Frank Slavin, the famous old boxing champion, who is now in the Canadian Army, has just returned to the trenches after a breakdown. He was offered two months' leave to recuperate in "Blighty," but he persuaded his colonel to allow him to resume his duties at the front at once. A letter has just been received by a friend to say that he is quite ready for the Huns again.
"I do not think that Fritz will last much longer," he says.
"He would not want peace if the show did not pinch somewhere. Just imagine me in my early days wanting to quit the arena under any circumstances before the contest was decided-- especially if I was winning. Ridiculous!
On December 29 I broke down after seven weeks of the worst kind of fire in a dug-out. With the Huns shelling us day and night it got a bit on my nerves, but I am now getting all right again. I hope this will be a more happy year for the greatest Empire the world ever saw, and that it will witness the consolidation of the British race and make us stronger than ever. We did not know our strength before the war."
In another letter, he says:
"I am only a shadow of myself of yore. Fifty-seven days of shell fire to my right, to my left, behind and ahead, is a bit too strong for a man of my strength, but I hope I shall be back in time to help to drive the last nail in the Kaiser's coffin, which will not now be long.
"Had Major McKinley or Roosevelt been President of the United States when this war broke out, Germany would have been out a year ago, as the States would have acted as a nation with some respect for a signature to a treaty."
Weekly Dispatch (London, England), February 4, 1917.