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From the diary of Corporal Albert C. West

B Company, Canadian Army, First World War

Holding the line in the trenches between Lens and Arras

December 24 -- Quiet day, a few mortars but none near us. A mild day, misty and clear towards evening. I received Xmas cards and letter from Muir Smith of Hythe. Its kind of them to remember me. This is my first letter in the "front line".

December 25 -- Had a box from my wife (Hattie). This forenoon has been lovely. When I came out of dug-out the whole of "No Mans Land" was a sparkle with hoar frost, and the sky was clear and air cold. A proper Xmas barring these hideous performances. Have been day-dreaming, having happy pictures of my sweet wife and my darling kiddies. I can see their joy now as they arose this morning. Oh the joy of childhood days, "Backward turn oh time in your flight. Make me a child again just for tonight".

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