The following is a letter from E C. Wallner, written from England to his uncle, W. D. Wallner of Buffalo Lake.
Somewhere in England, October 9th, 1918
Dear Uncle William:
Undoubtedly this letter from me coming from oversea will be somewhat of a surprise as we never did much along the corresponding line. Well let that be as it may, the fact remains that I am in the writing spirit and a few words to you regarding my will being and location would not be misspent, so here goes:
I am just recovering from a serious attack of influenza, an epidemic that is spreading all over Europe, and I understand is also gaining headway in the states. I am in a base hospital near London where scores of soldiers are under the constant care of doctors and nurses. Quite a number of unfortunate victims have passed away in death here. It is a terrible disease that causes one to feel awfully ill and at times delirious. I was very sick, but as I am not what you would call a weakling physically, it takes more than influenza to put me under the ground. Upon our arrival in port I was taken ill, together with hundreds of others was taken to this point in a hospital train. They carried me to a Red Cross Ambulance on a stretcher and hurried to the hospital where I am getting good treatment.
Present indications point to an early peace, as the huns are being whipped to a frazzle daily. They are crying for peace and if they submit to President Wilson’s 14 points peace will be declared soon. You people know very little about the war “over there.” It is a common sight to see Americans with limbs and arms severed or otherwise badly wounded going about on crutches.
It would be a great pleasure for me to give you folks more of an idea of what is going on here, but as every letter sent to America by the boys here, is censored it is impossible to do so. One might write something that would give aid to the enemy in carrying on their bloody warfare against us. At present they are falling back under heavy fire and are burning villages in their retreat.
Well my supply of paper is running short so I must come to a close. Hoping that all are enjoying the very best of health and with best regards to all, I am your nephew, E. C. Wallner