A description of the start of the 100 Days
Thursday, September 26, 1918
Transcribed by: marc
At last I have a chance to let you know how things are going. It has been utterly impossible the last few weeks to do any writing, but I have tried to send field cards from time to time which was all I could do in the way of news.
It is just a month to-day since I left the reinforcement camp, and that month has been the busiest, the most strenuous and at the same time the most successful I have ever experienced, and I think the same is true of the whole Corps. I will try to give you a brief outline of the main features. We were rushed up by train the first part of the journey to join the battalion and then had to march over thirty miles with full pack, through terrible heat, in less than two days. We just reached the Corps in time to go over the top and we advanced nine miles through Fritz's lines in about eight hours, a record that has never been equalled by any army on either side since the war started. It was a walk over. Our casualties were light and his were heavy in prisoners and killed. We pushed farther there the next few days, and then went out and right up to the Arras front. We were in reserve there for about a week and then began the great push, which you have been reading about. The fighting was stiffer here, as Fritz had his best troops against us and very strong positions. Nevertheless, we had our objective to make, and we not only made it, but we passed it. Our casualties were very heavy and some of the best have gone, but fortunately a large percentage were only wounded. It was very comforting in walking over the battlefield afterwards to notice that there were ten times as many German dead as ours, besides the thousands of prisoners we took. We absolutely fought him to a finish and beat him at every turn. It was grand to be in it.
A battalion runner's job is a busy one when there's a scrap on, and my running partner and I were back and forth and up and down through shrapnel and machine-gun barrages for two days, and marvellous to say, neither of us got a scratch. It was hard work, but very exhilarating, and I want you to believe it when I tell you I thoroughly enjoyed the whole affair. We had plenty of the best to eat and very keen appetites. It would be amusing to see my pal and me boiling a mess tin of water for tea with Fritz sniping at us and high explosives trying to fill the water with mud, etc. But we got the tea made and had a regular little banquet all to ourselves.
I have been in the best of health and spirits right along and am prouder than ever of the good old Tenth Battalion.