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Month: August 2013

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Find-Share-Discuss: July/August 2013

R & R in Japan, August 1951 Mike Gray of Omemee, Ont., shares a photo of his father, Lawrence Reimer (centre), enjoying a draft while in good company at the Ginza Beer Hall, Tokyo. Gray points out that his father had just turned 19. “I recall him telling me that they were so young, all of them”…and while engaged in military operations in Korea with 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, a lot of the boys “owed their survival to the skill, talent and ability of platoon Sergeant Tommy Prince.” Prince was Canada’s most decorated aboriginal war veteran. During the Second World War he was summoned to Buckingham Palace where the king presented him with the Military Medal and—on behalf of the United States president—the Silver Star with ribbon. Prince did two t...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – April 22, 1917 Stonewall, Man.

Dear Mrs. Bowes, You will wonder why I should write you, a perfect stranger to you. I have hesitated about doing it but you will excuse me when I explain to you why I am doing it. I had a letter from my boy in England, a day or two ago, telling me how things were going there. You may possibly have heard of him before this. He is Lieutenant Cecil H. Gunn of the 222nd Battalion. He happened to be away on sick leave when [most of the members of] his platoon were sent over to France and he wrote to tell me that many of his platoon had been killed and quite a number wounded. He says, “It is so hard to realize I won’t see most of any old platoon again. I had two brothers, they were excellent young boys, just 18 and 20 years old. They were both killed. That’s why I am writing you today. ...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – March 30. 1917 Bramshott, England

Dear Mrs. Bowes, I regret to hear the sad news of Jim’s death on March 25th and it was sad news to me and his company’s officers as he was so well liked by all. [It was sad] to me as a school chum and spending the best part of our army life together till he and I were separated on the night of Dec. 26th when I said good-bye to him for to never see again. But he died for the honour of his country, Canada. I hope you are all well and remember me to Evelyn. Yours sincerely, Ted [illegible]
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – March 30, 1917 Branshott, England

Dear Mrs. Bowes, This week we heard that Jim and Fred had, it is officially announced, died of wounds and you may be sure we all join with you and the rest of the family in your bereavement. While it is very hard on you, it is also [hard] on us Boissevain boys to lose our chums. Yet there is a sense of pride that they gave up their lives for a righteous cause. I only wish we had been with the boys but our chance is coming I hope very soon and there will be some debts to pay off when we get over. We are training very hard now and it is too bad the boys who went in the first draft did not get some of the training that we are getting here. This camp is under the Imperial command and so we are kept down pretty strict and the sooner they send us over the better. However I like it here and...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – March 27, 1917 Boissevain, Man.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bowes, I have sat down I do not know how many times to write to you, and then I could not but I feel I must do so. I had only just got home from Waskada [Man.,] and found your letter to me about Fred and went down street when I heard about Jim. I could not believe it and, in fact, denied it as I thought that someone had got the news mixed but later on I found to my sorrow that it was only too true. I do not know how to express to you the sorrow not only of myself, but from what myself heard, of this whole community. As you know how well we thought of Jim. He was always a favourite here and such a bright fellow. Words are hollow things on such an occasion, in fact, hardly worth writing. They seem so little beside the sacrifice and loss that it has been your lot to have ...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – March 24, 1917 Somewhere in France

Dear Mother and Evelyn, Just a few lines to let you know that I have just received the sad news that poor Fred passed away on March the 12th as the result of the wounds he got with Jim on the 28th. Our chaplain met me and told me the sad story. He tried very hard to get to the funeral but for military operations was unable to trace me till he happened to meet me. Fred it appears was much more badly wounded than they thought at first as he was unconscious. Shortly after he reached the clearing station and was never conscious again. Him and Jimmie are buried miles apart but I will go and see where he is buried as soon as chance lets me. I also believe that McLaggart, one of the boys with them, passed away on March 1st or thereabout. Of Eddie O’Neill I have no particulars whatever. Well...

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