October 19, 1943

October 19, 1943

Dear Mom + Dad (+kids + Bin),

Well I’m sorry I haven’t answered sooner so here goes now, you say you sent me $10.00 well I have not got it yet. I got the parcel and the $1.00 okay, but not $10.00.

Yes mother, I got out of the hospital okay, thank God. It was the worst two weeks I ever spent in my life. I hope I never have to go in again unless it’s in Toronto where somebody will come and visit me, you and Marg.

I had a lovely Thanksgiving. We worked all morning and I was on guard all afternoon. We had ham, mashed potatoes, and buttered carrots with lots of butter.

I just ran out of ink and I am in a good writing mood so I don’t feel like stopping to fill up.

When you see Bruce, tell him I am going to beat the shi- out of him for joining the Army, the crazy so and so.

You say it is like fall there, well I wish it was just like fall here. It is so cold. I wear 2 pair of long underwear, and when it rains, well thank god Noah knew how to build a boat otherwise its okay.

I guess Bin won’t be having a party because I won’t be getting my furlough for a while yet, da—it. But when I do, watch out, I will tear the city apart and paint it red!

I am a cook, believe it or not I can really boil water without burning it.

Tell my kid sister to order me a brush wool sweater and I will pay her for it after the war and all the other I borrowed and forget to pay back, but tell her she still owes me 7 cents for the bottle of Coke I bought her when I was home those 3 days. Tell Binny to have a dozen quarts for when I get home in 44.

How is my watch could you please send it down as I could really use it when I am boiling eggs.

Well that’s all for tonight, please write soon and I am looking for that $10.00 as it is pretty close to Xmas.

Lots of love and kisses to the best mother a soldier boy could have.

Your son, the east end kid

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.

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 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 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