100 Years Ago: Letters Pass the Censor

The Intelligencer March 4, 1915 (page 2)

“Letter from Gunner Wm. Paterson, 34th Battery. France. Feb. 16, 1915. Dear mother.—We are in France, ten miles from the firing line. We are not allowed to tell where, how or when. We can hear the gun fire distinctly. I was in a nearby village last night and saw a shell burst ten miles away on the firing line. We are billeted at a farm house, and sleep up in a loft over the barn—it is great.

We landed on the west coast of France and came across to the front by train. It has been raining ever since we landed until today. Now it is fine weather, and nice and warm, with the sun shining. It is sure La Belle France, when the sun shines.

When the Germans were advancing in France they slept in the barn that we occupy now. This is the last piece of paper I have got, so with your reply send paper and envelopes. My address is: Gunner Wm. M. Paterson, 4th Battery 1st Artillery Brigade, 1st Canada Contingent, British Expeditionary Force, France. Your loving son, BILL.

The boys can’t write long letters now, telling all they know. This letter had to pass the censor.”