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[The diary below was written by Jean Latham following the death of her son Gary and then of her husband Frank in October and December of 1944. It was written in the book originally intended as a keepsake “Story of Our Baby” diary given to Jean at Gary’s birth in July of 1944. In the weeks following the baby’s birth it soon became apparent that he was unwell, and the nature of the entries into the book changed.  It was initially used by Jean to record the baby’s medical history, and then as a personal diary of remembrance following his death in October, and of her husband’s less than two months later.]


[November 16th, 1944. Written on the page headed “First Birthday” in the Story of Our Baby book. “First Birthday” has been crossed out.]

Gary passed away 31st of October 1944 around 10:30 & 11 in the morning, he was a little darling just loaned to us for such a short while. To-day the 16th of November he would have been 4 mos. old. Gary was 3 mo. 15 days at the time of his death.

[Written beginning on the page headed “First Hair Cut” in the Story of Our Baby book.]

Baby had all his hair shaved off on the 10th of October. Sask Insurance cut on Gary around the end of July.

Friday, Nov. 3rd, 1944, at 10 o’clock

The day baby Gary was buried was a nice sunshiny day. Bert was certainly a brick, I really don’t know what I would have done without her. The baby looked grand so natural looking, he had some lovely flowers and everyone has been very kind, it is so hard to part with them but God knows best.

Received Gary’s Insurance Money $100.00 on Dec. 14th, 1944.

Feb. 14th, 1945.

A great many events have happened in a year. To-day, 1 year ago Frank received his commission. I’ll never forget how excited and proud we both were, we were sitting drinking coffee when A.K. brought the letter in. I recall when when Virgil and Frank decided they wanted to join up, the first attempt they failed, both came back to our place feeling very badly. Virgil’s ears wouldn’t [bop?], and Frank’s vision wasn’t okay, never the less they tried again in July and both were accepted in Calgary.

Frank left for the Air Force in Calgary the 7th of October, he was sent to Edmonton, ACI. In November the boys were sent to Tarmac at Saskatoon. Ivy and I came home around the 5th of December, she to Rockglen & I to mothers, the boys had Xmas leave Frank and I stayed at the Russell Blk. In the later part of Feb. or early March, Regina AC2 I.T.S. and then from their in May to No. 3 Wireless school in Wpg. Frank now had his Props. L.A.C.

In July I went to Wpg. where I spent almost five perfect months with Frank. We came back the early part of December and I was expecting. Frank came home from Wpg. and was posted to Lethbridge. We spent our last Xmas and New Year together thank God we didn’t know. Frank went to Lethbridge for six weeks B. & Gunnery, and came home and received his commission Pilot Officer. Frank was then posted to Patricia Bay, he came home in June, after he had spent two days in Trail (he had a short leave). We had his people over and I made a cake and put 28 candles on it. The next day he returned to Pat. Bay, a week later he was sent to Sydney N. Scotia.

I never seen Frank when he passed through, he phoned me though. Frank was at various places at the East Coast, Newfoundland, Goose Bay Labrador, Halifax. He was sent to Iceland in Sept. when I was expecting him home on leave, my Darling was taken on the 19th of Dec. 1944, he received his Flying Officer’s stripes on the 15th of December. The wire arrived missing on the 21st, 22nd saying he was killed and the 23rd to tell of his burial.

Never let us doubt our Lord’s Will, hard as it is to understand his ways. Someday we shall all be reunited in his home of glory. God give us strength and courage to carry out and do his will. Trust in the Lord.

Jean Latham
Feb. 14th, 1945.

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