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8Armistice This page intentionally left blank It was just one big rush from village to village— The people would rush out and crowd around your horse—shout, yell and embrace a fellow something horrible. It has really been a wonderful year to have gone through. Mons. Belgium 17 November 1918 Dear Father and Mother, Do you notice my address—some place eh, what! The place where the British army started to fight and where it ended. I rejoined the battery shortly after I wrote my last letter—I wasn’t able to get my leave but now I don’t think I am very sorry for I have been in the most marvellous advance ever seen. It was just one big rush from village to village—The people would rush out and crowd around your horse—shout, yell and embrace a fellow something horrible. It has really been a wonderful year to have gone through. You will never realize what it felt like to know that the war was over. We didn’t know till 10.30. a.m of the 11th that armistice started at 11 oclock. Suddenly the news flashed through. The advance continued right up to the hour of eleven. Every man had a grin from ear to ear on his face. Nobody yelled or showed uncontainable enthusiasm—everybody just grinned and I think the cause was, that the men couldn’t find words to express themselves. I think of the man who every day has his life in danger and who dreams of home more than heaven itself—suddenly finds that the danger is past and that his return is practically assured—That he has won after personally risking his life—no wonder they couldn’t say much—They simply grinned. Of course in London and Paris they had an awful time but I do not think that anybody felt the pleasure and satisfaction so much as the Tommy at the front unless it was in the Tommy’s home. I am sure you must have been very thankful at home and I feel so myself that I have been spared to come through all this, if you ever think that we simply had a walk over just get rid of that idea right away for the hun and especially his machine gunners fought to the last moment. When I think of the close shave I had, well a person couldn’t have been much closer to death than I—whew! One millionth of an inch might have made all the difference in the world to me. But now I am just as good as ever except for a nice little scar which is well covered with hair by now. 321 ‘‘ ’’ Well we will soon be on the way to Germany now. Think of actually being in Germany—It has been the soldiers dream for four years now and at last the dream is coming true for some of us. I saw General Sir John Horne1 enter Mons yesterday. It was a great event. It is not destroyed. And is really some place. Last night the people of Mons gave a reception to the officers of the 2nd Canadian division. It was a wonderful affair too. They had a beautiful orchestra which ended up by playing O! Canada. These people are crazy about O! Canada! Of course only the real people of the town were present.2 I saw Mert Plunkett’s outfit the Dumbells last night. They have been recently playing in London. You couldn’t wish to see a finer show. Some day I daresay you will be able to see them.3 Mert was looking well and wished to be remembered. OH I expect I will get my leave soon now. I have changed my mind. Now that the war is over and Leslie will be going home, I am going to go to Paris. I would regret it all my life if I didn’t see Paris and probably this will be my last leave so I guess I had better go. I wouldn’t think of it if Les were still in England and the war still on but now that he is getting better I think I’ll go to Paris—Wouldn’t you? 322 ARMISTICE Canadian soldiers march through the streets of Mons on the morning of 11 November 1918. At 11 o’clock that morning, when they were told that the war to end all wars...


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