Throughout the month of November we will be posting excerpts from a selection of wartime correspondence between Pte. Sefton Stewart of the 77th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, and his family in Richmond, Ontario. The complete letters will be on display at the Stittsville Public Library in the Museum's exhibit honouring Goulbourn in wartime.
This is letter number four:
August 24, 1916 – Somewhere
Received two of your letters today, one from George, and one from Clystal. The mail is delayed some on account of our Battalion being divided. It is certainly interesting to travel over this country, seeing the fine property all in destruction. The Belgians seem a very quiet, friendly race of people.
I suppose you have already heard of the casualties out of the 73rd. These were out of the other company who are separated from us. They were coming out of the trenches, being green on the job, and got shelled. A company is now out with a working party taking supplies up to the trenches and repairing. Of course, all this is done during the night. When you get into the dugout, it is something like an underground world, everything being up to date.
How are they getting along with the harvest? You had a very good hay crop. That is a good idea working together with the Neelins.
Tonight I am not out, so am taking the opportunity of writing under the light of a candle.
With best love to all,
PS. The Allies seem to have the best of the Germans, but today they put quite a few shells over, not doing much harm. It is thought the war will be over about Xmas.