Letters Home: Clyde Collins

The Skidmore News printed letters from Skidmore soldiers and sailors throughout the first World War.  This letter was published in the October 31, 1918 edition:

France, Sept. 28, 1918
Mr. Frank H. Barrett,
Skidmore, Mo.

Dear Brother Frank:–

Was glad last night when I received eleven letters all together, in which I found the clippings, pictures of Vernon and Eula and the swimming bunch and the announcement of Tony’s death.  Saw also where you folks were up to the funeral held at Clearmont.  I wish to express my many thanks to you for same.  If you notice things like those clippings, Nellie, send them along would be glad to get them as have not been getting many of the papers sent.  Got one this morning, the firs tone for about a month and a half.

Well in one of my letters I told Nellie that I thought I would be in the lines on my birthday, and that I would tell her later about it.  I went over the top that morning, (Sept. 26) at half past five, being now three times over the top for our company.  Was very royally entertained for the day.  Came through all o. k. again, but we had a H—- of a time again. May be able to write you more about it later.  You will see plenty in the papers, or have already.  Am having it nice again at present.  This is a very cool morning, the wind is blowing quite hard so we have a bonfire near where I stay over night.  Have you had any cold weather there yet?  Was glad to hear that it had begun to rain over there and was starting up the pastures this fall.  That will save quite a lot of feed if the grass gets good.

See that you and brother Frank must have registered before now.  Suppose you are carrying around a registration card in  your vest pocket for a souvenir.  Sure will take a lot of them if the draft is from 18 to 45.  Have seen it in several ways of late, but understood once that it was from 19 to 36.

Those pictures of Vernon and Eula were fine, thought that Vernon’s was a dandy, but would no know the Miller girl by the picture, they must have grown about a foot since I saw them last.

You were speaking of German helmets in one of your letters; I have seen them by the wagon laod since being in the lines – very common thing to see here, and have seen quite a lot of the fellows that wear them also.  Wish you could have been with me and looked over the battle field where we had driven them out of, you would have said it could not be done.  You would have seen some real interesting things to you.  Why yes, they have some “kick” yet, but they are having it taken out of them fast now.

Probably have written too much of this stuff, just wait until I get back, can give you more of it by the arm loads if you wish it.  Will try and write some more of the people as I have some time now and got some writing paper again, so will close for this time.

As ever your brother,
Private Clyde W. Collins
Co. B. 103d Infantry, 26th division.