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

[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
The East End Kid

August 24th, 1943

August 24th, 1943

Dear Mom and Dad,

Just a few lines to let yous  know I am okay and I am sorry I didn’t write sooner and hope you didn’t worry about me. Well, I’m back in A23 again, the place where I first took my training on the Bofars. Waugh and I are back taking a course for 3 weeks. There is 16 of us and we are stuck in a hut full of frogs…French and is it ever awful.

This course is pretty hard but it’s interesting. Where is Ted, do you know if he is still here?

They say we are going to get our furlough after we are through here, I hope so.

Send my mail to the same place because I have to go in and get my pay. I won’t be able to write again until payday so don’t worry about me.

If you have any spare change or stamps could you please send me a bit.

I am sticking this letter in with Waugh’s so you give his to May.

Well that’s all for tonight.

Lots of hugs and kisses
The East End Kid

[Shannan Note: I know things have slowed  down a little recently, life has been a special kind of crazy so it’s been tough to keep up with multiple letters a week, but I hope to get things picked back up soon! Thanks for sticking around! In other news, the coolest thing about doing project is when relatives I didn’t even know existed find the blog and reach out. That happened today (Hi Al!) and it totally makes the work worth it. – Shannan]

Aug 24

April 6th, 1943

April 6th 1943

Dear Mom + Dad

Just a few lines to let yous know I got your letter and was I ever glad. It’s the first letter for a long time. Write and let me know what night yous are going to have my going away party. I’d like to bring a few, 2 fellows, if it’s alright.

How is Ray getting along, fine I hope. I’m having lots of fun here with Fat and Waugh, we go to the show every night. There’s a stage show to-night and it’s at the drill hall, not very far to walk about 100 yards.

One of the fellows got a letter from Petawa and there’s still 5 feet of snow there. Boy is it ever cold here, darn crazy weather, can’t make up its mind. We offered it back to the Indians with $1000 to boot and they threw it back in our face.

Tell daddy not to forget the bottle for me to take away.  Well, that’s all I can think of for now except tell Bin to get some girls for the party.

Lots of love and kisses

Your son
The East End Kid
General Gord

April 6

[Shannan’s Note – When Gord mentions Petawa, I suspect he means Petawawa, Ontario, located in Renfrew County, on the west bank of the Ottawa  River. Petawawa is still a major hub for Canadian Military at the CFB Petawawa base.]

January 5th 1943

Necessary Disclaimer:

I have edited the letters for some spelling and grammar (only when it’s really necessary, extreme run on sentences, paragraph splits, etc.). Although last names have been withheld for privacy reasons, I have not imposed any edits on the content of the letters. Please remember that these letters were written in a very different time and place, and as such, some content and language may be offensive to some. To stay true to the history of the project, I have chosen to leave these instances intact, but I feel that it is important that I say that the views expressed in Gord’s letters are his, and do not reflect my personal opinion. 

Lastly, all written and photographic content of this blog belongs solely to me, its author, and may not be reproduced without my permission.

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January 5th 1943 – Halifax N.S.

Dear Mom + Dad,

Well Mom, I got two letters here from you so I guess I better answer them before you come down and see what the hold-up is.

Yes we sure had a swell Xmas and I still don’t believe it. I’m glad to hear Sweetipie got lots. I don’t know what to buy for anyone. What should I get for Marg, has she mentioned anything she would like?

I hope Waugh comes down to see you all. He sure is a swell fellow one of the best. I will be glad when he gets back because it is awful lonely her all knew fellows. Do you remember Pat, the guy I used to bring down, well he was home on furlough and it was due on the 23rd so he stayed home for Xmas and was a.w.o.l. and he got 28 days detention.

I got Sweetipie’s picture alright and it was nice.

Tell the girls Waugh is pretty bashful so tell Bin to watch her swing shift and tell Marg to watch period.

I can’t think of much more to say for now so let me know what Marg would like.

Lots of Love

January 5th 1943