Clarence Arthur McCann June 8, 1891 - June 2, 1947

Clarence Arthur McCann was born in Pembroke, Hants County, Nova Scotia to Arthur Frederick and Ella Jane (Carmichael) McCann. He grew up in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada.

He married Ada May Smith on July 27, 1912 in Falmouth, Nova Scotia and together they had 14 children.

In 1915, Clarence travelled to Fredericton, New Brunswick to enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He embarked for England not long after and remained overseas for almost four years. While there, he wrote many letters home. Over 100 of them survived and have been transcribed. The originals have been donated to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

I offer these transcriptions to those who have ancestors who served in the Great War so they might have a glimpse of what that life was like for these men.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

June 14, 1915 - Bay of Fundy

Dear People,

I am writing this 30 miles from St. John in case we stop at Halifax, then I can mail it.  Of course, we may not stop at all and no one can find out.  I can only see about 100 yards from the ship on account of the fog.  The transport we are on is the Herschel, some foreign boat, I think, by the lingo over the doors.  This is manned by English seamen, about 100 ft. long and as homely as the deuce.  She was formerly a fruit steamer and has been in Glasgow fitting up on purpose for this trip.  We came from Fredericton on Saturday morning and the people gave us a great sendoff as well as a big lunch for each man, donated by the ladies.

We got on board this tub about 12 o'clock noon same day and had the afternoon and evening as well as Sunday ashore.  We were in West St. John and had to ferry across to the city.  The Ammunition Column came to St. John with us and, with the 26th Battalion, sailed on the Caledonia, a regular transport, Sunday at noon.  We expect to cross together when we catch them.  They go to Halifax to get the heavy artillery, but I don't know whether we put in or not.  There is an escort waiting for us somewhere, probably Sydney.  It will take us 12 - 14 days and we will likely land in France, because we have 460 horses on board and all the horses have gone to France so far.  We unloaded the horses this morning (stated at 6 o'clock) from the cars and were two hours.  I tell you those horses moved mighty fast.

We have on board the C.P./P. Construction Corps which, with our 42 and officer and crew, make about 700 men.  The C.P.R. men loaded the horses between 9 - 12 and we have to tend them across - just feed and water.  We eat 16 men to a table and sleep in hammocks.  This old tub sets so high, I know she will roll.  Then I'll bet we will be sick.

As soon as I know it I will send you my address.  We left St. John at 3 o'clock today and are making only eight knots.  The people of St. John gave us a royal sendoff and the Ammunition Column and the 26th got the same.  There were many sad partings.  Conditions here won't let me write any longer.  So goodbye till next time.


© 2010 Pamela Wile. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

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