Edward Stafford Allen

Regimental number: 
Unit at enlistment: 
2nd Depot Battalion, 2nd Central Ontario Regiment
Volunteered or conscripted: 
Survived the war: 
Birth country: 
Birth county: 
Birth city: 
Mount Pleasant, Ontario
Address at enlistment: 
Mount Pleasant, Ontario
Next of kin address: 
Mount Pleasant, Ontario
Trade or calling: 
Religious denominations: 
Marital status: 
Age at enlistment: 

Letters and documents

BX December 14, 1918

Mrs. George S. Allen of the village has received a letter from her son Eddie, who is in France, in which he describes the last few days of the war about Mons, which is as follows:

Dearest Mother and All,

Well, Mother, I have been in the fray now and know just what it is like and believe me it isn’t all sunshine. Leigh and I went over together. It is great to have a chum beside you to keep your spirits up. I have heard so many tell of going over the top, but could never quite realize it, but am now ready to believe all that was said, with big shells bursting all around you, machine gun bullets whizzing from all directions, and snipers all around the place, certainly gives one a warm reception. But to tell the truth, I didn’t mind one bit.

One morning we started out to find the “Jerry’s” in no man’s land; you know in this stage of fighting we have no trenches to fall into to hide ourselves, just open country, and it is very hard to tell just where Jerry is. We got as far as a sunken road when they started to fire on us. However, we were pretty well covered this time, and the bullets went over our heads. We waited until things sort of quieted down, and then started out. We had only gone a short distance when we ran across a bunch of Jerry’s. We didn’t have a great deal of trouble making these chaps understand they were prisoners, even though they didn’t altogether like the idea. These happenings kept up all day. Towards night we were called back to report at our billets, and do you know, they followed us right across the fields, with their batteries and shells bursting in front, behind and on all sides of us. In fact, once a shell came so near Leigh and I we thought our time had come, and thank goodness, neither of us had a scratch. We had five casualties, two taken prisoners, and a few wounded.

When we took over a little French town from the Germans and had just chased them out of the town on the run, we surely got a warm reception. The old ladies came out and threw their arms around our necks and kissed us on both cheeks; then, of course, their daughters did the same, and then served us with tea and cakes. We billeted there for the night and for the first time for months I slept between sheets.

The refugees are flocking into their old homes now. Some of the homes have not been damaged at all, while of others nothing is left except the cellar. Still these wonderful people were as cheerful as they could be.