Letter: A WWI Soldier's Account

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Unit 1 Culminating
A WWI Soldier’s Account

Mrs. Lyrea Lee August 31, 1914
77 Wendell Rd.
London, On
M6T 2W3

Dear Mother,

It’s been a week since we arrived at camp in Québec, called Val Cartier. I won’t regret running off against your will; as soon as the call for war came, I felt a sense of fear mixed with excitement, adventure and patriotism, which I’m sure the feelings are mutual within the militia. We know little about the details of the upcoming war; we heard that a force called “Triple Alliance” is what we are up against. The Canadian Expeditionary Force, what they call our division, was supposed to support the Triple Entente, which included Britain, France, and Russia, in their war effort against the Boche and their allies. I also heard that Prime Minister Borden and the Canadian parliament automatically agreed to support Britain’s call for war. It’s not surprising as Canada is still under the British monarch. Last week, Colonel Sam Hughes briefed the volunteers (who had women) to hand out the Ross rifles to each division. The conditions here are horrible; it was raining almost every day since we came and the camp was very muddy. Our private quarters had around 10 people each with their own footlockers. Fortunately for me, I was already used to this environment from back there at home. 4 days ago, they began rifle and marching training to prepare us rookies for the upcoming war. We crawled and ran through the muddy terrain. We were taught how to hold, aim, and fire our guns. A lot of men were faced with frustration as our guns kept getting jammed every 7 shots or so. We all had to carry our own equipment: sacks, water bottles, helmets, and shovels; which were fairly heavy and we had to run through the difficult terrain with. Last night, there was transport ships docked at shore. I saw Colonel Hughes discussing with some British officers; at dawn, he declared our trip to another camp in Britain, Salisbury...
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