W-MCP6-1.458 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN from his friend Dr. Norman Leslie
Oct 17 1915
From: #2 Canadian General Hospital [likely France]
You cast dust on my name. I do write and have answered every letter of yours.1 So Gordon Southam is a Major. Good. He will make good no doubt, but one can't help thinking of the many captains and lieutenants out since the first, who one would imagine would be given the chance of promotion. This business is one of favor and interest from top to bottom thru' and thru' [?] a pull; such is the [?]. Are we ever going to get a chance to sink somebody? You perhaps notice that Hugh's son is a Brigadier General. Great! From Captain to Major (I am not sure which), to Brigadier. Shades of Napoleon, and all in a year.
After the last big affair we were certainly busy getting very serious cases and lashings of them. Poor devils. Such hellish injuries, bones smashed to splinters, great chunks of flesh and muscle torn away, and on top of that pus running from them: nearly all, and very frequently gas-gangrene and infections which develops with great rapidity and eats up and destroys good healthy tissue. The buglers of the camp were busy calling the last post for a time. This is the hideous part. The beautiful part is the way the Tommy takes his wounds--quite silent in pain and facing a maimed future with cheery fortitude. They are wonders. The stories they write about the soldier are very true. He is working hard.
They like the Canadians very much, nurses and doctors. Their superiors, many of them do not (we reciprocate) we are a rather dreadful lot and cause them a great deal of worry about us and our morals. We really are not so dreadful, but some of them are so smug and so virtuous, and really cannot mind their own affairs. But I am [?] [king?]--so go buy yourself a drink with this. Write! Who am I going to [worry?]
Norman V. Leslie.
1 Following is a list of some of the letters (in our archive) from Dr. Norman Leslie to his friend Thomas Baker McQuesten about his war service in WWI from 1914 to 1918. The letters begin on the ship going over to England and continue through his service there and as surgeon in France in the trenches, which he describes graphically. For the full chronological list see: