The Second Battle of Ypres (1915)

Canadian Nurse - Isabella Houston

Allied Troops fighting during the second battle of Ypres (1915). "Ypres: Inexperienced Canadians Hold the Line." The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.


Dear Mother,

Just a line to let you know that I am getting on all right in the field hospital. I'm so sorry that I did not write before, we are getting very busy over here. Do you still remember the day when I was send away from home to Belgium (here) to participated in this war? You and little Ellen were crying so much, she keeps on holding my hand really tight and won't let go. Those tears in her eyes is still very clear in my memory and also how is father? He seem to be very unhappy when he knew I would enter the war. However I never regret for what I choose especially not now, I am very proud to serve the Great Britain with all I can.

I am now a nurse of Western Front, we serve over a hundred of injuries soldiers of the Allied and most of them are France and Britain. I am now experience the horror of war firsthand and it is not the way I am expected, not the way us as a Canadian ever expected. The new weapon that the Germany Empire developed and use against us is not a gun nor a bomb it is something more terrifying than any weapon in the history and we called it the 'Deadly Poison Gas' (mustard gas). Thousand and thousand man got affect by it, I have seen it as much as anybody else who stand up and fight in this war. There is no way of healing it after it take over the body and so we can only come up with the solutions of using wet cotton bandolier and tying them over our noses and mouths. As a result the number get affected decrease but it is still not enough. The reason why we called it 'Deadly Poison Gas' is because whom ever accidently breath it they will receive a symptom of blinds, stumbled in confusion, coughing heavily and their skin blistered and not too long they will passed away.

Mother I hope anyone who want to volunteer to involving in this war get to see how these soldiers here had suffers through. Not to make them loose the confidence for trying protecting their country but to let them know that we never retreat even if  we have to go through hell and is that our mind and spirits is as strong as our troops. We sacrificed for the thing we believe is right and we fought to protect the one we love.

Lastly, take a good care of you and so to Ellen and father. Don't cry to much because you miss me, you should be proud for what I am doing right now and I promise I would do anything to come back home safety.

Love you,

Isabella Houston

May 17, 1915


A Canadian soldier with mustard gas burns, 1917/1918.'Chemical Weapon in World War 1'. Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.

Wounded Belgian soldiers receive care in an Antwerp hospital. "Return to World War 1 TImeline" The History Place. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.

"Canadian Division during the Second Battle of Ypres, April 1915". George Metcalf Archival Collection CWM 20020129-058, Canadian War Museum. Web. 22 Feb. 2015

MLA Style Bibliography

  • "Ypres: Inexperienced Canadians Hold the Line." The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.

  • "Ypres in the Great War of 1914-1918." Ypres in the Great War of 1914-1918. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
  • "Germany Gains Ground Using Forbidden Gas Weapon." Theguardian. N.p., 9 Sept. 2008. Web. 22 Feb. 2015
  • "Firstworldwar.com." First World War.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
  • "Land Battles - Second Ypres | Canada and the First World War." Canadian War Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
  • "Ypres in the Great War of 1914-1918." Ypres in the Great War of 1914-1918. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
  • "The Nursing Sisters of Canada." Veterans Affairs Canada. N.A, 25 Nov. 2014. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
  • "A War Nurse's Diary. Sketches from a Belgian Field Hospital (1918). Part Three." A War Nurse's Diary. Sketches from a Belgian Field Hospital (1918). Part Three. N.A. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

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