May 14th, 1943

May 14th, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad,

Just a few lines to let you know I am still alive and kicking and feel in the best of spirits. Maybe it was because yesterday was payday. Well how is everybody at home, fine I hope. How did Ray’s leg turn out, write and let me know.

Right now I am doing nothing so I thought I would drop you a line. I got a letter from Hilda H. today and was I surprised. I wrote to her but I didn’t think she would answer, but she did. I get lots of mail, from you, daddy, Bin, Marg, Edie, Hilda, not bad, eh? I guess you don’t  remember Hilda but I do. She is a very nice girl. I seen her that last leave I had at home. Very, very nice girl. But don’t tell Marg though. That last letter I wrote to Daddy in your letter, tell him it’s not so hard to get a strip either, all you have to do is work a little harder and that’s what  I’m doing. I’ll get ones if I have to die trying, but I won’t give up and if I do  I’ll apply for a course at Long Brach and I got a good chance for it.

I hope you don’t mind the writing because my boy friend is sitting on my bed shining his boots. I  hope you don’t forget the little favour I asked you about  those pictures. Tell Bin there is one record I want to have when I get home and that is Please Think of Me Dear. She will know what it is.

Is it alright if I bring my boy friend home with me when I come? Gosh, here is another weekend, is the time ever flying. I’ll be home before you can count to ten.

Well that’s  all for to-day but if my stamps last I’ll write every night, they may not be very long letters, but I’ll write.

Lots of love to the best mother in the world.
The East End Kid
Gord.

Shannan’s Note – I have no idea what Gord means when  he mentions getting “a strip” in this letter and the last… Google is failing me, so please comment if you’ve any idea… The way he phrases it above makes me think it might be some sort of commendation, but I’m not sure.

I think that when Gord mentions “Please Think of Me Dear” he means Each Night at Nine,  written by Floyd Tillman, and performed below by Willie Nelson – it’s the only song I could find with that line/title that lines up…  It’s pretty beautiful, but I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Willie Nelson. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyVKplHp-VM

A thousand miles dear, a thousand more
Across the water, across the shore
I’ll say a prayer, dear for yours and mine
Please think of me, dear each night at nine

I hold your picture close to my heart
It takes your place, dear while we’re apart
Helps remind me that you’re still mine
To feel your nearness night at nine

The bugle’s playing out go the lights
Even it’s lonely, these army nights
Go tell kids I’m doing fine
Give them my love, dear each night at nine

A thousand miles dear
I’ll say a prayer dear for yours and mine
Please think of me dear each night at nine

May, 11th 1943

May, 11th 1943

Dear Mom + Dad,

This is the second air mail letter I’ve got from you, I don’t know what is wrong with the mail because I write every other night to you Marg + Edie. I’m sorry about Mothers Day, I’ll tell you what happened my boyfriend and I put our money together to telegraph you and his mother some flowers. We had $12 when we got downtown we couldn’t find the $10 and were left with only $2 boy were we mad, so we went and called for this guy we knew, and he went and got 4 girls that he knew and we went for a ride in his car. I had a nice time but these girls could sing and that got us lonesome, don’t tell Marg. If you have very many stamps you can send me some that’s about the only thing that I never have. I haven’t sent the watch yet because I have nothing to put it in but I’ll find something and send it so it will be fixed for when I get home.

Tell Sweetipie not to forget to be at the station that day I said I’d be home and I’ll carry her all the way home Marg too (like H- – -). I have forgotten what Toronto looks like, I’ll bet it is  nice there now. Demps came over at dinner time and asked me to go up to the post office with him so I went up and he got a nice big parcel so I help him eat it.  I hope Ray’s leg turns out alright let me know how it turns out and don’t forget that favour I asked you to do, those pictures. You should see my moustache I  have to clip it with the scissors now I think it looks alright, but Marg won’t like it  but I’ll keep it till I come home and I bet yous won’t know me when I get home. I’ll get off the train and walk right past yous and speak and you won’t know it’s me. I have been away over a month now, the longest I’ve ever been away. I would like to buy an engagement ring, what do you think, I hope you don’t mind.

Well that’s all I can think of for now.
Lots of love to the best mother in the world.
Gord.

———

Hello Dad,

Well, I don’t know about coming home with a strip because they are the hardest things to get, at least I think so. Well, I hope you get better pretty soon because I know how you like being home sick. Boy are my legs ever sore. I don’t know what’s wrong so I go to the MD and he says all I need it a bit of exercise, but we take P.T. every day.

I can’t talk about anything down here but they sure do make an awful lot of noise. The guy we got   down here that has the same job you had at Petawa sure has it easy, how do you get such a soft job?

Write again,
The East End Kid
Gord

May 7th, 1943

May 7th, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad

Just a few lines to let yous know I am fine and feeling right in the pink. I got two letters from you, one with five bucks that was real nice, one from Bin and one from Edie. I’ve been waiting for that letter ever since I joined up way the first of January.

Yes I got the $1.00 + stamps you sent a while ago. They came in rea handy. I am having lots of fun here, it’s getting better every day and the time is going real fast. I’ll be home a lot sooner than I thought I would for fourteen days. I can hardly believe it, some fun I’m going to have. I met another fellow here from Toronto, he lives just at Broadview and Dundas, another real swell fellow, lots of fun.

Ted hasn’t wrote yet but I’ll give him one more week. If you send me his address, I’ll write to him. He ought to be coming here pretty soon, so I guess I’ll see him soon. It will be just like being at home to meet up with him. We should have lots of fun, him and my boy friends because they have lots of beer here.

I’m going downtown to see what I can get you for Mother’s Day. It may be a couple of days late, but better late than never, so be looking for something about Monday or Tuesday.

Don’t tell Marg  I got a  letter from Edie, and will you do me a favour and get a camera and get Marg’s picture taken? Three or four  of them because I haven’t  got any, I’ve asked Marg so many times that I ran out of breath so please do me that little favour. Get Sweetipie’s and Ray’s and send them too, I got pictures of everybody else. Right now there’s a [word unknown] going nuts here, he’s going on  furlough to-morrow. Maybe I’ll beat him up and take it off him. No, I don’t think I will because mine is coming in a better month.

Well, I think I’ll break off and press my uniform. I’ll be back in a minute. I got to be ready to go out on my weekend to-morrow. We’re going to sleep at the YMCA and are going to have fun. Well, I just got through with my uniform. Pretty good too, even if I do say so myself.

I don’t see Demps very often now. Did I tell you we were separated again? He’s in a different btry. than I am. We only work like a half a day to-morrow, gosh the weeks are just rolling by. I am just lying in my bed writing everything that comes to mind just so I can write a nice long letter. Tell Mill I’ll write a letter to her on Sunday night.

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

To the best mother in the world a son could have.
The East End Kid
Gord

May 4th, 1943

May 4th, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad

Well here goes again, every night for the last week I’ve wrote. I’ve been getting lots of mail lately, I got one from you and one from Marg to-day. I’m glad Ray’s home and I bet he’s glad he can get back to school.

Well I get a weekend this week and I don’t know what to do except go to Earl’s for supper on Sunday.

Well I’m getting along swell except my boy friend he got a letter from his girlfriend saying she was through with him and was engaged to another guy. I feel sorry for him, he’s going around with a long face now.

I just got a haircut, the first since I left Brampton and does it ever feel funny. I hope you and Marg keep sending me lots of mail because it helps keep up my morale.

We have got a nice lunch of BDR’s just like the ones at Brampton.

It seems funny calling Earl by his first name when everybody else says sir.

Well I can’t think of anything else to say except keep writing lots of letters.

Lots of love
The East End Kid
Gord
xxxx

May 4

May 3rd, 1943

May 3rd, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad,

Just a line to let yous know I am getting lots of mail lately and I can’t keep up but I’ll answer every one that you write. I’m glad Ray is getting along fine and soon will be home. I’ve only got 5 more weeks of this course to go and may  get my furlough then and  then maybe I’ll have to wait until it’s due but I don’t care as long as I get lots of mail and the odd parcel.

Tell Daddy that the five hundred dollar bond he got would be a swell down payment on a farm for after this quarrel between Hitler and Churchill.

Tell Mill I wish her many happy returns of the day, but when is she going to write, I’ll answer letters from anyone.

I don’t think I’ll change very much, expect maybe a little fatter but I could stand a little fat. Ted hasn’t wrote yet, I’ll give him one more week. When you get this letter and start to answer, number every one. Put it in the left hand corner of the first page like this: #1) then I’ll know if there are any letters lost. Number every one.

Well I can’t think of anything else to say except lots of love to the best mother in the world.

The East End Kid
Gord

April 13th, 1943

April 13th,1943

Dear Mom

Just a few lines to let yous know I’m okay. Well we got paid this morning, filled up our packs, and handed our blankets in. We have to get up at 4am to-morrow and you know where I said we were going. Well I’ll write as soon as I get there, so don’t write any more letters till I let you know my address.

Tell everybody good-bye for me and I’ll see them soon, even Marg I still think a lot of her.

Don’t worry about me, I’ll be good and have lots of fun. All my boy friends are going to, so that won’t be to bad. Will you try and get a picture of Marg for me.

Tell Gladys and Grace I’ll write and want them to answer.

Well that’s all I can think of for now.

Your son
Gord
Lots of love.
P.S. Remember what you asked me what SMRLH meant? Soldiers Mail Rush Like Hell

 SMRLH

[Shannan’s Note – EXCITING NEWS!!! I know who Marg is.. my incredible cousin Gail, who I have mentioned before as being instrumental in filling in blanks in the family, has been on the case and messaged me today with an answer… Here is where we were at:  We knew from Gord that Marg and Bin (my grandmother) were close. Bin was dating (and went on to marry) my grandfather Ted. Ted’s brother was with Gladys (mentioned above) and Galdys’ sister was Marg! I know it’s confusing, and it might not seem like that big a deal, but this is someone that has been mentioned in nearly every one of Gord’s letter so it’s obvious that she was very important to him during thistime, so this is such a  great bit of info for me. Thanks again, Gail!]

April 12th, 1943

April 12th, 1943

Dear Mom

Well we got back okay and did we ever have fun. My boy friend Pat came  tearing into the bus station just as we got on the bus and he had two bottles with him, did we ever have fun. Everybody was drunk when they came in last night. We didn’t get to sleep till 3 am. I don’t think we’ll be leaving till Wed. night so if you answer this letter as soon as you get it I’ll get it Wed at dinner time.

I hated to leave last night but soon as I met the mob it was alright. Gosh am I ever tired, we went on a five mile route march this morning and we have another to-morrow that’s why I know we’re not going to-morrow.

Has Net gone home yet? Don’t forget to tell Joe good-by for me and Ray to!

I got your picture out on my shelf and it looks nice. Everybody else thinks so too.

I seen Marg for 3 minutes last night.

Well that’s all for now.

Your son,
Gord

 Net and Amy

[Shannan’s Note – Net is Amy’s sister, Nettie. The picture above is of Amy and Net, year unknown. I am not sure who Joe is, but Ray is Gord’s younger brother.]

April 6th, 1943

April 6th 1943

Dear Mom + Dad

Just a few lines to let yous know I got your letter and was I ever glad. It’s the first letter for a long time. Write and let me know what night yous are going to have my going away party. I’d like to bring a few, 2 fellows, if it’s alright.

How is Ray getting along, fine I hope. I’m having lots of fun here with Fat and Waugh, we go to the show every night. There’s a stage show to-night and it’s at the drill hall, not very far to walk about 100 yards.

One of the fellows got a letter from Petawa and there’s still 5 feet of snow there. Boy is it ever cold here, darn crazy weather, can’t make up its mind. We offered it back to the Indians with $1000 to boot and they threw it back in our face.

Tell daddy not to forget the bottle for me to take away.  Well, that’s all I can think of for now except tell Bin to get some girls for the party.

Lots of love and kisses

Your son
The East End Kid
General Gord

April 6

[Shannan’s Note – When Gord mentions Petawa, I suspect he means Petawawa, Ontario, located in Renfrew County, on the west bank of the Ottawa  River. Petawawa is still a major hub for Canadian Military at the CFB Petawawa base.]

April 4th, 1943

April 4th 1943

Dear Mom

Well I made it back okay, and did we ever have fun. We met a couple of girls from Malton Airport sitting in the back of the bus so we joined them and we sang all the way back to camp.

To-day I’m working in the kitchen washing dishes till 6 o’clock then I go down to the guard as a spare that means if anybody gets sick I take their place but if they don’t I sleep all night, that’s not too bad.

Right now in the canteen all the fellows have got their girls here and a bunch of guys playing the piano and I haven’t even got a girlfriend to write to but I don’t care no more, I’m having lots of fun. Some young kid from town just now came in and he’s playing the drums.

Don’t forget the party next week and tell daddy not to forget to get me the bottle to take away.

We hand our rifles in tomorrow and will that ever be nice.

Well I can’t think of anything else. Write soon.

Your son
The East End Kid
General Gordon

Mom xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sweetipie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Rest xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 Gord and Unknown Woman, Date Unknown

[Shannan’s Note – Since we started in on Gord’s letters he’s been asking after Marg, whom I believe was a friend of Gord’s older sister (and my grandmother), Bin. I haven’t been able to uncover much on Marg or the relationship that she and Gord may or may not have had, but I have a couple of leads that I am following to try and find a little more info on Marg, and who she might have been. I’ll keep you posted. The photo above is of Gord and an unknown woman, date also unknown… My cousin Gail, who has been an incredible help since I started on the letters, mentioned that her mom (Gord’s sister Geraldine or Sweetipie as you may know her) used to say that Gord was a…ahem…popular fellow who didn’t have any trouble finding a different lady-friend in every port or town… Did that get going after a love lost in Marg? Maybe we’ll find out more as the letters and the research progresses, but the romantic in me is just a teensy bit hopeful that it’s Marg in that photo…]

March 29th, 1943

March 29th 1943

Dear Mom + Dad

I’m sorry I haven’t wrote sooner, I didn’t have any stamps or money till yesterday and then I was on duty last night. Well we’re all through our training and are we having it easy, this morning we went out on a route march, came back at twelve, had dinner then went away back in the woods behind the camp and told stories till 5:15 then broke off for the day. On Sun when I was coming back I met one of the guys at the bus station, he drove me back to camp.

The next time I come home it will be my last leave until July so how about a little party, and how is Marg, I haven’t wrote to her yet.

How is Ray getting along pretty good I hope. We have been told where we are going but I can’t say, but it’s a two day and two night train ride.

I’ll try to get home for a couple of hours on Sat. If you can get any stamps send them, they are awful hard to get here. You can tell by the date I started to write this letter a couple of days ago but I didn’t have any stamps.

Well that’s all I can think of for now, see yous Sat.

Your son,
Gord
Or
General

10th Platoon

Gord and his Platoon at their training base in Brampton. 10th Platoon, C Company, 24th Regt. March 1943.

[Shannan’s Note – it’s tough to tell from the photo, but I think  that’s Gord in the front row, second from the left. I assume this picture was taken upon completion of their training]