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Alma Russell Letters

Letters of British Columbia men on active service with Canadian and British Expeditionary Forces, 1914-1918. Learn more.

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BC Archives MS-1901

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Letter from Sergeant Mc Illree, 7th Battalion, 2nd Brigade.

In France, 16th May. It is quite a time since I last wrote, but I have been pretty busy lately, for I am now Company Quartermaster Sergeant, which is a promotion, but not one which I was particularly anxious for, as it is a non-combatant job, that is, you do not usually go to the trenches, but stay behind to bring up rations, etc.. In fact you have to clothe, feed, and equip the Company, which is some job, for just when you think that everybody is complete in some special article, along comes some complacent bonehead, who has managed somehow to miss his issue. There have been several N.C.O's. promoted to Officers, and nobody knows who will get it for seniority counts for nothing. Bill (Casey) is now a "Mister", and is on furlough, I think. Well, to go back to when I last wrote, which was in reserve near Ypres. We stayed there amid constant alarms, for a week, with absolutely nothing to do, or read, and unable to move about, because of the aeroplanes. Then one night we flitted for several hours, and landed up in a good farm, in a very peaceful country. On the march, about midnight, we were toiling along, more or less dead to the world, when we suddenly heard, bang, bang, and a peach of a band, struck up, "Hold your hand out, Naughty Boy". Everybody jumped about ten feet high, and came down in step, head up, chest out, etc.. Even the Captain got down from his horse, to march to it. It was the band of the Regt. that Cousin Sid Lomer is in command of, and they played us for about a mile. Sydney is on sick leave in England now, with pneumonia. We stayed in the aforesaid rustic neighborhood, for a few days, and got a draft from the 30th, with

BC Archives, MS-1901 Box 1 File 10 / RUSSELL, Alma M., 1873-1964. Victoria; librarian. / Selected letters from Sergeant John Raymond McIllree, 1915.

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