France – March 18, 1917 – (Letter #22) 

Dear Brother Jack & B;

Just a few lines to let you know I am in the pink. Hoping this will find you all the same. I am still on top, but this is a hot show and we are giving them their money’s worth and some change. I tell you, Jack, stick up for the Turks. They will fight square. They are sports. I will give the devil his dues, but the damn German will not. I don’t think they know how to fight square. It is quite a change for us fellows here. We had open fighting in Egypt, but it is trench warfare here. We can shift them.

It is iron foundries flying here. It is marvelous how on earth a human being can live through it. We can put it all over them in bombardment. I don’t see how in hell they stick to it, but, Jack, the mud is my worst enemy here – up to your armpits. When you get stuck, you are in for it. We had one of the boys stuck in it for 27 hours last week – could not get him out with rope. All we could do is give him plenty of rum and a sand bag to rest his head on. Of course, conditions here won’t allow you to do what you would do if you were stuck in the mud in Boston. It cost one life to save this boy. We had to do it in the open and a sniper got one of us. I am on the Somme front and there are worse places than where we are. I am going to send this letter to England with one of the boys, as a letter like this would cost me 10 years in prison or up against a brick wall. They watch you.

Send me a watch. Ask Florrie to chip in with you. It is hell on sentry going without a watch and especially when I am out on night patrol around the German trenches. It is to know the time to get back before daylight. There is not three watches in the company. We can’t buy nothing, not even bread. I think damn little of some of the French. You can’t get nothing out of them, and when you steal, they report you to the officers. I am up for stealing straw, about 200 of us. It is hard sleeping in mud about six inches deep, so we pinched the straw. I don’t know yet how we will come out of it. It is better in the front line trenches than back in the rear and you are safer, too. I am not with the machine gunners now. I am with the Battalion.

My address is 17 Lancashire Fusiliers, C. Coy. B.E.F. ℅ G.P.O. London, the same as my first address only B.E.F. I hope you get this letter alright and I hope you won’t be mad for asking for another watch. You can see I don’t expect to get knocked out. Give my best regards to Sam and Florie and kids. Teddy and Mary, not forgetting yourself and B. Write me a nice long letter like the last one. Will close with best wishes and love to all.

From your brother,

P.S. Remember me to all the boys. 

This is the final week to receive nominations for our municipal election. Drop by Riverview Community Centre this week – office hours below.

Public notice is hereby given to the electors of the Rural Municipality of Clyde River that a Municipal Election will be held on November 5, 2018 to elect the Mayor and six councillors for the Rural Municipality of Clyde River for the term of office for four years.

The nomination period for the Mayor and Councillor positions commences on October 10, 2018 and closes at 2:00 pm on October 19, 2018.

Nominations shall only be received during office hours at the election office located at the Riverview Community Centre, 718 Clyde River Road, Clyde River.

The election office hours shall be:

  • October 10, 6:00-9:00 pm.
  • October 12, 6:00-9:00 pm.
  • October 16, 6:00-9:00 pm 
  • October 19, 9:00 am-2:00 pm.

The deadline for correcting elector information shall be no later than 11:59 am on October 23, 2018.

The Municipal Election Officer, Alex Dixon, can be contacted at 902-394-2846, dixonalex1957@gmail.com

The Returning Officer, Bruce Brine, can be contacted at 902-393-1995, brbrine@gmail.com

France – March 10th, 1917 – (Letter #21) 

Dear Brother;

Jack and B, your most welcome letter received in Egypt some few weeks ago and was pleased to hear you are all in the pink as this leaves me at present. I would have written sooner only it was not possible as we were on the move. We are all in France now, Jack, with the big push where the iron founders are always flying over your head, and sometimes too low to suit the Tommies. There is more lead and iron flying around here in five minutes than there is in Boston. It is quite cold here. We feel it awful after coming out of a hot country.

When we landed here, there was snow on the ground, but I would rather be here than in Egypt. You can get your breath here. I had enough of Egypt and sand. You asked me if there were any Canadians with me. There are two from Nova Scotia. One used to work on an ice team in Forest Hills. We are billeted in barns or any place we can get shelter. Of course, it is not hotel conditions, but we can stand it. The mud is awful here, right up to your ass. The next billet to me are two kiddies. Their mother and father were killed when the huns went through here, but they will never go through again.

I am with the Battalion now, so my address will be 1/7 Lancashire Fusiliers. C Coy. B.E.F., care of G.P.O. London.

Well, I will have to come to a close for this time. Write soon. I may be on toe or maybe not, as this is a bad show. Remember me to Sam and Flo and kiddies. I will write to them when I get a chance.

Goodbye, with lots of love and best wishes from your brother Lee.


Heard from home and Eldon is home, glad to hear it. He got clear of this hell. Never mind, I will have my Christmas dinner with you next Christmas.

Egypt – October 4th, 1916 – (Letter #20)

Dear Brother;

Jack and B, just a few lines to let you know I am in the pink. Hoping you are all the same. I have been just wondering if you got my last letter, the one with the first letter I wrote to you. Well, we are having it a little cooler here at present and the nights are very cool. I am still on the desert but everything is quiet here at present. Did Flo get my photos I sent her? They aren’t very good but the best I can get here. I was very much surprised to hear Eldon was in England. I do wish I could see him but I am a long way from him. I suppose he will be in France next. I wrote to him but got no answer, yet it is about time now.

I had a letter from home a couple of weeks ago and they are all well. What do you think about the war? When do you think it will end? What has the big fellow to say about it now, I mean Albert MacKinnon. I would like to have him out here for a while. He would find out that he was living. I heard that Annie was home, would have loved to see her. I suppose Flo is back. Did B have a good time at the Beach? I bet Ted did and Mary.

Well, Jack, I have no news, so will have to come to a close. Glad to hear you are having steady work. Is Bates still mayor of Quincy? I hear Dave Ross is running a shop of his own, is that right? Give my love and best regards to all and lots of xxxx for Mary and Ted.

Sorry to hear about Baby Hatch being drowned – remember me to Herb – tell him I’ll get a few extra Turks for him.

From, Lee

Egypt – August 28th, 1916 – (Letter #19) 

Dear Brother;

Just a few lines to let you know I am in the pink. Hoping this will find you all the same. Well things are very quiet here at the present. I am sending this letter back to you again as it has done some travelling, so I will send it again. This is a cut out of the English papers about our time in Egypt. See what you think of it. I never got a letter from home, only one they registered to me. I am not with the Battalion. My address now is #3949 Private Lee G. Darrach, 125 Brigade, Machine Gun Co., #3 section, 42 Division, E.E. Force, ℅ G.P.O. London.

I suppose B is back by this time. Glad to hear you have steady work, hope it will keep up. Is Sam working all the time? I know we got a steady job here. Well, I have not news that would interest you, so will close for this time. With love and xxx for the kiddies and all.

From your brother, Lee

Editor’s Note:

Lee’s time in Egypt which he was not able to speak about in the past few letters was the Egyptian Expeditionary Forces’ involvement in the Battle of Romani. In this letter, he sent his brother a newspaper clipping that appeared on the front page of the British paper, The Daily News & Reader. The story offers a full account from a journalist who was present near the Battle. The Battle of Romani was fought alongside the ANZAC Mounted Division (Australia-New Zealand Army Corps) against the Ottoman and German forces to protect the Suez Canal. Sir Archibald Murray was the British commander and chief. The British/ANZAC forces intercepted the enemy 23 miles from the Canal and were successful in pushing them back a further 18 miles. The Suez Canal was not closed to traffic at any time during this battle. Also, after the great losses ANZAC suffered in Gallipoli/Dardanelles Campaign (Feb 17, 1915 -Jan 9, 1916), this was an important victory.

Read full newspaper clipping included with Lee’s letter here – Battle of Romani – Newspaper Article

To learn more about Australia and New Zealand’s participation in this battle, click on ANZAC historical link here.

Somewhere in Egypt/Middle East – August 6th, 1916 – (Letter #18) 

Dear Brother;

Your most welcome letter received. Glad to hear you are all well, as this leaves me at present. I got that letter back that I had written to you. The censor got them mixed up. Mine went to England and my address was written on it, so I got it back and the letter is in my kit bag. I don’t know where that is at present so can’t send you the address this time, but will try and do later on.

Well, Jack, we had something doing the past ten days, but we are back to the base now. We gave Jonnie Turk a run for his money and believe me they can run, too. We all came out of it lucky, but it was a hard march across the desert after them, as it is awful hot here. I have not been in a town since I landed here, as I would like to send you all a souvenir, but I can’t get nothing and this is the last sheet of writing paper. Well, I can tell you they are a hot lot of prisoners that was taken in this time. They are in rags. I have not seen any with shoes on yet. It is the case, I guess, where they have to fight, as they got German officers – it is do or die with them. They are damn glad to be taken.

I wish I had my way. I would not take a German prisoner on my life. They are getting their own medicine back now. I would hate to be in their shoes. The Canadians are doing good work I hear, but they are all doing the same. We are not being overfed here, but it is pretty hard to get it where we are at present. I don’t think you would know me at present as I am so thin. But I feel fine, never felt any better in my life. Will get my photo taken if I ever get to a place and send you one.

Remember me to Sam, Flo and kids. That is right. Kill Albert MacKinnon if you can’t make a Britisher out of him. Is he ashamed of the flag he was born under? I would like to talk to him for five minutes.

My address is 3949 Private Lee G. Darrach, #3 Section, M.G.C. #125 Brigade, E.E. Force, ℅ G.P.O. London. The old address goes to the Battalion and they might lay there for months now. I hope to hear from you often. Give my love and best regards to all, Mary and Ted, not forgetting yourself and B.

From your brother, Lee

P.S. Give my address to Eldon, as I would like to hear from him.

Somewhere in Egypt/Middle East – August 2, 1916 – (Letter #17)

Dear Brother;

Jack, just a few lines to let you know I am in the pink. Hoping this finds you all the same. I have written a dozen letters since I came here and got three returned to me. I would like to know if you are getting any of them, as the ones that came back were addressed alright.

It is very hot here, but the nights are cool. Did Flo and kids go home this summer? I heard you were not going. I wish I was, but I don’t think this can last much longer or I hope not. I heard Eldon was training in Upper Canada. Wish I could get his address.

My address is 3949 Private Lee G. Darrach, C. Coy, 1/7 Lancaster F., E.E. Force ℅ G.P.O. London. I hope you get this letter alright. Remember me to Sam and Flo and kids, also Teddy and Mary. With love and best wishes for all.

I remain your brother, Lee