FRANCE: THE FIRST TIME
By Hugh Laughlin
School principal Hugh Laughlin of Chilliwack, B.C., pulled no punches in letters home from the front lines during the First World War. He enlisted with the 196th (Western Universities) Battalion, formed at Winnipeg. These excerpts were culled from letters written to his brother concerning the April 9-14, 1917, attack on Vimy Ridge; they were first printed in The Chilliwack Progress in October of that year and again in April, 1988. After the war, Laughlin came home to his wife and two children and worked first as a game warden and later as a liquor salesman. He died in 1960.
I wish I could go home now. I have done what I wanted to do when I enlisted. That is to feel that I had a go at the brutes who murder women and ch...