• Michael Ritchie

February 6, 1917

Updated: Mar 11, 2019


Dear Mother & Father,

Hope you are receiving my letters regularly now. I received five letters and a box from Canada yesterday. It was a box containing candy, peanut butter, tobacco etc., and it was fine. There was also a tin of canned figs, so you will probably remember the box. The boxes an Examiners come fairly regular up to date. I haven’t received any underclothing but have been able to buy a couple of suits. So I will be fairly well supplied in that line if the suits you sent come.

Too bad that Agnes was unable to get down on Christmas day and also New Years. I suppose she will be able to get down later. I received a letter from Agnes the other day and also one from Jack.

My leave will very near be due. About four have to go ahead of me and then two may go at a time. I suppose you know we are out for a spell. We are working very hard to get in shape for a good swap.

Now that the States in the war, I suppose it will make a little difference and will probably bring peace all the more nearer.

I see by the Examiner, Father, that you are now Chairman of the Board of Education. Congratulations.

I am at present in a very comfortable billet and have a fine bed. Am messing with Helpts now.

8/2/17

Gant Laurie & Eldred Cumberland came over to see me yesterday afternoon and the three of us had dinner together. I certainly was glad to see both of them. They both looked fine. Gant is quite a bit stouter but has not been feeling good for some time.

Well dear Mother & Father, I will write a letter in a couple of days. I know it must worry you considerably when you don’t receive any letter from me and I am trying to write as often as I can.

As I told you in my last letter, I am in line for leave. Well love & kisses to you all. Although I am far away from home, I have you both first and foremost in mind always.

Your Loving Son,

Vincent

Give Jean a couple of kicks under the table for me. I suppose she needs them now & again. That trim poodle of hers must bother the neighbours considerably.

The letter that Vincent wrote that encompasses the 6th and 8th of February, 1917, was a fairly short one. He mostly discussed the normal pleasantries, talking about the boxes he has received, how his sister Agnes is doing, how his Father is doing back home and where he is staying at the moment in France. He talks about having dinner with his friends, Eldred Cumberland, who he has mentioned before, and someone with the last name I believe is Laurie. I think it may be Grant? I haven't found any information that has lead me in a specific direction yet, so any help would be appreciated.

The one thing that I find very interesting, in this otherwise very normal letter home, is how he mentions what I believe to be the 'States' entering the war. I find this very interesting because all the information that I have found online states that the United States did not enter World War I until April 6, 1917, which is another 2 months after this letter is written. He may be talking about an unofficial declaration of war of some sort that I haven't found but it seems that he is pretty certain the aid will help. Here is a site I found with a brief synopsis of America's journey into WWI.

As you can see, there are a couple of words that I am not sure of within this small letter. Below I will post the letter so that everyone can have a look at it and maybe help me out a bit.

Also, here is a link to the War Diary for the 18th in February 1917 if you want to get an idea of what is going on during the writing of these letters. It appears at the time this is written the battalion was in Auchel, France.

As always, please let me know if there is something I should add and please share if you wish to.

Thank you all for reading.

Michael Ritchie

#1917 #France #LettersFromVincent #18thBattalion #examiner #peterborough

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