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Letters from the Front – Part 7

Throughout the month of November we will be posting excerpts from a selection of wartime correspondence between Pte. Sefton Stewart of the 77th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, and his family in Richmond, Ontario.  The complete letters will be on display at the Stittsville Public Library in the Museum’s exhibit honouring Goulbourn in wartime.
This is letter number seven.
The Goulbourn Museum’s wartime display at the Stittsville Library.

Somewhere in France – December 31, 1916
Dear Mother:
                Just came out of the trenches after being in for six days which included Christmas.  It was certainly a new Xmas for us.  It continued raining throughout the day; everything was quite quiet all day until coming on night when they opened up their artillery quite freely, keeping this up longer than usual.  On our side, the bombardment didn’t cause much harm.
                Got two parcels from you sent some time ago.  Had a letter from Earl the other day.  He was getting along splendidly.  He is a lucky lad all right as he will miss all the bad weather and will hardly be back here again.  Sid and Ervie are both fine.  Haven’t seen Arthur but have seen some of his Battalion who told me he was fine.  Did you get any of those Xmas cards I sent?
                I got a letter from you, Jonathan Craig and a Xmas card from Irene Neelin.  We haven’t yet seen the plum pudding they spoke of in the papers but we may get something extra tomorrow.
                I suppose you have nice cold weather in Canada.  How are they getting along their rink which I heard was to be started some time ago?
                The trenches are very muddy this time of the year, being half full of water in some places.  Have been using long, hip rubber boots when in the worst parts of the line.  On Xmas day we nearly had a few Fritzies coming over.  We were out in a saf, which is a trench running out in front of the main line, which is really a strong point.  We didn’t do any sniping Xmas day, but put on a hot celebration that night.  You speak of us getting our furloughs. They are yet to come.
With love to all,