__________THE MIDVILLE JUNCTION_GAZETTE___________
September 29th, 1918
“One of Our Boys”
Tommy Carlisle Relays His
Tale from The Front
In a letter sent to our esteemed
postmaster Bill Carmoody, and ad-
dressing all members of this town,
Tommy Carlisle writes: “Greetings
to all of you unfortunate devils back
home in the states. I don’t mean to
rub it in but boy do we fellas over
here have it made. The accom-
modations everywhere here along
the western front are top notch.
Why, everyday we get to stroll along
the narrow streets and boardwalks,
through the mounded dunes of sand
just bustling with activity. Yes sir,
this part of France is sure plenty
exciting since we’ve been here. Of
course the German tourists do get
a little rowdy now and again, some
of ’em I guess you could say get
completely out of hand though.
But the rest of the boys and I, we
help out the Frenchys when it comes
time to putting those rowdies back in
their place. And of course the Brits
and Canadians are sure there to
lend a hand. Why they were takin’
care of business over yonder here
long before we doughboys showed up
with our ugly mugs. But you know,
maybe these Jerrys aren’t all bad—-
why they just keep sending us
presents. Sure, why they practically
drop ’em right in our laps, so
naturally we sorta feel obligated to
return the favor by droppin’ nice
little gifts as close to their laps
as we can!
I do have just a few complaints
though——MUD! MUD! MUD! You
see, when it rains over here, just
like back home, all the roads be-
come muddy. And the fields too.
It seems to be just about everyplace
we have to walk, sit, and sleep!
You can get tired of it real quick.
Why even the mud is tired of itself!
But I will say that once we made it
to the front, at least there’s the wood
planks and wood encased rooms to
keep some of us at least, somewhat
dry. But boy that trek from Calais to
here was brutal. It was 90% walkin’,
85% of which was walkin’ in the mud,
and 10% fightin’, 75% of which was
fightin’ laying on our bellies in the Mud!
Mud, mud, and more MUD! Oh—and
of course there’s always the blisters
on our feet. BIG BLISTERS! Blisters
the size of the circle you make when
you flash someone the O.K. sign with
your hand. And brother I won’t ever
wish blisters like these on anybody.
Well——except maybe the rowdiest
of the Jerrys. And speakin’ of the
Jerrys, here comes a whiz bang.
DUCK! Whew—that was a close
one. It landed about 150 feet from
where I’m sittin’. Knocked our cap-
tain right off his feet. He’s all right
thank heavens, and so are the rest
of us. Ah—–life on the FRONT! And
so getting back to my description of
the front, and life here, of course I
was making light of the harsh reali-
ties of this conflict. The fact is it’s
pretty tough and also pretty darn
(putting it politely) gruesome at
times as well. Those little gifts we
get from time to time are of course
artillery shells and boy I wasn’t kid-
ding when I said they practically
drop them in our laps. That whiz
bang we just got was one of ’em!
And the narrow streets and board-
walks through the dunes are of
course the trenches where we are
now in this no man’s land of dirt and
wire and wooden planks—-and MUD!
Mud, blisters, shellings, and
more mud. We all try to make the
best of this nasty, nasty business.
All of us do. We do a lot of praying,
believe you me. And God willing
everyone of us fightin’ boys will
make it back to our homes, safe
In the meantime, for all of you
back there at home may the best
of luck be your fortune!
See all of you soon,
Pvt. Tommy Carlisle.
p.s. And the rest of the boys
pass on their regards as well!”
by John Patrick Seekamp,