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________________________________________________

 __________THE MIDVILLE JUNCTION_GAZETTE___________

                              September      29th,      1918                               

Letter from

        “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

and sound.

In the meantime, for all of you

back there at home may the best

of luck be your fortune!

See all of you soon,

Yours truly,

Pvt. Tommy Carlisle.

p.s.  And the rest of the boys

pass on their regards as well!”

        by John Patrick Seekamp,

2014

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