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A Sunny Subaltern, Billy’s Letters from Flanders

Length: 48 pages1 hour


An engaging collection of letters from a young Canadian officer, native to Toronto. His letters begin in late 1915 on the journey across the Atlantic to the European battlefield. He is filled with worldly-wonder and naiveté as he encounters figures as diverse as Colonels to French peasants, and recounts the daily trials and tribulations of the soldiers life in Belgium with wit; for example, he describes his batman as “a soldier paid by you to be absent when you want him.” Particularly interesting is the tone of the narrative in which he attempts to educate his mother of life in the army, and in tone, cheerful beyond modern cyncism.
Collected and posthumously published by his mother, they make for a gripping and atmospheric read.
Author — Anon “Billy”
Text taken, whole and complete, from the edition published in Toronto, McClelland, Goodchild and Stewart, 1916.
Original Page Count – 175 pages.

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