• Michael Ritchie

July 22, 1917

Updated: Mar 11, 2019


Dear Mother & Father,

Received your letters of June 25th also the boxes containing the flannels. The strawberries were simply delicious. Your snap Mother is fair of you although you take a better one.

Thank you for the flannels. They are just the right thing. It is hard to get anything suitable here.

Am at present on a company commanders course of 3 weeks by the sea.

After the days work is over we have a game of tennis or baseball and then have a swim in the sea. It is hard to believe there is a war on here. We are billeted in a chateau which was used to be before the war a favourite golf course for English tourists.

It is a wonderful old place and dates well back. The sea bathing here is wonderful. The water is warmer than it ever is at Chemong, although I would not compare it with Chemong. It is a fairly strenuous course where we are working but we have a good deal of time off.

The C.O. gave me my choice of either going to this or going on leave right away. I will get my leave when I return to the battalion. I have been a long times expecting leave but I think I did the proper thing.

My acting captaincy ought to be through in a couple of days. I will get the pay but the rank will be only acting until such time as it takes to strike off strength the captain who I am nice. I will get a certain amount of back pay as it will likely be dated back.

The C.O. told me before I left the Bn on the course that he was doing this but I will not be sure of it until it actually comes through.

I have been in command of a company for going on two months and a half now as it is.

Father I wish you would send me a snap of yourself. Margaret ought to be able to take a good one. I have not been able to get hold of the Bn. officers picture which I promised you but will likely get them when I return to the Bn.

Well it is getting late and Reveille and I at parade come early. You see we have to soldier down here. Goodnight and love and kisses to all.

Your loving son

Vincent

This letter is a quiet one in comparison to the last one, as there is not much to look up or to discuss. It seems as though, while receiving some officer training, Vincent is having a pretty good time away from the front. It probably felt similar to a holiday with all of the swimming and scenery that he would have been taking in.

At this time, his battalion is stationed in Bovigny in Belgium, and is not seeing a ton of fighting. You can follow the 18th's progression through the month of July, 1917 here with their War Diary.

I'm not sure exactly who the Reveille is that he speaks of at the end of the letter, but he seems to be an officer that is taking the training course with him. If anyone can shed some light on that I would be grateful.

There are a couple of words that I am not sure of in this one, but the way that he writes this letter it is very hard to scan it properly and get it up here. So since there isn't anything missing of much significance, I will leave it for now.

If anyone would know exactly where this training would have taken place that would be great to hear. Other than that it is by the sea and is a touristy golf course for the English, I don't have a whole lot to go on.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy! As always, feel free to share and contribute in anyway that you can.

Thank you,

Michael Ritchie

#1917 #France #captain #sea #training #LettersFromVincent #18thBattalion

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