A Personal Post

World War II poster from Canada
World War II poster from Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not sure that anyone outside ‘the family’ would be interested in this particular post, so don’t feel bad if you pass it by.

Today when looking through some of my writings I came across copies of letters my father had sent to his mom in 1943, and one letter from his younger brother Dick to him.  My father enlisted in the army in 1941 when he was seventeen years old.  Not at all unusual for young fellas back then to enlist underage and to be accepted to go to war.   The Second World War was firmly entrenched and in its second year.  The government made enlisting sound exciting, patriotic and gosh darn it, the right thing to do.

A year later, August 6, 1942 my uncle Dick sent my Dad a letter to his training site in Niagara on the Lake in Ontario.  A few months later my Dad was sent overseas.  These letters are of interest to me of course, because they are a link to a time and people I never knew.  My uncle at the time was about fourteen years old.  It is a nice little look at the times. Spelling, grammar and stroke outs are as in the letter.

The envelope is addressed:  Pri Raymond Gingerich

Reg. No. A-76033 C. Comp

Scots Fusiliers of Canada

Niagara on the Lake M.P.O. 203

Dear Raymond,

I received your letter last night and I would have answered then but didn’t have time.  The scouts went swimming at the pool, and but I didn’t have much fun.  I passed my swimming test and now I just have a couple more tests to pass and I’ll be a second class scout.  I have quite lots of fun these days.  Ostell’s are back from Wo Wasaga beach and now I have someone to play with because I don’t pl;ay with Stan Flaherty anymore because of his “old man”.  One day Stan and I were behind Flaherty’s with some water in bottles and old man Flaherty said, “It is only babys that play with water,” and I said, “goo” and he sold told me to get home and I said it will take a hell of a lot more than him to make me, so I don’t play with Stan anymore.  I would like to be up tere if there is lots of fishing and especially swimming.

Last night when we were at the pool I met a nifty girl and when I was diving off of the board I was loo looking at her when I hit the water I almost killed myself.  I am enjoying my holidays but thery will soon be over and school will starts start again; although I think we will have more fun this year because I will  have more fun this years because I will have old lady Neu Neuman for my teacher.  Please excuse all thos those strokes up there but I wrote one line twice.

We, meaning Johnny Ostell and I are going to save our money to go on hikes this summer and we may get lost and wander down to the canal so if we do , (we will) come and see you.  We are going on a hike some time next week and we have everything cha planned to go to the other side of Preston and we  ,if we get tired we will thumb and if I get a ride with a guy thats going to you yu vicinity I’ll go with him and I not worrying (were about where to sleep or coming back.

Oh, well enough of fooling because I wouldn’t even start to get to Niagara because I likely wouldn’t be ablt to find you anyhow.  Well, I guess I will say So long because I want to try and write to Harry yet to-day sooo……..

So Long,

Your brother


P.S. I wish you the best with the farmer’s daughter **(drawing of fingers crossed here)


write soon

So – Long


16 thoughts on “A Personal Post”

  1. I also am on a search. Matt wants me to look up my paternal grandmother. You start looking at names and start digging in the trunk. Very interesting. You will handle it with love and respect. It makes me wish I had met your Dad. When I look at my grandson I see snatches of my father. Is it the same for you?

    1. It is funny isn’t it nd yes Caleb has some physical quirks that my dad had. Now what was your paternal grandmothers name? Sounds like it could be fun. There is ancestor.com I think it is but it costs to join so I haven’t done that. Where did your paternal grandmother grow up?

  2. Chris, this letter is a treasure, a window to a time gone by when the world was a very different place and when people had different values.
    These letters are a precious find, and can perhaps even answer some of the questions you may have wondered about over the years.

  3. Love it! My bf has a series of love letters written by his grandfather to his grandmother. Makes me long for the days of letter writing. Thanks for posting!

      1. I saw your post about Mark. I have “some” copied. I know I need to get on it and get the rest of them. Scary stuff. That is a LOT of work to just take from someone.

  4. I wish I had old letters like that, Chris. I think it’s fascinating to get a glimpse into the mind of your 14-year-old uncle. Those letters could be valuable research for a WWII era story, or family saga, or memoir. Thank you for sharing.

I love to hear your thoughts on this!

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