This is an email that my sister Yvonne sends out every year in honour of Remembrance Day (aka Veterans Day, Armistice Day or Poppy Day). I thought it would be appropriate to share with you and to remind all of us to partake in our 2 minutes of silence tomorrow WITH our children.
“About 20 years ago I was in an antique store, somewhere in Oregon, or maybe it was California, it doesn’t matter, really.
As I was rummaging through an old box of used postcards and black and white photos I happened across an envelope, small and unassuming, with the name ‘Alice’ neatly scripted across the front.
I moved it aside, without looking at the contents, because at the time I was more interested in the postcards.
I made my selection, 3 or 4 of them if I remember right, and then reached again for the letter to put it back in the box, but instead curiosity got the better of me, so I took it to the front desk with the postcards.
I paid for the lot, including the letter, and I remember he didn’t bother to look at it either, nor did he charge me for it, he said, “If you want it, take it, it’s of no use to me”…so I took it. I eventually read it and it remains one of my favorite little ‘found’ treasures, I kept it safely tucked away for years, until I came across it again the other day, in the back of a drawer.
I have faithfully typed it out, page for page, line for line and word for word, as it was written almost 90 years ago, (including all the errors and lack of punctuation).
I thought it was appropriate to share, on this Remembrance Day”.
515834 J Goode
No 4 com 4th Div Train
My Dear Alice
We have been inoculated again to day and my arm is sore, thats our second dose, we have another to have yet. Well dear I don’t feel to good I havent had a word from you or anybody yet I am worrying how you all are We are going to sail Tuesday or Wednesday for sure I would like to hear from you before we sail it is trying my patience
We are suppose to sail on the Olympia a very big and fast boat I have not much to write dear That fellow asked me if you knew Lower Lodge Factory he used to work there. Say Alice quite a bunch of us boys have written postcards and stamped them and they have been sent to a womans house in Vancouver one of the boys mothers place, when we arrive in England we between us are sending a cablegram to this woman and she will post all our cards letting you know when we landed you will know sooner that way I hope you all are behaving yourselves at home as well as you can now your overseer is away on his vacation You can address my mail to the Armouries Halifax until you hear from me in England. Well dear sweetheart be brave and take great care of the dear kiddies for me don’t whip them any more than is necessary I often bring out their picture and look at it it seems to console me when I get lonesome Don’t forget to send me that one of your sweet self and another of the dear kiddies don’t ever leave them at night never take heed how the neighbours might try and persuade you I am always proud to feel I have such a good wife to sacrifice so much with such a brave heart. You will always be able to hold your head up and know you have done your bit I cant help it Alice writing this sentimental stuff but it is my sincere feelings in writing If I am spared to come back and enjoy the comforts of home again I will want a good lot of persuading to leave it again but I am going through with this job to the last. Well dear kiss and hug all the dear kiddies for me tell them their Papa is always thinking of them night and day try and persuade them to study don’t let them run the streets to much they get tough and cheeky. I will write them a funny letter when I get on the boat. Well dear I hope you wont upset yourself reading this letter-but I will feel better when I hear from you so God Bless you all
With fondest Love from your True and Loving Husband
I’d love to hear any special stories you have about those that have fought for their country, past or present, young or old.