Letters From Garnet – Belgium, Jan. 29, 1919

May 9, 2012 by Jason Duprau

 “…I am getting quite resigned to waiting…”

Belgium, Jan. 29, 1919

Miss Millie Dobbs,

25 Howland Ave.,

Toronto, Ont., Canada


Dear Sister,

I believe I have written you since Christmas and you will know what a perfectly “punk” day we had so I won’t dwell on that…

We have finished our visit to Germany and are now back in Belgium…supposedly on our journey homeward…We are supposed to stay in this village (Ham-Sur Sambre) for the greater part of a month, after that—Lord knows where.

I’m getting quite resigned to waiting.

…we shan’t be on the water for Canada in less than a couple of months at the earliest and there’s nothing to do but “sit tight” and wait.

I had a letter from Osmond recently. He was certainly a lucky beggar to get back so soon.

All the troops that have returned to Canada so far have been sent from England, a great many of them having never seen France… This looks like a raw deal from our point of view for these fellows held down soft jobs throughout the war and are now getting back to pick up the cream of the jobs in Canada. Of course a great number of them are casualties and I can’t begrudge those fellows all they can get but it looks as though the fighting battalions are getting the short ends all around.

Conditions have changed a great deal here since the armistice. We are living more like human beings again and the majority of the men have good billets.

I have an excellent billet, good bed and…at present…four to six meals per day. The people have taken us right in as one of the family and we couldn’t be used better, no matter where we were. This helps to pass the time more pleasantly…than if we were burrowing in trenches and dug-outs.

Trusting you are in the best of health…

Yours as ever, Garn xxxx



Selection from the letter collection of Sergeant Dobbs, to his sister Millie and his brother Walter
CWM 20050153-001
George Metcalf Archival Collection
© Canadian War Museum

  • Reading the personal notes of soldiers makes history more real, more compelling. We learn more details of what life was really like. I did not know about the billets. How wonderful of people to open their homes to soldiers.

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