September 5th, 1943

September 5th, 1943

Dear Mom & Dad,

Just a few lines to let you know I’m okay and I got the five dollars. I hope you don’t get mad because I send for money.

Well I only got one more week of this course to go then I will be through. Will I ever be glad because it’s pretty tough. We went on a shoot yesterday, didn’t hit anything, but it was still lots of fun. Boy do they ever make a noise, that is the 6th time I’ve fired the gun.

I am on a weekend and I came in yesterday and it took me all day to get a bed. You have to get in early if you want to get a bed that has sheets.

I seen Ted Friday night, we went to the show. He in a place like I was, but he says he likes it, wait until he is there for two months.

I think I should be getting my furlough by the end of the month. Maybe Waugh and I may get together. I hope so because we have it all planned on what we are going to do.

How is everybody getting along? What’s daddy doing, is he back to work yet? And how is Marg, is she still working or going to the shows?  Does Demps’ mom know he is gone yet? He is probably too stupid to send her a cable and let her know he is safe.

Well, that is all for today. Will write as soon as I get an answer from the other letters I sent.

Lots  of Love,

Gord

The East End Kid

[Shannan Note – Sorry for for the extended time between letters…. life has been hectic as all get out, and I took my very first official vacation last week, so it’s been a lot of prep and catch up from that.]

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
Gord

[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.]

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 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

June 20th, 1943

June 20th, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad,

Well Mom I got your letter and a telegram for some money but I can’t go and get the money until Monday night because we are allowed out every fourth night. We didn’t get paid yet but I borrowed a dollar till I get your money on Monday. I’m sorry for not writing before but I was broke but when I get your money I’ll start writing like I did at the other place, nearly every month. I haven’t had a letter from Marg in nearly 3 weeks now and I’m not going to write until she sends me some pictures.

I’m finally pretty good except I’ve had a headache ever since I came here and it’s a week today and it’s not a bad place after all. In my last letter I said it was no good. Well I’ve changed my mind, it’s pretty good, but not as good as Toronto.

It’s been three months now since I was home and I guess it will three more but I waited this long so I guess I can wait a little longer. It wouldn’t pay me to go on the loose because I would never make it home, but I sure would like to be home on July 12th.

I didn’t make the Paratroops, you have to be A1 and I’m B2. I sent you another picture in my last letter, how does it look?

Thanks for playing my record every night because I sit up every night and sing it to myself. It is one of the best songs they ever wrote. I haven’t seen Earl for a long time and I guess I won’t see Demps again until this little fight is over between that lunatic Hitler the ——– [Shannan Note – based on the 7 dashes Gord put, I suspect he meant asshole]. If you ever get caught running around without your uniform here they would shoot you, that’s how strict they are and that’s the way I like it. Eddy and Kirk should be sent down here and let some of us guys who who haven’t been home for a while take their place. If they came down here and let some of us trained soldiers have them for a month, they would die. I would like to be in Stan’s shoes right now and be in Norwood. When I come home will you take two weeks holidays and we will get a car and you, Daddy, Sweetipie, Marg, and I will take the rounds to see everybody? What do you say, I think it would be swell. I can hardly wait for the day to come so I can sit our front with yous all.

Well, I can’t think of anything else to write except write soon or sooner. Lots of love to the best mother in the world. Don’t forget to tell Marg to write and send that picture and give her my love and I will write as soon as I get some money.

So long
Gord.

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