LETTER HOME FROM SOLDAT ST-HILAIRE (RMR) IN 1915

LETTER HOME FROM SOLDAT ST-HILAIRE (RMR) IN 1915

Monday, March 15, 1915

In billets, Rue du Quesne

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “No parade.  Men given absolute rest.” [1]

15 Mar 15THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: “Mr. George St. Hilaire, who resides at 47 Grant Street, this city, was notified last evening that his son, Private Alfred St. Hilaire, who is at present a member of the 65th Regiment, 14th Battalion, which is doing duty in the trenches in France, had received a gunshot wound in the neck, and is a patient in Rowal Pindi (sic) General Hospital, Boulogne.

Private St. Hilaire, who left with the first Canadian contingent, is well known here, having filled the position of accountant with the firm of N. Rioux & Co., St. Paul St., for a number of years, and in a letter from the trenches, dated March 15, to his parents, in this city, tells how one of his companions from Montreal, was killed by a German shell while bring rations to his comrades in the trenches.

Private St. Hilaire states that his unfortunate companion was standing only fifteen feet away from him, during a heavy German fire which continued incessantly for four days, during which time the men would be in the trenches for twenty-four hours, and out for the same time.  It was during the night, he writes, that his comrade was killed, after a lull in the firing.  The unfortunate man thinking that the Germans had ceased their operations in their direction, emerged from the trench to secure the rations which he had been detailed to bring, and which he had been forced to abandon previously, and just then a shell burst around him, one of the particles entering the pit of his stomach and killing him instantly.

The now wounded Quebecer goes on to state, that while the Germans are keeping them busy, the British artillery fire is doing awful damage in the German trenches.  Each time the British artillery fires a shot portions of the German trenches can be seen flying up in the air.

The writer also states that he is surprised at his own courage, and that of his comrades.  The men are acting bravely under fire, he says, and hopes that this terrible war will soon end, so that he may be able to return safely to his home.

Unfortunately for Private St. Hilaire since his last letter has been received by his parents, he has been wounded in the neck, as above stated, and is in hospital, but his parents who are greatly worried, are of the opinion that the wound will not prove fatal.”   [3]

[1]    War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, March 15, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089701.jpg
[2]    “Another Quebecer In Trenches Is Wounded,” Quebec Telegraph, Quebec, Quebec, Thursday, April 8, 1915, pg. 1, col. 5.
[3]    Ibid

 

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