September 1st, 1943

September 1st, 1943

Dear Mom & Dad,

Well I guess it’s time to write again. I’ve only had two letters since I got back but it’s my fault because I didn’t write sooner. Well only 11more days to go and will I be glad. Do we ever work, we are learning more in 3 weeks then I did in two months. I hope we get something out of it, we can’t be doing all this training just to be plain Gnrs.

Well how is everybody getting along? I guess they will all be going back to school by now. Are they ever lucky. This is a swell life as long as you keep moving, but once you stop…?

Well, Demps is gone. I met a fellow today that was with him and he said he was gone. I wished I was with him but I will be seeing him in January I hope. Waugh and I says that if they don’t send us we will just swim across. Waugh cut his finger yesterday really bad too, nearly cut it off. All they did was put a bandage on it and sent him back to work, that’s how important this course is.

How is Mill, June, and Teddie getting along? Do they still like in Toronto? I hope you have more than that ½ a pint in the ice box the next time I come home.

How is Marg, is she still working as hard as she never did? I’ll be glad to see her again, we will all have to get together again.

Don’t forget to send me Ted’s address and tell Bin to send him mine, and tell her to tell him I am near Franklin Park, he will know where that is, everybody knows where that is.
Well, I can’t think of anything else for now.

Will write soon, answer soon.
The East End Kid

[Shannan Note: some really exciting things over the last couple of weeks… the blog finally made its way to Gord’s kids! I knew they were out there, but some old attempts at contact went unanswered. I’ve always had a little bit of concern that when they eventually made their way to the blog, or I made contact, they wouldn’t be keen on the project. Thankfully my fears were just that, fears. The family is happy, engaged, and wanting to help fill in any blanks they can, and I’ve connected with family I didn’t even know I had! It’s given me that little push i needed to get through the craziness of late and refocus on the letters and my genealogy work… I’m getting some really incredible personal and family stories about Gord that are really helping to round out who he was, and it’s become quite clear that this young soldier we’ve started to get to know, asking often after his little sisters and longing for home, grew into a kind and wonderful man, and I feel even more privileged than ever to be able to help tell a little bit of his story.]

August 28th, 1943

August 28th, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad,

Well I guess it’s time I started to write yous a letter. Well I’m pretty happy I got my raise in pay from the 1st of August. I got 30 days back pay, they cheated me out of 3 months, but you can’t tell the army anything because they know everything.

Well how did the pictures turn out, I hope they were alright. And how is Gramma, ihope she is okay. Do you know Ted’s address? I guess I told you I was taking a three week course at the Atlantic School of Instruction, trying to make instructors out of us – big laugh.

Keep sending my mail to the old address and I’ll keep getting mail quicker. I got the box okay. It was swell, thanks a lot. Did you have any beer in when he got there?

I expect my furlough when I get through with this course, let’s hope and keep our fingers crossed. We get a weekend every week and a pass every night. I’m on a weekend now, Waugh and I together. I guess they can’t split us up now, our furloughs are at the same time. His birthday is the 11th of December, mine is the 13th, we expect to go over together in January. I hope so and so does he. If we don’t go in January we will rent a boat and go ourselves.

Well that’s all for today. I will write often now that I am paid.

Lots of love
The East End Kid

August 24th, 1943

August 24th, 1943

Dear Mom and Dad,

Just a few lines to let yous  know I am okay and I am sorry I didn’t write sooner and hope you didn’t worry about me. Well, I’m back in A23 again, the place where I first took my training on the Bofars. Waugh and I are back taking a course for 3 weeks. There is 16 of us and we are stuck in a hut full of frogs…French and is it ever awful.

This course is pretty hard but it’s interesting. Where is Ted, do you know if he is still here?

They say we are going to get our furlough after we are through here, I hope so.

Send my mail to the same place because I have to go in and get my pay. I won’t be able to write again until payday so don’t worry about me.

If you have any spare change or stamps could you please send me a bit.

I am sticking this letter in with Waugh’s so you give his to May.

Well that’s all for tonight.

Lots of hugs and kisses
The East End Kid

[Shannan Note: I know things have slowed  down a little recently, life has been a special kind of crazy so it’s been tough to keep up with multiple letters a week, but I hope to get things picked back up soon! Thanks for sticking around! In other news, the coolest thing about doing project is when relatives I didn’t even know existed find the blog and reach out. That happened today (Hi Al!) and it totally makes the work worth it. – Shannan]

Aug 24

July 24th, 1943

July 24th, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad,

Just a few lines to let you know I got the 5 dollars okay and thanks a lot. I was broke, all I had was 1 cent and it was a lucky one. I just got two letters this morning from you and Bin so I will answer them right away but first I just went and talked to the Sargt. and if you will send this month’s cheque I can come home for 3 days. It’s not very long but I sure would love to get home…that’s if you don’t need the money. And if you can send it, write and let me know Air Mail and then when you get it, cash it and send it by registered letter or any way possible. I could be home by the end of August.

I seen Demps yesterday and was I ever glad he didn’t go with the rest. All the guys I took my basic training with are gone, lucky guys.

When you send the money, you can expect a telegram saying “Be Home 10:00, Union Station. Love, Gord” so be looking for it, you and Dad, Bin and Marg.

Well, this is all for today, write again tomorrow.

Love Gord.

July 20th, 1943

July 20th, 1943

Just a few lines to let yous know I’ve moved and am at a real place right in the middle of Halifax. All you have to do is walk out the front door, cross the street and walk in the show. You don’t do any work, just guard, eat and sleep.

I got separated from my boy friends by I’ll be able to see them when they come into town on leave. I’ll be able to see Ted more often too. I thought I was going to New Brunswick but I guess I’ll never get out of Nova Scotia.

It’s now 2:30 in the afternoon and I am laying in my bed. I have often dreamt of places like this but I never believed there was one.

I just found out I could get home for 2 days, but it costs $25. Do you think it’s worth it? If so, let me know and I’ll try and get a 6 day pass. I think I’ll get my furlough by the end of next month so shall I wait and see or try and get the pass? I sure would like to get home, even if it’s just for two days.

Well I can’t think of anything else to say except write soon.

Lots of love,


July 12th, 1943

July 12th, 1943

Dear  Mom + Dad,

Well Mom I just got two letters today from you and Dad and I got the one marked special and was I glad. That three bucks came in handy because I was broke and I didn’t have a cig to my name. The one fellow I was chumming around with got a carton of American cigs and do you think he would give you one, well I’m through with him now I got the money and he is broke so just wait until her asks me for something.

Well I’m still on draft and when I leave and get to my new camp I think I will get my furlough right away. I don’t mind waiting now because if I had of went home with Demps I would have had to come back the other day and I would have felt pretty bad.

I remember Art, the one you mentioned in your letter. I seen him quite a bit over at A (23), the reason he got his furlough is because he is going away, and Demps is too.

I’d like to be going with Bruce and Chuckie, I bet they will have a swell time. I hope Pork likes it where he is. I’ll write to him tonight. He should be down here, there is lots of water and it is easier swimming in salt water than fresh water.

I would like to have been at Davies when he met the gang, I sure would like to see them all again. Tell Miss Davies I was asking about her and tell her I’ll see them all pretty soon (I hope).

I haven’t got those snaps yet that you sent to the old address, I don’t know what is wrong with the mail. Sometimes I get them in two days and then sometimes a week. Are very many of them censored, if so is anything ever crossed out?

By the look of Marg’s picture (the one that Bin sent) I think she is a real swell looking girl and she looks as if she has changed too and I’m glad all of yous changed your mind about her. Remember when I first started going with her, yous didn’t think very much of her??

That three dollars came in real handy, so if you send me the odd dollar will be alright. I don’t expect to be home for at least a month so my next cheque will be the one to bring me home. Everybody should be home by then, it will be better anyway because everybody is away at camp now.

Will you do me a favour and buy Sweetipie a present for her birthday because I can’t see anything down here, except when I get home I’ll bring a few souvenirs with me. I’ll be ready waiting for that supper when I get home, and if you can get a brick of ice cream put  that on the menu too.

Well, I guess I’ll start to answer  the other letter now. I’m glad to hear Bob is okay. I hope to see him about January then I will try to take Daddy’s place. I’d like to see Big Ted again too. If I ever do well we will have fun just like the old days. And when I come home, I won’t forget the telegram because I want everybody there and we will have a time. We will walk all the way home just so I can have my feet on Ontario soil.

If you do happen to send me anything, would you send me a package of Craven A cigs? Mrs Davies sells them. I haven’t smoked one since I left Toronto.

Well that’s all for tonight, I will write again soon.
Lots of love to the best mother in the world.

PS: Tell Bin to hurry up and answer my letters.

for Sweetipie

July 10th, 1943

July 10th, 1943

Hello Dad –

I got your letter today so here goes I will try to answer it. Glad to hear you’re okay. I’m in the same way, if you send me anything make it cigs or cookies. I can hardly wait to get one that farm and if you need any ditches dug let me know because that’s all we do.

I don’t mind waiting for my furlough as long as I know I will get it. I am trying to get transferred to field. I haven’t heard anything yet but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m glad to hear Bob is getting along okay, I’d sure like to be over there with him but I guess my time will come soon enough. It’s just like being over, down here so far from home. I got lots of tales to tell when I get home.

How do you like your new job, pretty soft eh, what you do just walk around all dressed? For me, I’d sooner walk around in this uniform, I guess I’m just like you were, I;m trying real hard. But there is the odd time you have to beef, you wouldn’t be a soldier if there wasn’t a bit of beef.

This is a real swell place but it is so far from home, but there is some guys farther than me.

Well that’s all for tonight.

So long,