War Letters

Letters from the First World War

Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – June 29, 1917 Somewhere in France

My dear Mother and Family, I saw quite a few of the [Boissevain] boys last night and all were well and looking fine but not any too anxious to get back in the line. I did not see Lance Simpson as he got pretty badly wounded last trip in but so far he is doing all OK. So I believe today is the start of conscription in Canada. I hope Elliott does not go as I think for one family we sure have our share of hardship and sacrifice without having Elliott away from home. I know if I was in his place I would fight it to the last ditch for his place is home and I would sure rather see him at home than here. If he has to come he can join as a vet and have a bomb-proof job anyway. I believe this affair is just about over for we go anyplace we want to now. But it can’t come any too soon for me...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – June10, 1917 Somewhere in France

This is one of the few surviving letters in the collection that Clifford addresses to his father, Joseph, a travelling salesman. The last portion of the letter is missing. Dear Dad, Your long-looked-for letter arrived yesterday and I sure was glad to hear from you once more. Not getting mail very regular these days as we got none at all for about four weeks and then we have been getting letters which left home ahead of the ones we should have had before. Well, we have been doing some fierce fighting these last few months but I think I will be out of it from now on as I am at the transport lines. I would just as soon be up the line myself but I have Mother to think of now as I know what a blow the boys’ death must have been to her without getting word from me. The boys’ grave...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – June 8, 1917 Somewhere in France

In this letter Clifford can finally talk of his role in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. My dear Mother and Family, Your loving letter of April 25th received yesterday but guess it got mixed up and did not receive before I got your letter of May 10th. I can’t understand why you have not got my letters telling you about Freddie and Jimmie as I wrote you repeatedly. However I will write you once more. They were both on listening post duty at the time they were wounded. They were changing shifts at the time. Jim and Alex McLaggart working together and Freddie and Eddie O’Neill working the other shift and changing every two hours. I was talking to Jimmie when I came off duty about 1 a.m. but both were taken out before stand-to came. Jim was hit the hardest of all but sure played the man a...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – June 7, 1917 Headquarters Canadian YMCA Canadian Corps France

Dear Mrs. Bowes, At a religious service I conducted last night in the YMCA in this area, your son D.C. Bowes #622720 was present, not only indicated his interest in the Christian life but also gave your name and address with the request that I should write regarding his welfare. Let me assure you that he is well in health. He also assures me the “The good fight” goes well in his own heart. To win there is to win everywhere. You have done a noble service in giving him to the country’s cause. I join in prayers with yours that he may return safely in the near future, that during these days of anxiety and separation both he and his loved ones may realize the comforting and protecting care of God. Yours sincerely, John MacNeil Captain  
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – June 6, 1917 Somewhere in France

In this letter, that “dear little beloved wife of mine to be” refers to his former girlfriend. Dear Elliott and Ada, Just a few lines today in reply to your letter which I received a few days ago. Also parcel which I got this morning. Many thanks for same. I met Lou Burns last night. He has just come across, worse luck, eh?  He is with the 46th battalion but the same brigade as me. Have not as yet got word of the nature of the casualties but believe most of them are missing. That dear little beloved wife of mine to be is hooked up. What the hell do you know about that, eh? I got done in for $110 bucks by a fair haired barnyard savage. Some fish. I was telling Old Fat about it last night. He casually remarked that if we had it now we could buy a lot of French beer at two cents a...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – June 2, 1917 Somewhere in France,

My dear Mother and Evelyn, Just a few lines in reply to your letter of May 10. I sure wish this affair with Fritz was wound up and we were all on our way home once more. But I guess it will all come in good time and hope I may be saved to return to you and comfort you in your old age. The life out here has made us all appreciate a home and mother and many are the boys who are longing for peace to come. I have never answered Elliott’s and Ada’s letter but will do so in the near future. But they will understand all right how hard it is to write letters out here when you are not allowed to say anything connected with what you are doing. Well Mother, I will have to ring off for the present. Love to all Your loving son, Cliff

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