from Paris, Paul Rochat, a French national, was a private in
a French infantry regiment. Later in the way, he was given
a commissioned rank. He kept a journal from which the following
extracts were taken. Little else is known of him beyond having
friends and acquaintances living in Quebec and Ontario.
September 1914, I am enjoying the experience of being in a city
which was on the point of siege. The movement of troops, the
trains of wounded and prisoners; the state of mind of the crowd.
The German Taubes coming and going in their attempt to destroy
the Eiffel tower are all interesting and exciting. I found my
brother Maurice in an unexpected place. He is in an aeroplane
corps. Think of his luck. He does scouting duty also on his motorcycle.
He was in the battle last Wednesday. With another man he flew
behind the German lines near Soissons and with two bombs blew
up a tunnel through which a train was passing. The tunnel and
train were destroyed and the Germans who tried to escape were
shot down with the machine gun which arms the aeroplane. Two
bullets hit the plane but it escaped. There is no doubt as to
the success of the Allies. France has many fresh regiments which
have not been to the front and England is daily brining more
September 1914 Blois: I was glad to leave Paris where everything
is so sad. You have no idea of the misery and poverty suffered
by some. The train I came on was filled with reservists wives
and children who came to try to see their husbands and fathers,
only to find they could not see them. It is better to be far
apart as there is no disillusion no disappointment.
Sept. We are in the country 32 at a farm sleeping deep
in the straw and cooking in the yard. As you can see in the papers
everything is slow on the battlefield but that is because our
commander does not want to waste lives. Many of the men are suffering
from the long marches but I am in splendid condition.
Oct. We are leaving in the night for the trenches. All the camp is
excited and very busy. My mind is so excited that I cannot classify
my thoughts. The war is going to be a long one. We have fine weather
though the nights are cold. I am quite accustomed to sleeping in