March 12 – Kimmel Park Rhyl

Dear mother and sister

Just a few lines to let you know I am well. I should have wrote you before this but I have been neglecting it looking for to sail any day. But I made up my mind to write today suppose I was to sail tomorrow.

I could tell you a lot of news that has happened here lately. But I guess you know all about it before this. I think it will be a big talk in Canada. You know about the first of March they cut off the sailings from this camp and were using all the boats to send the 3rd division home. The boys got tired waiting on going home, they heard about the 3rd division going home which is over half Conscrips and they put a big piece in the papers here saying Canada’s fighting men are now going home. Now you can just understand how that looked to men that has fought out here for two or three years and men that had never seen a days fighting going back home.

Well about 9 o’clock Tuesday night a big riot broke out, can you just imagine what 20,000 men would do when they broke loose. First thing they raided was the officers’ quarters where they got whisky. Well that started them good. The next was the canteens where they got barrels of beer and cigarettes and everything then they took to the YMCA and took everything there and then they cut loose on the tobacco stores and tin town and the riot had quieted down about 3 o’clock Wednesday morning. But it broke loose again about 9 o’clock they then raided all the clothing stores and the ration huts. A lot of them still drinking beer which got them into a firm madness. Well they keep going on till about two o’clock that afternoon. When they got some men together out of No. 1 district and give them rifles and ammunition, they shot five of the fellows dead and wounded about 24 which was rushed into the hospital right close here and are getting along fine. Well the raid died away then. So that afternoon they paid everybody two pounds each and the next morning we had General Farmer here giving us a speech. He is the head officer over Canadians in England.

He told us when there would be sailing for us. And said we would all get home this month that is here in this camp now. He said it was not his fault that the 3rd Div was getting home before us but it was somebody over him, that would be Currie I believe, and from now on they are sending 50 percent of the troops in this camp and another 50 of the Battns coming from France. There was a bunch left on Monday and there is another bunch going tomorrow but I do not expect to be in it, but expect to be in the bunch on Saturday any way. That is the 15th then there is another sailing on the 22nd and two more at the end of March.

Well it snowed here last night and it has been a very dirty day underfoot out today. Art O’Shea was just in a little ago wanting to know if we would go to Rhyl tonight but we made up our mind not to go tonight.

Say I had a great dream last night I thought I was home. I felt disappointed when I woke up and found myself still here. I hope this letter finds you well as it leaves me dandy just anxious to get away home.

Say I rec’d two letters from you a few days ago. They were dated Oct 21st Nov 8, Nov 4. I never dreamed that I was going to be so long at getting home. When in the 18 American Hospital the time does fly. Maybe it is better that I was held back a little you know it will amount to about two hundred more dollars of gratuity money with out counting the pay we are drawing all along. There would not be much for me to do if I had been home this winter and I will be home for the spring to make things fly and we will make a home that can never be beat. I think all the boys who have been to France know how much a home means.

Well bye bye do not be worrying. I expected to be home nearly as quick as this letter. With love from your loving son and brother Bruce xxxx

- Last letter


  1. Great blog. I have posted a link on my blog:

    1. Thanks! I haven't monitored it for a while and assumed no one read it anymore! thanks for the link.