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.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

June 7, 1915 - Fredericton

Dear Father,

I received your letter Saturday noon and the parcel this noon.  If I had got the parcel with the letter I could have saved 35 cents for writing material which I bought Saturday night.  But no matter, it won't spoil and I can use it sometime.  The only money we can draw here is the $6.00 the major gives us between the 15th and 20th of each month and everybody gets that , so if I come home I will have to save what I can from pay day and the rest will have to come from home.

I did not think last summer that Henry Ward would ever work again, he was too sick at times.  I am sorry to hear that C. Sellon and J. Currie are dead, but it is as likely to be them as anybody.  I notice mostly all of the casualties are in the infantry.

When I spoke of my boots being rough on the inside I meant it was the untanned side of the leather, so there is nothing I can do to make them better.  However, I like them fine and they fit me perfectly.  I used a lot of grease called Dubbin on them when the weather was wet and they got very dark, and when the weather got dry and warm (it has been awfully hot here lately) I tried to clean them and get them a lighter color to shine but I could not do it, although I tried soap and warm water as well as gasoline.  However, on Saturday they issued us with our second pair and I got a pair of Slaters (regular dandies), size 7, just the right length but a bit narrow so I sent them to the cobbler this morning to have them stretched.  I like to have boots that fit.  So many here have them too big and they wrinkle all up and look like the deuce.  Of course, the quartermaster tries to make you take the first pair of your size he finds and there are so many makes made on so many different lasts that sometimes you can wear 6's in one make and have to have 8's in another, so I just stand and holler till I get what I want.

I am on picket today, went on with three others and an N.C.O at five last night.  My tricks were from 5-7 and 11-1, last night and the same today, up and down, mostly sit down out by the horses to see that they are all right.  Two hours on and four off, when on guard we have two on and six off.  But it's only play with no rifles to carry, only it's a bit lonely at night becuase the rest of the picket are 150 yds away, whereas the guard beats right alongside lots of company.  There is a draft of 42 men ordered for England from this Battery at any minute with Mr. Muirhead (Lieut.) in charge.  I don't know whether I go or not yet.


P.S. Mr. Muirhead started to make out the list of men he would take, 20 gunners, 15 drivers, 6 N.C.O.'s and himself, and he had me down as one of the best drivers, but the major took the reins himself and does not know the men's work at all so I don't know whether I go or not, but I will let you know as soon as I can...I thought you all might like my photo so I had it taken Saturday.  They cost me $2.50 and you will get them the last of the week.  Do what you like with them, but see that Ada gets one.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment