Arthur Douglas Crease Letters, Diaries and Scrapbooks
Letters from Arthur Douglas Crease of Victoria to his brother Lindley Crease and his mother Sarah Crease; instructions for the offensive of July 26, 1917; a regimental notebook, diaries and scrapbook. Learn more.
*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person.
They sent him socks and cakes like rocks And things he couldn’t barter, He asked for more and got quite sore When they sent a Boston Garter.
Pyjamas new he’d quite a few And neck ties by the score A fancy vest was laid to rest Upon his dug-out floor.
Things he loved most, arrived by post In parcels from Aunt Nelly, “Pate de foie” for “Aunties boy” With Ju-jubes jam and jelly.
He’d periscopes and toilet soaps And McIntoshe’s toffee He failed to see the use of tea His drink must be “Camp Coffee”,
A panama from Grandmama A parasol from nieces, A trouser press from Sister Bess To keep his pants in crease.
He’d brush and comb to fix his dome His face he daubed with powder If he felt bad, he told his dad To send out tinned Clam chowder.
The postman groaned, the transport moaned Until they couldn’t stick it The awful strain, got on their brain, And then they worked their ticket.
The parcels came each day the same Until the Quarter Master Gave one big sigh and did a buy Which saved him from disaster.
So now you know this tale of woe Aint worth the time to read it, Dont make a fuss or tear and cuss Your cash we’ve got, we need it.
War! We rushed to our papers, War! We left our work We even started loafing Who’d never been known to shirk.
Surely there’s something doing, Something exciting and new. But Mother calls to her children God knows we will see her through.
So we took the train to the city We came in by boat and by trail. We’d somehow forgotten our Mother. Her call we could never fail.
So we took the oath by dozens We took it score upon score. We swore away our freedom, Shall we ever see it more ?
We who’d never seen discipline, Never known restraint, Swore away our freedom gladly For the chance of dying a saint.
Six thousand miles to travel, With six long days in the grain, But didnt the people cheer us And wish us, a speedy return again.
All this took place in August, Was it last year or ten years ago? But somehow we’ve got a bit nearer We’re less than a mile from the foe.
Then we landed at Valcartier, As a camp undoubtedly fine. But we had to polish our buttons, And shave and that’s not our line.
Hurray for dear old England, The home of childhood’s days. Soon we’ll see parents, sisters, Then Oh, for London and plays.
But they took us down to Salisbury On a plain where it is always wet, Our people wired and wrote us, We answered “there’s no leave yet.”
At last our turn for leave came, Imagine the exquisite bliss, When we thought about nice food, theatres, And the old flames we’d once more kiss.
Six short days then back to camp, But somehow it was not so bad, You see the’d welcomed us kindly, Mother’s truly “golden haired lad”.
Then by and by came Christmas, And didn’t they do us well. All had six days sometime, But wasn’t returning Hell.
We said good-bye quite gaily We’ll see you soon again, But all knew that we should not For we’d be bolding our link in the chain.
One more move and we’re over Landed at St. Nazaire We travelled up here in box-cars Beleive me with no room to spare.
Now we spend our days in the trenches Or lie in reserve in a barn The shells keep sailing over So far they’ve done us no harm.
I’m writing this in a ruin Its raining and rather cold, But after all why worry, We’ve a trench of our own to hold.
Sons of the Empire
Brothers in the Empire’s cause, Together here they sand : Defenders of the Nation’s laws, United hand in hand. Here on this friendly, foreign soil Where heroes fell before, They give their best to strife and toil, As others did of yore.
E’en as of old the field
They face the tyrant foe, But lacking now the spear and shield, They still with courage go. To gain for loved ones far away Freedom to them so dear, When the bugles on that happy day Proclaim that peace is here.
When Britain calls her sons come forth, To muster for the fight, With pride to show their own true worth For what they know is right. Not for the glory of the fray They bare the shining steel, Only that justice hold the sway They set their hands and seal
L/Cpl. W. H. COOKE.
The Diary of a Real Soldier
Another fellow told the Colonel that he was no good in the trenches as he was troubled with insomnia.
“You cant sleep Eh ?”
“Your’e just the kind of men they want in the trenches, the Germans can never take you by surprise. Up you go with the best of luck”.
The Colonel began to feel tired for he sat on the table whilst he examined the next soldier.
“How do you feel ?” he asked.
“I’m dying Sir.”
“How long have you been dying ?”
“Three months Sir”.
The Colonel’s leg began to work like a pendulum in a grandfather’s clock.
“What am I doing now ?”
“Swinging your leg Sir”.
“So are you” replied the Colonel “Up you go and the best of luck.”
I thought my excuse would be good enough for him, but he only made fun of me.
“What’s wrong with you ?” he said.
“I’ve got new teeth Sir and I cant eat anything yet for a while”.
“That’s too bad now isn’t it? Bit we dont expect you to eat the Germans all you have to do is kill them”. Up you go and the best of luck”.
[Patient Reader, here we must leave our gallant soldier (thank god he is typical of but few of our gallant Tommies). As he joins the comrades of the fighting line — let us hope that he will enter the fray with new hopes & new discoveries. The discoveries of the man who “finds himself”. If his future Diary contains what we hope it will we may be prevailed upon to continue “his” story in “the Listening Post” — We will wait and see. Editor]
BC Archives, MS-5500, Box 15, File 7, CREASE FAMILY, Miscellaneous records, Arthur Douglas Crease, 1915 – 1918.