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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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and ever wish to take. It was 21° or something like that at MooseJaw and Winnipeg and we had to turn out a every station and do train guard or parade round in 2 feet of snow in that intense cold. There was a drunken bunch of infantry on board after we left Winnipeg and several of them were handcuffed and kept as prisoners in the caboose with our fellows as guards. Winnipeg and Campbellford were the only places where any enthusiasm was shown about the troops and we were fed with the 7 days journey long before we got to St. John. And the ship was even worse. The 5th got the dirty end of the stick all the way through. and here we got shoved down in the the steerage and the stench and smells from the kitchens and lavatories were enough to make the men sick even if the sea didnt. The food was punk and some one got a rake off through doing us out of our proper grub I guess and the officers did not seem to take any interest in us and at Xmas there was no attempt to give us a good time, only some little extras on the table for dinner, beer (Mum ?) , nuts and some kind? of plum pudding, and in the evening a punk concert . I was sick for a few hours out from St. John but did not vomit although I wished I could. Later on I got a three days headache which kept me wretched - it was caused by the smells I think. The weather was good until three days out of Plymouth when we got into a 60 mile gale and we kept on shipping seas. During the days we were in the danger zone every one of us had to hawk our life belts with us wherever we went and once or twice we had boat drill. No escort met us except for a mine sweeper which met us a day and a half out and stayed with us about eight hours and that was all and I can tell you I for one felt pretty relieved when we got into port. Our course

BC Archives, MS-1901 Box 1 File 14 / RUSSELL, Alma M., 1873-1964. Victoria; librarian. / Selected items, Ethelbert and Herbert Scholefield, no date and 1916.

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