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.

June 15th, 1943

June 15th, 1943

Well here I am again. I couldn’t get any stamps the other day but I got one now so I will write a little more and mail it right away, air mail. Then I won’t be able to write until you answer and could you send me $1 because we didn’t get paid.

I wasn’t feeling good on Mon so I went on sick parade and I got 48 hours excused duty.
Tell Daddy if he likes Huckleberries there is millions of dishes down here. They say that the country is blue when they are ripe. Every place you look you see bushes.

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

So long till ???
Gord.

June 13th, 1943

June 13th, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad. ,

Well Mom I have been moved from Elkins Barracks. I’ve been here two days and it seems alright. I’m still with my boy friends, I guess we will always be together. I haven’t wrote sooner because I was broke and I still am but I’ll try to bum a  couple of stamps. I thought I was going to be with Ted for a while but it only lasted a week but I’ll be able to see him every other week I guess.

I don’t think I’ll be getting my furlough in July because I am only attached to this place and you have to wait until you’re posted and it takes a long time before you’re posted so I guess I will be home in August if I can hold out that long.

I got a reboard the other day and I went down to B2. Those pictures I sent to Marg, while I borrowed a guy’s dress uniform. I’ll send some in my summer dress uniform short pants. I’m not going to write to Marg until she sends me a picture, so tell her she better hurry up if she wants some mail.

By the time you get this letter, Demps should be home. Lucky guy. I wish I was 19 so I could go to. I’m going to try awful hard to get home on Sweetipie’s birthday but I suppose they will keep me here until about August, well they had better not.

Well I can’t think of anything else until I get a letter.
Lots of love to the best mom in the world.
Gord.

May 23rd, 1943

May 23rd, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad

Well I got your box and letter today and it was real nice. I’ve never seen so much fruit since I worked at D.B. and they sent the fruit to Daddy. Well I got three letters and your box so it will take me all afternoon to answer them. If you send another box I’d like a mixture. I haven’t tasted a good chocolate bar since I left. But when you get this letter and then get a box ready and send it, I’ll be getting ready to come home I hope.

I’m glad Ray’s leg is getting along. Tell him and Pork they have swell sweat shirts with our crest on them and when pay day comes I’ll get them. I’ll send my watch too so when you get it open it carefully.

Ever since I come here I’ve been trying to get on the ball team and I finally made it and we won the first game I played. We go out for a workout this afternoon and play again on Monday. Its lots of fun. I’ve even taken up boxing, it’s pretty rough but I like it.

Well I have to go and play baseball, workout but I’ll be back. Well here I am, boy am I hot but it was lots of fun. I wear my shorts and puttees quite a bit now and I’m getting a real nice tan. What’s it like in Toronto?

Have you forgot that favour I asked you a while ago, remember the pictures? Tell Sweetipie to get ready for that piggyback because it won’t be long now till I will be getting off the train at good old Union. I can hardly wait, I am going to have fun. When I get home I will be a real soldier, not like Eddy or Kirk because you have to have your advance before you can call yourself a soldier. You have to have your Mars badge, that’s the arrow on your arm and as soon as I am through here I get mine.

Just think, in about 22 more days I’ll be ready to get on the train headed for Toronto. Well I can’t think of anything else to say except I hope you write soon.

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

[Shannan note – Puttees are a strip of cloth wound to cover the lower half of the leg. The internet tells me they were worm much more in WWI than WWII, but it’s possible that there was some carryover in Gord’s years.

From my research, a Mars Badge (see below) is a badge sewn to arm of the uniform of overseas servicemen]

mars_badge_khaki

Sources:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puttee, http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=90046.0, 

May 19th, 1943

May 19th, 1943

Dear Mom  + Dad

Just a few lines to let you know I got you letter. I got lots to tell you so I’ll start now. On Monday our whole Bty. went to a funeral. Two fellows in our Bty. drowned so they held a funeral for them before they went home to their parents. It was a real nice funeral. I marched in it for about a quarter of a mile.  They had a big band, and seven rifles. When they took them out of the army trucks, they fired three volleys, 21 shots over their caskets. They had all soldiers lined up on each side of the road at attention while we marched past.

The next day we went out on a route march and had to cook our own dinner. We were supposed to be gone just for the morning but the truck was late bringing out our dinner, so we started to dig in the sand for clams and got a lot of them. Then he formed us up in five to a group and we had to build our own fire and boil our own clams. Well when they were done I ate three and that was enough so I went and laid down on the sand and went to sleep. You should see my sunburn, is it ever sore.  Well about 2:30 the truck came with our eats, raw steak, potatoes, and onions. Well I cooked mine, at least I think I did. It tasted alright then I went back to sleep. We got back to camp at five to five, just in time for supper but I was so tired I didn’t go, but it sure was fun. I’d like to do it every day.

You can tell Marg all this if you want because I ain’t going to write to her till she answers my 4letters I wrote over the weekend.

Now comes the best news, like H—. One of the fellows in our hut got Scarlet fever today and we’re CB right in our hut, can’t go to the canteen and we even have to eat at different hours. Last night I bought a ticket to go and get my picture taken like the one you got in the frame, the big one. I was going to send it to Marg, but now I can’t go for ten days then after that I only got 18 more days to go before I’m through.

Tell Sweetipie I dream of her every night. Does she still play hooky from school? Tell her I won’t give her that piggy back if she does and it won’t be very long now (I hope). Tell Ray I’m glad he got his cast off and to take care of himself. I bet he would like to see this place. The only thing is it’s too darn far from home, good old Toronto.

I’m pretty proud of my moustache.  I’m going to grow one all the time. It’s real good when you go on a route march when you get hot and sweating all you have to do is put your tongue on it and there’s some water on it from washing in the morning.

I’ll bet Marg looks swell in her new suit. I wish she would send me a picture. I’ve forgotten what she looks like.

Gosh my arm is getting tired from writing. My boy friend’s girlfriend just wrote to him to-day and said she was sorry for what she did and wants to know if he will forgive her. She wrote a line to me to, I’m doing pretty good.

Well this is the longest letter I’ve wrote yet. I can’t think of anything else except write soon or sooner.

To the best mother in the world,
The East End Kid
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 2nd, 1943

May 2nd, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad

Well I just got three letters yesterday, the first for a long time, I don’t know what’s wrong with the mail because I’ve wrote five letters. I was wondering why yous did not write.

On Saturday my boy friend and I went down to look for Earl and after two hours we found him. He didn’t even know my name, but he was awful glad to see me. He invited me and my boy friend to supper next Sunday. He has a very nice wife, nice looking too, but the sailors have all the luck. He was in a nice little house with hardwood floors, nice, place. He has been away for so long he doesn’t know anybody’s name. He didn’t even know Ted was overseas.

Tell Ray I hope he soon gets home. He has been away longer than I have and I’d like to get home but if I get lots of mail I don’t mind so much.

You can send me as much as you can spare out of the cheque, but if you need it keep it.

I broke my watch about a week ago, I can’t  tell you how, so I’ll send it home to get fixed because I took it in down here and they said it would take six weeks and I haven’t got that long. I’ll  be home before that I hope, hope, hope.

What’s wrong with Marg, has she found someone new? I haven’t got a letter for over a week and I just sent her two.

I couldn’t go downtown to send you an Easter Telegram but Mother’s Day is the 14th of May.

Tell Daddy I like it here, but I miss yous all. I guess when I get back to Toronto I’ll get lost so yous will have to meet me at the station or I’ll never get home.

I wrote to Edie when I first come here, but she hasn’t answered so tell Pork to phone her up and ask why she has not wrote, he’ll like that RA 5925.

Where is all the letters and parcels Bin and you were going to send? Bin said she was going to write every night. Tell her if she don’t write, I’ll come home and giver her H—. Tell Bill he was lucky he didn’t get in the Artillery. It’s no good for me, it’s too much brain work.

How did you like that poem I sent yous about Halifax, pretty good un?Too bad Jose went back to Lindsay but write and do tell her to be there when I come home.

Well can’t think of anything else to say expect write soon or sooner.

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

[Shannan’s Note – Glad to hear Gord in better spirits than the last letter! I’m not entirely sure what RA 5925 means, or how it fits into that sentance… Google searches have come back with nothing, but I’ll keep digging around in the paperwork, perhaps there’s something in the bits and pieces. I’m also not sure who Earl is. The way Gord speaks of him sure makes him sound like family, but I haven’t seen the name in any of the work I have been doing. Ted is my grandfather, and Gord’s letter suggests that Earl and Ted knew one another, so perhaps  a relation there? Another mystery for the stack, I suppose.. ]