J. E. Boulet Part 2
H.Q. 4 Cdn. Inf. Bde|
Canadian Army Overseas
. . . Well business has picked up again and we are as busy as the devil or busier. That and the fact that my driver and I turned over in our jeep the other day didn't help any at all. Fortunately neither of us were hurt at all and after it was all over you could see the funny side of it. Here we were jeep four wheels in the air our clothes scattered all over. A few shells bursting off to one side for sound effect. No wrecking cars to be called because they don't like going into field areas like that. Finally we found a chap with a carrier. He hurried over pulled it out of the hole we were in and then he scurried off for cover again. I was darned if I was going to go away and leave it for if I had someone would have stolen it or else removed anything removeable. . .
. . . How time flies. It is nearly three months now that I have been in action. Really thinking that by now it would be all over but the end doesn't seem anywheres near in sight yet but it is hard to say what a hard winter will do to the people in Germany.
What does the whole situation look like from a position where you can see all sides of it. Not just the part where you are actually employed.
I am starting this again about a week later. Have been as busy as hell and on the move continually. Nothing much to write about except war and we don't write about that. . .
. . . Well now as you can see I am fighting troops and I don't mean perhaps at all. Things are going fairly well tho regardless and I won't stick my neck out any more than is absolutely necessary, you can count on that.
You asked me if I had planned on going to Japan when this is all finished. At this time the answer is no. If I come out of this with a fairly whole skin I think I will be ready to settle down to the quietest life possible and maybe drink the odd bottle of good beer which is something we can't get under any circumstances.
At the moment we are living in the basement of a building which I think is fairly bomb proof but the greatest trick of all has been the improvising of lights to carry on with. Any kind of oil and a piece of string will make a light of sorts until now we have had two coal oil lamps one without a glass and a fairly good stock of coal oil. One small quart which is enough for 24 hours if we are careful and don't use both lamps at once and don't turn up the wicks too high.
And cold. I appreciate now what the last war must have been like in the mud and the rain and the slush. It must have been a son of a gun to say the least. . .
. . . Well we shifted position slightly since that last letter and the move was all for the better as now we can move around a little during the day. . .
. . . We also have a fire going in a pail to get dried out and warm for a while and right now I am waiting for a big kettle of water to heat and then I am going to shave and have a sponge bath as it is all of two weeks now since I had a good wash. Ain´t life hell. . .
. . . The war seems to be continuing on but maybe it will stop one of these days and then Johnny will come sailing home again.
I have come to the conclusion in the past two weeks that the actual front is the best place to be excepting when there is an attack on as Jerry lobs his heavy stuff into the rear areas trying to break up the supply routes and communications. Well this is all for now and I will stir my stew . I hope the parcel gets home safely and that you like the contents even if they don't look very fancy.
. . .A few lines this evening. Am stuck as duty officer tonight so will have to stay up all night. It wouldn't be so bad but I have been up since before daylight digging and cutting logs all day for a master trench to keep a roof over my head and keep the rain off. It is good exercise after being in areas where you have to keep your head down all the time and never make a sound either day or night. Now tho it is all different work all day and am quite tired at night. . .
. . . You should see my present home. Made it myself, 6' x 8 1/2' inside measurements and about 5' ceiling. Log roof, of course it is underground. Yesterday we installed a stove of sorts. A biscuit tin for a stove. A nine foot sewer pipe is part of the chimney. The only trouble is that when you light the fire you have to move out because it gets too hot. That is a poor fault, but it will be rectified. . .
. . . I hear they are beginning to recruit for the South Pacific but so far have heard nothing official on it so I really can't say. But if what I heard is true then I am too old for it, therefor it is not a problem at all.
Leaves have started from the Canadian Army. 7 days which you can spend either in England or in Paris. I think that if and when I get mine I will go back to England where everybody around you is talking a language which you can understand. I am due for leave at the end of this month but don't expect to get it until March or April at least . . .
. . . I guess by this time the papers are carrying the news of the latest drive. They have taken quite a few prisoners by now and are still going forward. Also the Russians continue to advance so maybe the end will soon be in sight. Heres hoping anyway. It might take some time after hostilities cease before we get back home. It all depends on whether the Canadian Army forms part of the army of occupation or not. No one can tell yet.
Well how are they doing with the Zombie situation. Have they got them all rounded up yet. It all made mighty poor reading over here and certainly could be a propeganda tool for Jerry . . .
This was the last letter Lieutenant Boulet wrote to his wife in Guelph. The final part of this memoir contains the letter written to Mrs. Boulet from W. Denis Whitaker about Lt. Boulet's death.|
Concluded in J. E. Boulet Part 3.