117 Station St.
Belleville Oct 11/17
Dear Ida & Family,-
I first received Aldens letter telling of Uncle John's death, of course, I was rather prepared for the news, knowing how poorly he has been, but Oh Ida, I was stunned when I read that your Darling Boy had been killed, I haven't words to tell you how sorry I feel for you, we had got so attached to Earl, through his letters, that he seemed very near to us, Laura got a letter from him last week dated Sept 10th just two days before he was killed, Ida I would like you to write & tell me when you got the official word of his death & also what his comrades wrote regarding his death, in his letter before the last, he told us about visiting Clares grave, I suppose he told you also, if you havent any letters from him, dated the 10th or after, let us know, & Laura will send you the last one from him.
Well Ida Dear my suffering has just commenced, my boy started for England the 15th Sept, he sailed from Montreal the 17th Monday, but on account of raising the span of Quebec bridge, they were held until the latter part of the week, the 29th I got a letter from him, dated, " On The Atlantic", Sept 24th, he said they were being held there for convoys, & I havent heard anything since, as soon as they land in England there is a cable sent here, & a notice put in the paper at once, needless to say I search the papers every night, but there has been nothing yet.
Did you get the Photo I sent of Laura, Eddie & I, I am enclosing a snap of the three of us, taken on his last leave, which I think is very good of all three of us, also the funeral notice of Pa's which I would forget to enclose in every letter.
I suppose you have heard that Laura is married, I can hardly believe it yet myself, she was married at Napanee the 23rd July, to Harry Stewart of Paris, Ont. he is a government inspector at the Munitions plant here, they are living here with me, & I like him very much, he takes right a hold & helps me in the store & all other work as well, but I am afraid we are going to lose him, for he comes under the head of this first draft as a single man, as they were married after July the 6th, he is going to try & get exemption, but I'm afraid he cant.
I got your letter a couple of weeks ago, & intended answering at once but I have been so busy in the store & house as Laura has been laid up with Rheumatism, & I had everything to do, & now I have lumbago & am a cripple, I can hardly do a thing when I have it. Mother is real well she has been making a few visits & the change does her good, Martha & family are all well, we intended going up there on Sunday but I couldnt ride now so will have to go later.
Now Ida I will expect to hear from you soon.
Ever your loving Cousin
#2327436 Gunner E.S. James
Canadian Siege & Heavy Battery Reserve
Army Post Office, London, England