“…we haven’t suffered the casualties we might have…..”
Somewhere in France, April 4, 1918
Just after writing you last, stating that I hadn’t heard from you in so long, I received two of your letters (one a few days back) so I’ll take back what I said.
We have been so extremely busy since that time. I haven’t had many opportunities to write but shall send a few lines now as no doubt you read the papers and will possibly be wondering how I’m progressing. Well, I can honestly say that I’m very much “on the map” and only hope I shall have the good fortune to remain so.
I suppose all the world knows the big scrap is on and believe me, it’s some scrap, possibly unparalleled in history and you couldn’t stretch your imagination enough to picture it. Our men have held the Boche splendidly and although he made slight gains of territory in some parts it’s not an “iota” of what he expected to get and his losses are tremendous, totalling I am told, into the hundreds of thousands.
I think the heaviest fighting is over, although not all the fighting by any means, and I think he has spent his supreme strength in this first nightly effort.
However, time will tell whether or not. But the fact remains we have him stopped and have full confidence in the ultimate result of the fight. The main question here is not “shall we win,” but “how much longer can he holdout and is this his last gasp.” I think it is.
Fortunately, we weren’t in the thick of the fights, being on the move at that time. Consequently we haven’t suffered the casualties that we might have.
Up to the past week or so we have been toting our instruments along but they have been sent back out of the way and we are now ready to “face the music” in fighting trim. (None of this to Nell though…)
I was much amused to receive the letter from your friend from St. Kitts. You are certainly doing well toward boosting my correspondence list. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to reply as yet but shall probably do so when our “busy season” is over…
I have seen Bill Halls quite a number of times recently but not for the past week.
Have been wondering how he made out in the “dirty work” but he sent word down with a fellow yesterday that he’s alright so far.
Now Dear Sis, this is about the stingiest letter I’ve sent you yet but I’m sure you’ll appreciate the fact that our time is more or less occupied…
Trust you are enjoying the best of health. I am fine excepting that I find it hard to get rested out. That’s a minor detail through. Bye Bye for now. Plenty of Love.
Yours as ever, Garn xxxxx
Selection from the letter collection of Sergeant Dobbs, to his sister Millie and his brother Walter
George Metcalf Archival Collection
© Canadian War Museum