James Eldon Lane was born in Bruce County, Ontario in February, 1887. He later moved to New Westminster, British Columbia where he worked as a barrister. Lane enlisted in November, 1915 in Kingston, Ontario with the 50th Field Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. He was wounded in July, 1918 and invalided back to Canada in 1919. The collection currently consists of one letter, three photographs, and a newspaper clipping.
Willard Hogarth (Bill) Hutchinson was born in Dorchester, New Brunswick April 16, 1897 and enlisted in Fredericton, New Brunswick in January, 1916. He served overseas in France and returned to the Maritimes in 1919. The collection currently consists of eleven letters written from 1916 to 1919.
Robert Lloyd Jones was born in Vulcan, Alberta in November, 1918. He enlisted with the R.C.A.F. in 1939 and served overseas with the 405 Squadron as an Aero Engine Mechanic. Jones returned to Canada in September, 1945. The collection currently consists of one photograph and two letters published in the local newspaper, The Vulcan Advocate.
Victor Leslie Davidson was born in September, 1892 in Chippawa, Ontario. Davidson enlisted in November, 1914 in Toronto, Ontario and went overseas with the 20th Battalion. In 1916 he married Emelia Sears, a nurse in England. The collection currently consists of postcards and photographs, as well as an autograph book kept by Emelia Sears from the hospital in which she was working.
Alexander Decoteau was born on the Cree Red Pheasant Indian Reserve near Battleford, Saskatchewan in November, 1887. He later moved to Edmonton, where he was a city running champion and worked as a police officer. Decoteau also competed in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. He enlisted in Edmonton in April, 1916. Decoteau served overseas in France and Belgium, and died in the battle of Passchendaele on October 30, 1917. The collection consists of four letters written by Decoteau.
Gavin Gibson Baird was a Canadian pilot who served with the Royal Flying Corps, 148 Squadron, in France. The collection consists of several photographs from 1918 and thirteen letters written in 1929. The letters were written to entertain his fourteen year old nephew who had broken his leg. According to the family Baird wrote the letters based on the content of his diaries he had kept while with the RFC.
Mm. Marie-Louise Depreaux was an American born woman who lived in Paris with her French husband, Albert Depreaux, during the German Occupation. The collection consists of an ongoing letter written to her two sisters to relate to them the details of her life during that time, written between August, 1940 and September, 1944. The spelling in the original has been retained as closely as possible in the transcription.
This collection includes letters from area soldiers published in The Speaker, as well as other articles from that paper pertaining to local soldiers and activities in the town. Overall the collection provides an excellent sense of the connection that a small town in Ontario had to World War One through the pages of its local paper. Whenever possible we have linked the names of individuals appearing in the paper with their attestation papers and/or their commemoration through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
The Canadian Letters and Images Project is indebted to Dion Loach for graciously sharing his research.
Hebert (Bert) Franklin Ball was born in February, 1889 in Omaha, Nebraska and grew up in Alberta where his family was homesteading. Herbert enlisted in Edmonton, Alberta in January, 1915 with the 51st Battalion, and later served overseas with the 38th Battalion. Ball was killed November 18, 1916. The collection currently consists of two photographs, one clipping, and ten letters.
William Orlando Clay was born in Newmarket, Ontario in February, 1885. He enlisted in February, 1916 in Toronto with the 180th Battalion. The collection currently consists of his discharge certificate, several photos, and his diary from 1916.
Roger Wilson was born in Kendall, Westmoreland, England in April, 1896. Wilson came to Alberta, Canada in the spring of 1914 where he worked as a farmer. He enlisted in December, 1915 in Calgary, Alberta with the 89th Battalion and then later served overseas with the 31st Battalion. Wilson died on April 9, 1917 in the attack at Vimy Ridge. The collection currently consists of four letters written by Wilson and a newspaper notice of his death.
Alfred Fern Nelson was born in Victoria, British Columbia in July, 1922 and served overseas with the Calgary Highlanders. Nelson was wounded in France in the summer of 1944 and then taken prisoner in the fall of 1944. He remained a prisoner of war in Germany until the end of the war. The collection consist of more than thirty letters.
Alexander Ewen was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1881 and emigrated to Canada prior to the war, where he lived in the London, Ontario area. He enlisted in September, 1914 and served overseas. The collection consists of eight letters and four photographs.
John Pritchard Sudbury was born in London, England in 1894. He emigrated to Montreal where he worked for the Montreal Gazette before enlisting in Montreal in July, 1915. He was sent to Belgium in February, 1916. He served throughout the Front including the Ypres Salient in 1916, the Somme in September of 1916, Vimy Ridge in April of 1917, and at Passchaendaele in October of 1917, where he was wounded. The collection consists of more than sixty letters written to his family, photographs, a poem, a pay book, a Christmas card, and two magazines.
Murray Welsh was born in Kincardine, Ontario in August, 1889. Welsh enlisted with the Fort Garry Horse in June, 1915. He served in France and earned the DCM before his death on March 30, 1918. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial. The collection currently consists of nine letters, photographs, and personal items.
Laura Margaret Morton was born in Kingston, Ontario in March, 1891. She trained as a nurse in Ontario and in 1917 she enlisted with the CAMC. Morton served overseas in France and Britain during the war. The collection consists of her photograph album from her time at the Winwick Hospital in Britain, which during the war was known as the Lord Derby War Hospital. We have scans of the complete album pages as they appeared, as well as the individual photographs on those pages.
James A. Jones was born in Lancashire, England in 1881 and later emigrated to Alberta, Canada. Jones enlisted at Medicine Hat, Alberta in May, 1916 and served overseas in France until his death in June, 1917. The collection currently consists of his diary from January, 1917 until his last entry in June, 1917.
James Howard Bennett was born in Spencerville, Ontario in 1894, enlisted in February, 1916, and served overseas in France. The collection consists of more than three dozen letters covering the period 1916 to 1918.
Robert, Charles, and George Rooke were born in England and moved with their parents William and Hannah Rooke to Saskatchewan to homestead. Robert Percy Rooke, age twenty-two, enlisted in Winnipeg, Manitoba on February 9, 1900 with the Lord Strathcona's Horse. His brother Charles Winn, age twenty-four, also enlisted on January 9, 1900 with the Lord Stathcona's Horse. Both served in South Africa and returned to Canada early in 1901. They both re-enlisted with the Canadian Mounted Rifles, along with their brother George Cyril, age twenty, who enlisted in December, 1901, and served in South Africa until the end of the war. The original letters have been donated by the family to the National Archives in Ottawa. The collection consists of more than 40 letters written by the brothers to their family back in Canada.
William Joseph Johnston was born in Victoria, British Columbia in March, 1875. Johnston enlisted in Victoria in January, 1916, with the 1st Canadian Pioneers, and subsequently served overseas with the 9th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops. He was wounded in France and invalided back to England, where he died in October, 1917. The collection currently consists of thirty letters, several photographs, and a very large postcard collection.
Daniel Spencer Reid was born in Middle Musquodobit, Nova Scotia in October, 1896. Reid enlisted in October 1915. He served overseas with the 85th Overseas Battalion, the Nova Scotia Highlanders. Reid was killed at Passchendaele, October 30, 1917. The collection consists of more than thirty letters and one postcard.
Gordon Joshua Dennison (referred to as Billy or Billy) was born in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan in July, 1922. He enlisted with the RCAF in January, 1941 and served first as an Air Engine Mechanic. Dennison later switched to Gunnery School. He went overseas in January, 1944 and served as a tail gunner with the 199th Sqaudron. Dennison was shot down September 16, 1944. The collection currently consists of more than one hundred letters.
William Henry Walker was born in Clinton, Ontario in 1897. He worked as a drug clerk until his enlistment at Clinton, Ontario on January 20, 1915. Walker served overseas and was killed December 19, 1916 at the age of nineteen. The collection consists of one photograph of Walker.
Clarence Reginald Gass was born in Bayfield, Nova Scotia in April, 1894. He enlisted in Halifax in November, 1915 and served overseas until the end of the war. The collection consists of more than forty letters, as well as photographs, telegrams and miscellaneous items related to the 85th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Nova Scotia Highlanders) with whom he served.