Letters from The Great War – “Here I am now for keeps”

Salford, England, July 25, 1915 (Letter #2)

Dear Brother;

Just a few lines to let you know I am well at present. Hoping this will find you all the same. I have not had a letter from anyone since I came here, only my birth certificate. There might have been letters come to my old address but I was away in France on a transport and when I came back I enlisted in the army, so here I am now for keeps. If you or anyone else could see for yourself what the Germans are doing, you would do the same thing I have done in a second. I tell you I have seen some things since I landed here. I would like to get into a Canadian regiment but I don’t think I can.

There is not a soul here that I know but the fellows use me fine; they call me the Yank, but I expect to be sent away tomorrow to a place called Southport. It is in the South of England, I think, and there is quite a few Canadians there. The sergeant told me and he gave me their names and a letter to their sergeant for him to put me with them. I get along with all the officers fine. They could not use me better. There is no one like a Canadian here.

There was 40 of the boys went away yesterday from here. They were to the front once and were going back again. All our regiment on the first division are in the Dardanelles, so I guess that is where I will be sent when I am ready for the front. I will write often when I get settled down. I am living with a private family here. We go on a parade at 9 a.m. to 12 and then all through for the day. I will send you all my picture later on with my brass buttons on.

So will have to close for this time. Hoping to hear from you all soon. Give my address to Flo. Remember me to Sam and all of my friends if I have any. I am writing to Mother. Give Mary a kiss for me. Send me a post once in a while if you think of it.

So, goodbye, with love and best regards,

Private Lee G. Darrach
7th Lancaster

Editor’s notes:

  • Flo was Lee and Jack’s sister. Her husband is Sam. They lived in Boston.
  • Mary was Jack and Bea’s daughter. Beatrice was a MacDonald – her father ran the Charlottetown Waterworks.

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