Review of Canadian troops by General Alderson
Wednesday, July 05, 1916
Transcribed by: M. I. Pirie
Pte. John Gordon Stone, 183968, enlisted in the 89th Battalion in Red Deer, Alberta, in December 1915.
Letters from the Front
Pte. Gordon Stone of the 89th Battalion, writing his parents from England says:--
Dear Mother and Father,
Please excuse the writing because I am lying down just now, you see we just came in off an inspection and I am feeling a little tired. There is not much to tell you except that we are sure getting it drilled into us and that we are feeling fine. We have been in England exactly a week and have had three inspections during that time. The day before yesterday we had to drill all day during a heavy rain. Some class to us. Then yesterday morning we had a route march of about eight miles with packs, had an hour off for dinner, then had battalion drill all afternoon.
This morning we had to get up at five, breakfast at five-thirty, then we had to turn out for parade at six-fifteen with packs on. If we turn out not looking just right, they put in a crime against you. We had to march about six miles, to some plain where General Alderson was to inspect us. He is the Commander of all Canadian troops in France. There were about eight or nine thousand of us on parade. When the General inspected our Battalion, he said that we were a fine clean looking lot of men. They picked B. Co. out of the 89th, that is our Company, to go out in front of all the troops and show them how we could drill, and we showed them too. We are said to be the best Company in our Battalion, so we had to live up to it.
The Colonel was telling us today that the 89th might not split up. You see they picked out five hundred of us the other day. I was among them, to go into training right away. So I expect to be at the front inside of six weeks.
Well, I guess I have told you all there is to tell, so I will ring off.