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> Issue 33 > Page 13 - Cape Bretoners in World War One

Page 13 - Cape Bretoners in World War One

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/6/1 (422 reads)

Thomas R. Langley, Port Hawkesbury: I went into battle the first day I was over there. Full blast, full blast, all right. Just used to take off days to bury the dead. There wasn't much of a trench then. There were about 3 or 4 feet--then a couple of sandbags up on top of that. And mats--we called them mats--to keep you out of the water. It rained all the time. We were on? ly there about three days and we were full of lice. Nearly eat you up. Oh, it was wicked. You couldn't tell what was in the ground--mines and bombs and eve? rything else, I know, there we were, play? ing ball--we were out on rest. We had a whole ball team there. Batter was up, wait? ing for a ball, and he was hitting, hit? ting the plate--and she exploded. Killed 4 or 5. Oh, a lot of duds--wouldn't go off. They were dangerous, could go off any time at all. In their trenches the Germans had cellars built down below--and everybody was look? ing for souvenirs. The Germans rigged this one day. You've seen the German helmet with blades on the top? They had that on the front there. A fellow picked it up, thought he had it--blew up the whole thing--connected down below, blew up the whole thing. Killed 30 or 40 men. They used to use underground mines--you'd roll a barrel over and set them off. Then they started using something onto them, you couldn't set them off, only when the artil? lery or a tank or something came along. There's tricks in all trades. There were no winters. It was cool, but no snow, nothing like over here. Nothing like that. It would rain--drizzle-'no heavy rains. Very seldom heavy rains. (Were you ever dry?) Oh god, no. Never. Your feet were the worst. They gave you whale oil for your feet, to keep them from peeling. (Were you ever comfortable?) No. I fell a- sleep standing up. I don't know if it's called sleep or not--a shell would bust or- something, alongside of you, wake you up, (What about a roof?) Oh, we used to have a piece of corrugated iron, put over the trench, just enough to cover you, keep the dampness off you. (How often would you change your clothes?) Oh, they were pretty good about that. Change about every two weeks. You'd get clear of the lice--awful, awful bad. The longest I remember going was 54 days with? out a change of clothes--it was pretty thick. Lice as big as bedbugs. We used to take the cordites out of the shells--they were about that long--and we'd string them mi|f I More goes into the VV6 KnOWb""d;"9?f?ho'T,e' ' than lumber and nails. ' Because vue've been building quality into our homes f or more than 20 years. "They just don't build homes like they used to." How often have you, or one of your friends said something like this? You're probably right. House-building has changed ... for the better! Lighter, stronger materials. Energy- saving designs. More efficient plumbing and electrical systems. They all add up to better-built homes. If there's one thing that's lacking in many of today's homes though, it's quality. Some firms sacrifice quality for speed. It makes a certain amount of sense. The faster homes are built, the more can be built. But it's you the prospective home builder who suffers. How do you recognize a quality-built home? It's simple. Just look for our name as the builder. At Co-op our time, expertise and experience is channeled into each home we build. And it shows! See for yourself. Visit our office. We'll show you our catalogue of fine Harbour Homes. If you wish, we'll even custom build to your specifications. We want you to be satisfied with the home you build. After all, you'll be ving in it for many years to come. Its got to be good. And CO-OP it is if it's built by Harbour Homes. Mi' 1H'T~ T~A You've Got Experience On Your Side 'P"W/ J • i ) Pointing The Way To Better Living CO-OP Building Supplies KING'S ROAD, SYDNEY - 539-6410 STATION STREET, PORT HAWKESBURY - 625-2600
Cape Breton's Magazine
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