From: Beardsley, Roy
To: His Mother
I will tell you about my trip on the boat from Canada.
We only had a convoy from Quebec for two days and then we were alone until we were in sight of England. The first three days of our voyage were foggy, the others were beautiful, although I was sick for a day. We lost a man overboard about our fifth day out, which made things kind of gloomy for awhile. We were eleven days coming over on the boat. The view as we came into Plymouth harbor was certainly grand. I have never seen a prettier place in all my travels. The scenery is beyond description. There are about forty or fifty thousand soldiers here and we have a grand time. I saw the Robinson boys and am going to see Will Somerville and the other fellows Sunday. They are about three miles from my camp, so you see we cover quite a bit of land. As we came through Exeter the Mayoress treated us to tobacco, oranges, cake and sandwiches. She also presented us with the enclosed card. We appreciated her kindness very much. We also passed through the outskirts of London. It was fully a half-hours ride, at a mile a minute, I was going to say, as the trains ran fast before we got through the place. It is some city and worth seeing.
If the boys home could only see a few of the sights here and how the English people treat us, they would envy us. I was going to speak about the train. The engine is small and the cars have no end doors, but have three compartments with side doors. About ten ride in each compartment. The trains run at a greater speed than I ever travelled before.
I have seen a lot of the boys back from the front, who were wounded, and it was a sad sight. None of us said much, but thought a good deal about it, and will certainly have it in mind when we go to the front. We will teach them (the Germans) a lesson if we have the strength to do it. If the people of Canada could only realize what is going on, every man that could handle a gun and endure this life, would be into it. They don’t realize it though. I never did until I saw for myself. I am glad I am here with the rest. You may tell the boys just how I feel about it, and let them think it over. There are lots of young fellows in Nova Scotia that would be doing a great deed if they would only follow the boys in Khaki …….
I had a narrow escape from lightning yesterday. There are twelve boys in each tent. Carl AlcornOne of the boys in another company committed suicide the same day, by shooting himself. I was down to Norfolk Beach and could see the coast of France very plainly.
P.S. Send papers from home. 6618 Roy H. Beardsley, C Squadron, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Contingent, Ditgate Camp, Shorncliffe, England.
Berwick Register, August 18, 1915
Contributor: This letter is transcribed from, and courtesy of, the Berwick Register newspaper, Berwick NS, by Phil and Stephanie Vogler and reproduced here with Phil’s kind permission.