench level where we have our signal office. Here we sleep, eat and work although we always try to spend at least part of the day outside because it certainly wouldn't be very healthy to spend all our time down here.
Some of these saps are very well furnished, being fairly comfortable. The one we are in now has tables chairs and bunks built into the walls so we are fairly well off for the time being. Of course we are not always lucky enough to find a good sap and sometimes the only shelter we have is a ""Frink bole" built into the side of the trench with a sheet of galvanized iron and a layer of sandbags for a roof.
However signalers are rather privileged persons as regards saps because we are always in the same sap as the officers which is usually the best to be found. One of the favorite nicknames for signallers is "deep sap artists" so you will understand how we come by it.
Last week I spent a most pleasant afternoon with John and Edgar Renwick. By chance I heard that Edgar's unit was in the town next to the one we were billeted in at the time, so I took a walk over as it was only a few kilometers away. I found Edgar all right after making a few inquiries and he was certainly surprised to see me when I walked in on him.
By another happy chance Edgar was just going to hunt up his brother John who was in another nearby town that very afternoon so of course I went with him and we found John with very little troub le and spent a very pleasant afternoon together. We made arrangements to meet again the next afternoon and have a photo taken of the three of us but unfortunately our battalion got orders to move the next day, so I wasn't able to see them again much to my disappointment. However I hope to be able to meet them again soon. It was the first time that I had seen either of them in France so it was rather a coincidence that I should meet them both in the same afternoon. They both look well and appear to be taking as much pleasure as possible out of the life out here.
We are having a little rainy spell just now which makes it rather unpleasant as the trenches get horribly muddy and sloppy. However a fine day will soon dry it all up and I hope it comes soon.
Must close now and will write again shortly. I am well and in the best of health and I hope you are both the same.
Your loving nephew
John Cushnie

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.