Hugh S. Calverley - A Man at War...
Valcartier Camp, Quebec
Letter – We are getting tanned – August 26, 1914
YMCA paper Valcartier Camp, Quebec, Signal Corps, G.0.12

Dear Mum and Dad.

We are getting tanned up now and have sore faces from being in the sun and wind. There are 16,000 men here now under canvas. We went to the ranges to shoot today. Five shots each, fifteen hundred targets covering 3 miles. I made 2 bulls, 2 inners and a miss. The results were not recorded for the first time. We went marking for the others after. You put up the target and mark where the shots hit with a black or white square. Counting 5 for a bull, 4 inner, 3 magpie, 2 outer. It gets cold in the mornings now, at 5.30 it is chilly. There is a muster parade at 6.00. Breakfast at canteen or to fatigue in parties, to the ranges in thousands, in brigades and divisions.

I see Moose Jaw Horse is coming here today but I have heard nothing of the rifles. I will look them up.

Could you ship me up some letters. I have not heard from you yet, and a sweater coat, my old grey one patched up will do, the woolly one Dad gave you and you gave me. It is old and will be good enough to num around in and use at night. There was a night alarm and every body piled out in shirts, out of shirts, bootless and some were almost entirely clo’less. They got slightly overheated after waiting in the hoare frost for a quarter of an hour with no boots on.

Seven Thirty – Parade at eight, then the day’s work shooting, signaling, or marching, then eats at noon or later, (3.30 today), and an afternoon parade, more eats, plenty of bread and butter, besides coffee or meat or skilly. Last post at 10.0pm. We are 13 in the tent. My feet got squeezed out of the triangle last night and I had to stick them on top of the gang’s feet. We have a nice crew in our tent, in some tents they are oniony smelly foul beggars. Troops are marching in and out all the time. Cavalry-infantry, and engineers in one long string going to the stutty dog.

We are attached to companies now. I and Jones and Flint belong to 2 Co. and dance around to the back of the company every time they turn about and dance back when they return about and hustle to the back of the column when they begin to march. There are about 140 in the company.

I have been right up to the nines in food and everything so far. The boots work well and we have enough blankets. We get slower in the evening before bed time. Cold water fresheneth man. I wonder in Seale will chase up here from Welland. We are 20 miles from Quebec in the middle of the wilderness with lovely big blue, tree covered rolling hills around, and birch, fir and scrub trees around, moss underfoot. Sandy country. The main pipe broke today and went into a fountain.

Yours Hugh.

YMCA paper detail
YMCA paper detail Details
An image from The National Council of Young Christian Men Associations of Canada depicting their cadets
WWI Scrapbook - Hugh Salvin Calverley
WWI Scrapbook - Hugh Salvin Calverley Details
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