When Zeppelins Bombarded the
Introduction to Ephraim
E.D. Mitchell, a former St. Thomas boy, writing to his folks at Eden, Ont., from Otterpool Camp, England, gives some very interesting detail of his experience when the Germans bombarded that camp from Zeppelins. Signaller Mitchell was at one time connected with the grocery firms here of Swinn Bros., J.A. McCance, Egan Bros. and Butler Bros., and will be remembered by a large number of friends. For the last five or six years he has travelled for the Swift Canadian Company out of Winnipeg and Nelson, B.C. He enlisted last June at Winnipeg, and is with the Headquarters Staff, Fifth Artillery Brigade, Second Canadian Division, as signaller and dispatch rider. In his letter he writes:
Chocolate is the Best
Took Secrecy Seriously
“I’m going to tell you what happened to us just a month ago tonight. This is the first time I have mentioned it in a letter because they put it up to our honor not to say anything about it, but I see it has been in nearly all the papers, and you must have seen it, because mother spoke about it in her letter. The Germans thought we were having things too quiet here, so, without any warning, they sent one of their ‘Zepps’ along and dropped eight bombs.
Cannot Describe it
Close Call - Round Up
By the way, Chocolate was tied between two other horses which were blown to pieces and he didn’t get a scratch. We certainly had an exciting time getting a taste of what war really is.”
Ephraim survived the zeppelin attack and the sickness which put him in hospital where he contracted diphtheria - all of which delayed his deployment to France. After recovering, he trained as an artillery gunner but found his skills as a signaller and dispatch rider were needed more when he finally arrived in France on June 3, 1916. Less than three months later, on September 15, 1916, he was killed - Age 29.