September 27, 1943

September 27, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad,

Well I am sorry I haven’t wrote sooner, as you can see by my address [Shannan note: the address is Camp Hill Military Hospital] where I am and you can tell by my writing what’s wrong. Remember I think in my last letter I told you my arm was sore, well it was blood poison. Nothing to worry about, they caught it in time. I have been here since Friday afternoon, I guess I will be here for a week or two more. It’s not too bad, all they do is bath my arm and give me blood tests. I am a bed patient, they won’t let me out of bed for anything. You should see my beard, I haven’t shaved since I came in. I haven’t had any visitors either, that’s the hardest part, lying here watching everybody else on visitors day.

I am broke and down to my last bit of tobacco and this is the last stamp so could you please send me a bit.

I won’t be able to write for a while so could you please tell Marg that  my arm is sore and I can’t write, give her my address and maybe she will write me without me writing her first.

I guess you won’t get this letter until about Thursday so I hope you answer as soon as you get it. I got the $2 last week and I sure  needed it.

Well my arm is getting tired so I will close for now hoping you will answer soon.

Love

Gord

[Shannan Note: found some interesting things about the hospital that Gord was at. After the Battle of Somme in 1916, The Commission realized they were not adequately prepared to handle a high number of wounded. In 1917, The Commission very quickly build Camp Hill in Halifax, the first military hospital for convalescing soldiers. For more on Canada’s Military Hospital history, go here: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/steannes-hospital/about-us/history]

September 17th, 1943

September 17th, 1943

Dear Mom & Dad,

Well, I’m sorry I haven’t wrote sooner. But when I sent that telegram last week, I went to the hospital and just got out yesterday. I wanted a bit of money because I didn’t know how long I would be there. And I missed payday and can’t get any pay until the end of the month so could you please send me a bit and I will send it back at the end of the month. Don’t worry about me, I just went for a rest.

Well, how is everybody at home? I bet they are glad to get back to school, I wish I was back going to school. I guess Maggie is mad because I haven’t wrote, but if you send me some money I will write every other night.

Well I passed the course [Shannan Note – the gun course Gord mentioned a few letters ago] and am I glad. It was pretty hard.

I forgot to tell you, I wrote to Big Ted about two weeks ago. I bet he will be surprised.

When I got back from the hospital I got a week excused duty, pretty soft. I didn’t get any mail while I was in the hospital so I have lots to answer.

Tell Mildred I wish her all the luck in the world and to think of me when the best man kisses her.

Glad to hear Gramma is getting along okay.

So, Ray has a new uniform, eh? Tell him to keep a lookout for that telegram.

Well I bet Pops thinks he is tops now that he’s working at Gorries. He will like that because there isn’t a thing he doesn’t know about cars.

I got a letter from Eddy the other day but I didn’t feel like writing but I’ll answer it.

I didn’t feel like finishing this yesterday, but I did now.

Well, lots of love and kisses to the best mom in the world.

Gord.

[Shannan Note – I was curious about  Gorries where my Great Grandfather had just started working at according to this letter, and I uncovered a really neat article on it from Ryerson. Gorries has some pretty cool history in Toronto – check it out! https://library.ryerson.ca/asc/archives/features/gorrie/ ]

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.]

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
Gord
The East End Kid

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,

Gord.

July 1st, 1943

July 1st, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad,

Well mom I’m getting behind in my mail to you but I have no stamps or money so could you send me a bit and if you do could you send it by mail with your letter because the other way I have to go down to Halifax. And I don’t expect to be here very long anyway and a letter would follow me wherever I go.

You tell Marg when that when I come you and Bin and I will go up to the Honey Dew and meet Marg and then we will  go out and have the time of our lives. Tell the kids that when I come home I’ll be so happy I’ll treat them to whatever they want.

And about that holiday on the 1st I didn’t know there was one, we are so far back in the woods we don’t hear about anything.

I can’t think of anything more to say except please write soon and send $1.

Lots of love to the best mother in the world

Gord

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.