The Archives of Ontario Remembers Our Canadian War Heroes

Letter dated July 10, 1916, from Wally Gray to his parents Alfred and Emily - Text Version

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Sept. 24th [1915]

Pte. C. Gray

My Dear Mother & Dad,

F4383-1_26 [bolded section is excerpt__on page two of letter] Pte. W. H. Gray July 10, 1916 Dear Mother & Father, Just a few lines hoping to find you in the best of health as I am pleased to say I am feeling much better myself. The wounded itself it quite better now but my foot is just as bad a[s] ever, but I expect to go under another operation soon, as the Doctor thinks there is something touching my nerves under the knee. If so it will mean quite a time yet before I can get up, but I am getting used to that now, getting on into the six week's. Well Dear Mother & Father Beat & Annie came & saw me last week from Tuesday to Thursday so I got all the news from them. But they got there at a rotten time as there [were] lots of wounded coming in from the big battle so that made it a bit awkward for them, but it was managed alright & I was so pleased to see them. They told me you had got the news of poor old Charlie. It was nearly three weeks before I knew. They would not tell me at first but I got the news

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by a lady writing to the Record Office, a[nd] I had an idea something had happened to him by the way the stretcher bearers spoke to me. They said he was alright, they had been speaking to him, but I thought different as no sooner had the shell exploded, those who was not hit run for safety. So they never had the chance to speak to him, but I would have like to have known in a way so I could have said, Goodbye. But cheer up, we know he died for his King & Country, which every man out there is prepared to do or die. It was an awfull place where we were. It was on the night of the 3rd & the battle was going like fury & the Canadians were going to attack at dawn & our Batt. was going up to supports in case we should be wanted & we were on the Ypres road. Just before we got to the canal bridge a shell came over & either killed or wounded 12 to 15 of us. You asked how much my leg is wounded. Well a piece of sharpnell hit me above the knee cap & as it went through it cut the artery so as soon as I got to the cleansing station they operated on it & tied it together again. They could not treat me for 24 hrs as it [would] have proved fatal to my leg. I may have had to lose it if they had but I had got over that now so don't worry. Beat told

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me about poor old Erne Cox getting it too, I guess that will upset his people too. Poor old Sid will miss us now as we were always together at any time we could & Charlie Goddard who as luck happened hurt his foot one day so he had a job on the cook waggon & never had to go up with us. I guess some one will have the parcel. They need it though & they are welcome to it. I hope you will get all Charlie['s] personal property from them. I know they are very particular about sending it & it is collected & sealed up in front of his officers. Well Dear Mother & Father I have received your letter & thanking you for the money. Sorry to hear you all are not feeling grand. You will be like it for a time but I hope you feel better the next time I hear. You can tell Lucy that her Brother George has been in to see me. He is only a short distance, about half an hrs walk. He is looking fine. I did not know him for a time when he walked in but after a few minutes I had a little idea, but he knew me as soon as he got a full look at my face. He wishes to be remembered to all. Well old May & Herbert have soon moved & next door that's good. Well Dear Mother & Father I think this is all this time. Remember me to all & with love From Your Loving Son.

Hoping to see you soon, Wally xxxxxxxxxx