Elmer Johnston
Elmer Johnston was born on February 3rd 1896 to Mr and Mrs Robert Johnston. In June 4th 1915 issue of the Summerland Review a section of a letter to his parents was published. Elmer wrote that he had not then been under fire, he writes that “he would not miss being there for anything and if he were back in Canada would join again.” In closing his letter he mentioned that “the French peasantry are very kind to the soldiers”. In the June 25th issue of the Summerland Review a portion of his letter home to his parents was published. Elmer wrote, “ I am pretty glad to be out for a day or so, a fellow gets shaken up every way on this job, but after a good night’s sleep, I am feeling fit again. We had mostly shell fire to put up with this time, shells of all kinds, little and big. Big high explosives do fierce damage to buildings or anything in that line. A big shell makes a hole in the ground like a cellar, so it doesn’t take very many of them to wreck a good sized town. The buildings here are nearly all brick with tile roofing. Low explosive shrapnel doesn’t matter much if one can get to cover, but cover is something badly needed just then, and the dugouts come in mighty handy. One can, as a rule, hear them coming, so one soon learns to slide and duck for cover. A big one makes a noise like an express train roaring along at a distance. An 8 inch shell, weighing about 200 lbs fell just behind our trench, but did not explode. It made a hole 12 feet deep and about 18 inches wide. The firing line is nothing but ruins and a labyrinth of trenches. This war is a cruel game, and we will all be glad when it’s done, its past all description.” In closing Elmer wrote, “don’t worry, I am trying to play the game but that’s all, not taking any unnecessary chances.” (R#195278)