About Me

Born August 4, 1894 in Auburn, New York to William and Alice Beardsley Woodruff Hills. Younger brother Carroll Beardsley Hills and younger sister Mary Day Hills. Educated at St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire and Princeton University, class of 1917

Friday, March 21, 2008

Letter dated June 9, 1917

Dear Mother -: I am by now becoming quite accustomed to a new mode of life which for utter strangeness has anything you ever dreamed of quite lashed to the mast. To begin with the meals – Breakfast at 9, lunch at 12 and dinner at 6:30 p.m. usually – All very good. Then we work driving for 24 hours. Then,10 hours to clean up the car, ourselves, etc., and sleep the rest of the time. At home we live in the rose garden of a chateau –very fine. Out, on duty, our posts are in a cellar in what is left of a little town of which there is no whole house and most of them mere piles of wreckage. The whole is pervaded by the odor of very hastily buried Germans. This is not so fine. Another post is in a cave in a hillside. The cave might be the setting of a war play. It is very comfortable but very noisy. The third is another cave. I am just now in the base post about a mile back waiting for a call to go and relieve the cars at the three front posts. They have moved a battery of heavy guns in across the street and I jump a foot every time they shoot. A few moments ago a Bosche avion sailed over and was chased out by shrapnel. It was a beautiful piece of work on the B’s part and he may have seen the battery. If so, we will retire to the cellar and the battery will move out. I have gotten so that I can sleep perfectly with a noise going on that would absolutely wake the dead. It is so loud sometimes that candle flames jump and flicker in the cellar. You have no idea what a weird sound shells going overhead make. It is something between a hiss, a shriek and a siren. Very interesting sometimes but at dawn the most mournful thing you ever listened to. I have just gotten the news of the English success at Ypres and everybody is very excited. There is going to be an attack here soon I am sure for the preparation being made is tremendous.

I forgot to tell you that Bill McCarthy (from Auburn, NY – Ed.) is in the section. We found him here when we arrived. Strange, out of 25 sections, isn’t it? Give Day (his younger sister –Ed) my best wishes for her birthday and tell her I have something for her. This is all now.Will write more soon. With love, Paul

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