Victoria to Vimy The First World War Collections at the University of Victoria Libraries

Destrubé family - letter written by Georges Destrubé to Dear Folk on December 31, 1915, Rest Camp.

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[Centre:] 2 As a rule they are a peaceable bunch and believe would'tn fire a shot of rifle or [artillery?] unless we did. The biggest [illegible] we have yet seen occured on Christmas eve. We started in & they replied & for about three hours it was like hell let lose. I must not go into details because of the Censor, nor explain the reason for it Guy Paul & I were temporally seperated. I was on guard at a junction of a communication trench at the time & could see shells bursting all round: You can hear the screech & rush as the shells go over & it kicks up so much racket you can hardly hear yourself speak. There was a solitary chap in a bay near to me and I heard his groan follow the bursting of a German shell that struck particularly close & showered me with dirt. Poor chap! he was a married man with wife & kids. I suppose he is dead now! - We [can't?] get to know. I bandaged his head with the field dressing bandage that every man carries in the hem of his coat & then the streacher bearers came & with much labour got him out & took him away. It is a hard sight to find one of our chaps, with whom you have lived for months & were talking to or laughing with a few moments before, - to find him bleeding from two or three holes in his head & lying unconcious in the mud. But soldiers have to be callous to loosing their fellows and one soon forgets, even the same day, almost except [the?] poor chap laid out, be a special [illegible] & then it is very hard indeed & affects one deeply There was no difference in our fare for Christmas day except the delicious milk choclate that

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[Centre:] 3 dear old had sent us [illegible] wee piece of of christmas pudding we had kept over for the occasion. By the way, maman Alice's pudding was [illegible] [illegible] far superior to the piece of pudding that was given out as regimental issue on Boxing day night. There will be a slight flare-up on new years day (tomorrow) when small christmas funds will be used to supply a few extras in the way of roast beef, roast pork, vegetable & puddings. We are looking forward to it, for we never get a meal in the sense of the word. And how did you spend the day? Quite quietly of course. I was sorry that Sylvie was made to be home that day, but lets hope that next Xmas will see us all home & the war at an end. We have not had time to write to poor uncle Louis, but I will do so as soon as I can, We are so sorry to hear that Grandmaman is so sad. It seems that she is much better off with you at home than at Boulogne, under the present circumstances. Can you not promise her that should she die in England, that you will have her burried in France? Many thanks maman Alice, for the parcel with the grand pudding & to you too, Syl, for your welcome parcel & you too Dan for your which contained many pleasant suprises. Please thank dear old [Gerlie?] for her grand cake that also went down well.

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[Centre:] 4 I believe we got all of your letters or at least most of them. Please send us another copy of that letter of Maurice's if you can [Pumps?]. I spoke about it in my last letter. (it got covered in mud in my pockets & became unreadable) I will quit for the present, but will write again very soon for I will now be able to find time (for we are away from the trenches again.) We wish you one & all as happy a new year as possible & all heartily wish this prolonged & cruel war will finally [coming?] to an end. Your loving son signed Georges

Item is a letter written by Georges Destrubé to his family on December 31, 1915. The location is indicated as "Rest Camp". In the letter Georges writes about spending Christmas at the front in France, and witnessing the death of a fellow soldier.
World War, 1914-1918; Destrubé family; Destrubé, Georges
Destrubé family fonds