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.

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 28th, 1943

May 28th, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad

Well I received your letter to-day at dinner time so I thought I better answer it so here goes. I’m glad yous are all okay and well and I hope Daddy gets better pretty soon

I don’t think you would like to taste the dinners I cooked. The only reason I ate it was because I was hungry, although it wasn’t too bad. My boy friends and I had some pictures taken about 3 weeks ago and a few turned out so I’ll send you one. Don’t laugh too much because we were feeling pretty good. Show it to Marg and if it’s alright with you, let her have it then maybe she will send me one of herself.

We finally got out of quarantine last night and soon as we did they got us to work. That’s the trouble with this place, you are on duty 24 hours a day, but tomorrow is Saturday and we only have a half a day so we are going downtown and will have some more pictures taken then I’ll send you some.

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

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

See yous soon in July.

May 27th, 1943

May 27th, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad,

Just a few lines to let you know I am okay and getting along swell except a bit lonesome, I’ve forgot what everybody looks like but it won’t be long now. Two days ago I found out that I won’t be home until my furlough is due. I met a fellow who lives a couple doors from Ted and he was all through and getting ready to go home this Sat. then they told him that he had to wait until his furlough comes up. I feel sorry for him because he was all ready to go home.

We just now got back from a two day scheme. I can’t tell you what we did but I had fun. If it was like that all the time I wouldn’t mind being away. I don’t know if I will be able to mail this letter tonight because I’m broke and have to bum a couple of stamps. I was expecting some money from home because you said you would send me five dollars every other week but it didn’t come.

How is Pork, Ray, and Sweetipie? Does she still go to school regularly? I don’t know how to spell that word, but I guess it will do. Tell her I’ll be home for her birthday even if I have to give the C.O. a million dollars to get leave. How did Ray’s leg turn out, I hope it’s okay by now.

Marg hasn’t sent me a picture yet, she better hurry up or I’ll get mad…no, I don’t think I could ever get mad at her again.

How is the big sister getting along anyways, still working hard? Tell her I said thanks for all the letters and parcels she sent me. Tell her to tell Jean H. I was asking about her and hope she’s still being true to me. How is Ted getting along? Is he still around or has he left, he hasn’t wrote to me yet.

Well, I 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.

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 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