April 1, 1918 - Sgt. A.H. Jones 53815
Sgt. A.H. Jones 53815
F. Coy. 2nd C.C.D.
I was certainly glad to hear from & to learn that you are on the road to recovery, for the first reports we had of your wounds were not good. Quite a few of the boys that where in Passchendaele with us have passed & are still coming in the C.C.D. It’s good to see the fellows again, for at one time it seemed as if none of the boys would get out of the line. After you left us, Mr. Bracken took charge of the company as I had to send Perkins out as soon as it got dark, for he was badly Shell Shocked early in the morning & I had rather a rough time until it was dark enough to send him out to the Dressing station, & then when I found out you had got wounded, well, believe me, we pretty near decided to leave the blinking old shell holes for Frety, to have, for they [were] dear, at a gift.
Anyway we hung on until we were relieved at midnight on the Sunday night. As regards my platoon, ten [were] killed, five I had to let go out on the second evening, because of been buried etc. about ten others [were] wounded & the rest that did come out of the line with me went to Hospital, with Trench fat, after we got back to the transport lines I stayed till the evening & then my feet got too painful & so I went to Hospital. I was particularly pleased in the way Chapman & 4c Laughlin, Lewis Gun, worked while in the Line, & I sure needed their help. We got pretty well of Rum up their, but as usual, it was responsible for a few of our troubles, though the fellows needed all they got. You probably remember the bottle of rum I lost, I found it all right again & was glad for was able to make good use of it, later on. Anyway I guess it's just as well to forget our troubles Etc. in Passchendaele.
Don’t forget to make the most of your stay in Hospital its the only place you don’t have to form fours Etc. Quite a large draft, 450 all ranks went to the 18th last Thursday. Q.M. Vivian sent over as escort to Etaples. The 4th Res. now reinforces the 1st 18 & 47 Battalions also the 2nd Pioneers so I guess they will need all the 4000 men I hear they have up their. I will probably be up in the Reserve in a couple of weeks. It does not seem so bad their as it used to be, for Casuality Officers fun most of the Companies. I see on Order that Sgt. McGanly is due here this week from Hospital furlough. Sgt. Bayliss is taking the seniors N.C.O. course at Bexhill, two months it lasts for. Lt J. Spriers is supposed to report to the Reserve here this week. As regards me going to Bexhill for that commission business, I guess I shall have to wait till I go to France again for as you know, I did not fill any papers up before I left the Battalion & I understand that only thru the Battalion can a fellow get a commission. But we should worry, I guess the war will last long enough for me to go over a couple of times yet. I see that Sgt. Harper, Cpl. Mandy, Pte. Sullivan, got the Military Medal, also that Sgt. McGanly & myself where awarded a “Bar” to the M.M. I believe S.M. Campbell is figuring on getting his discharged at the Medical Board. Some people sure have lucky mids. By the nature of your wounds I can see a trip to Canada for you, I sure wish you the best of luck. I guess in about umpteen years more time we will get back to Canada. Don’t forget any time you have a few moments to spare to let us know how you are getting along.
With Best Wishes,
Sgt. A. H. Jones
This letter to Vincent has an incredible amount of information and people in it. It also shows just how liked Vincent seemed to be by the men that served under him. This letter was written just after Vincent's last letter home and soon after Vincent would be heading home.
The man who wrote this wonderful letter is Sergeant Albert Henry Jones, who seemed to be a leader of one of the platoons in Vincent's company. Most of the letter is updating Vincent on all of what has happened after he was injured and what has happened since the battle of Passchendaele and the results of the battle in which Vincent was injured. Jones wrote this letter from a C.C.D. (Canadian Convalescent Depot I believe) in Bramshott, in the county of Hants (Hampshire) England. I would think he was either recovering from some injuries from the front or was on a type of leave to regain his strength. A little bit more can be found about Bramshott and Canadian soldiers during WWI here.
Jones also speaks of people going off to Bexhill for training. This was a spot in England that many soldiers from Canada went to receive training or take courses throughout the war. You can find a little bit more about it here.
Jones handwriting was pretty legible so there is not much that I need help finding, but I will still provide the letter in full underneath. Where I have [were] within the letter is a result of Jones using "where" instead of "were" which I felt I needed to change to make the reading easier and make sure it made sense.
There are a huge amount of soldiers listed in this letter and a lot of them I am not sure of who they really are. That is where I am going to need the most help from all you fine folk that are reading this. I have checked with the wonderful site that Eric Edwards has done on the 18th Battalion, and it has cleared some up but not all of them. I will list them all below with what information I think is correct, but I would love any and all opinions on specific ones to make sure I give credit to the right soldiers. With the help of Debbie Lee Jiang and Eric Edwards on Facebook I have been able to pin point more of soldiers mentioned. Debbie provided some listed in the original Nominal Role for the Battalion and the reason some of them are not put in for consideration below is because they were either killed or sent home before Passchendaele happened. Thank you for all of the help!
Chapman - Have not found anyone yet for him
As you can see there were many names introduced in this letter that I can not fully track down yet, so any and all help would be awesome! Please share and thank you all again for reading these! I have 1 or 2 more letters that will go up soon that are addressed to Vincent instead of the other way around. Unfortunately the next ones are not dated, which makes it a little trickier to pin point exact times in the journey that they are referring to.
Thank you all again,