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4Leslie Frost Arrives in France Strait of Dover Seine Oise S om m e Scarpe Paris Dieppe Amiens Arras Cambrai Valenciennes Mons Brussels Namur Floreffe Béthune Le Tréport Paris-Plage Étaples Boulogne Calais Lille Ypres Caëstre Dover Bailleul Menin Poperinge St.-Julian Zonnebeke Tyne-Cot Passchendaele Potijze Menin Gate FRANCE BELGIUM FRANCE 0 50 100 KILOMETRES 0 5 KMS MAP 5 Hindenberg Line March 1918 Front Line November 11, 1918 Somm e Som me Scarpe Scarpe Amiens Doullens Arras Cambrai Lens Lens Iwuy Albert Villers-Bretonneux Méaulte Bray Péronne Berles-au-Bois Bailleulmont Bailleulval Bretoncourt Wailly Sallaumines Méricourt Vimy Avion Camblain l’Abbé Mont-St.Eloi Neuville-St.Vaast Bouvigny Servins Souchez Villiers-au-Bois Carency MaisnilBouch é N.D.Lorette Liévin Vimy Memorial Ourton Houdain Fresnicourt Hill 70 Marlesles Mines Nédon Nédonchel Lozinghem Bailleufles -Pernes Ferfay Pernes Aumerval Nédon ult 10 KILOMETRES 5 KILOMETRES 0 10 20 KILOMETRES Hindenberg Line March 1918 Front Line end 1914–June 1916 Present Border C. E L L IN GW O O D Neuville-Vitasse BELGIUM Present Border Front Line end 1914–June 1916 C. EL L IN G W OO D Béthune Noeux-les Mines MAP 4: Detail of the war zones mentioned in the letters, with two insets: upper for Belgium and lower for northern France. MAP 5: Further details of Northern France. The thing that impresses me most about the country as I have seen it so far is how dilapidated and uncared for things look. The French are, I guess, the most up-to-date people in the world and this makes the untidiness even more noticeable. The cause of it all is because there are no men left to do the work. Canadian Base (2D) 10 Aug 1917 Dear Dad & Mater— Have arrived in France at last—after many, many months I am here and am happy for once. I left England on Tuesday about 11.30 a.m. and after an uneventful voyage reached France1 about 2 p.m. and was settled down at the Canadian Base by 5.30 p.m. Six hours is remarkable, quick time for that journey. Walker and I have been in a couple of little French towns near here2—they are of course all French and we had considerable difficulty making ourselves understood. The British troops have been here so long that most of the store keepers understood a few English words and together with the little French we know, we have so far been able to get along. Some of the combinations and gestures we have used are very remarkable and quite laughable. The thing that impresses me most about the country as I have seen it so far is how dilapidated and uncared for things look. The French are, I guess, the most up-to-date people in the world and this makes the untidiness even more noticeable. The cause of it all is because there are no men left to do the work. I haven’t seen a man who is of military age in civilian clothes and I have been in their large places. Most of the women are in black for the relatives —I guess whom they have lost. I was at a rather famous French watering place3 and I cannot imagine anything more desolate, not because of destroyed buildings but because of the utter lack of people. After being in Folkestone where everything is bustle—super bustle—and life, everything very gay, then to come to this beautiful place with its wide promenade and magnificent beach and find it utterly deserted—grass growing on the street and the cobble stones loose and washed out—Without seeing anything of the destruction, it gives you some idea of what these years of awful war will do for a nation—We do not know how fortunate we are at home when everything is practically the same as ever except for a few men in khaki. These 197 ‘‘ ’’ people must live under the nightmare of war continuously and we cannot blame them for demanding that peace when it comes must be lasting. I do not doubt that you will worry about me somewhat. I wish you wouldn’t because it does no good. You may be sure I am quite content here and you know I never was or never would have been until I got here with the men of the old battalion. You would not have...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781554580897
Related ISBN
9781554580002
MARC Record
OCLC
716060116
Pages
420
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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