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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Letter #8, Nov 30th 1914 from France

Letter #8, Nov 30th 1914
From Charles Roy Bailey in France to his younger sister Vida Valerie Lloyd in Brandon Manitoba.

VV was in her first semester at Brandon College.  The same college Charley had graduated from a few years earlier. 
Born in 1899, VV was 15 years old when she started college. 

The photo of VV below I think would be from that era. 

When I was in my late teens, Grandma who was almost 80, confided in me that she had once dreamed of being an actress and of going to Hollywood. She told me she had a picture of Mary Pickford on her bedroom wall. Mary Pickford was Canadian.  Born in Toronto.  She was a legendary silent film actress seven years older than VV.



But it was not to be.  
VV (and Charley's) mother deemed the 'profession' unbecoming of a lady.  And there I was, 60 odd years later, working in theater, fully supported in following my heart. Thanks in no small part to the sacrifices of the generations before me. 
Here is Charley's letter from the No 2 Stationary Hospital in France in the first months of the Great War written to his sister in her first months of college back in Canada. In later letters Charley will dispense his own advice to his sister on her choice of occupation. 

 

Golf Hotel Du Touquet
Etaples (Pas-de-Calais)
Nov 30 /14

Dear Sister,

Well this is the first personal letter you have ever had from France. When you get threw college this is where you want to spend your vacation. It is a beautiful place, with old-fashioned buildings and the peasants are so old fashioned in costume and habits.

The men and women wear wooden shoes, the men great baggie trousers all red which are very tight around the ankle. The women have very short skirts about two and a half feet around the waist. 

Their draying is all done by wheeled carts 
drawn by a big horse, which is drove with one line. If I try to explain the peculiarity of the French it would take me a whole day so some day soon. I will send you a few photos or post cards that will explain much more fully than I can.

We have just got settled. The hospital we are occupying was previously a large tourist hotel. Beautifully situated half a mile from the sea surrounded on the other sides by golf links and fine trees. “To make a long story short” It is great.

We expect about two hundred patients tomorrow. That will mean get down to work. And the boys won’t be sorry as we have had nothing to do ever since leaving Canada.

Is any of my old supervisors teaching now or are they all retired. Christmas exams will be on by the time you receive this and I hope you all kinds of luck as I know that no matter how hard a person studies or how well they are up in their work exams will sometimes catch the best of them.

Say VV what kind of a place is Viceroy were there any young people there when you were up this fall. Father sent me a photo of the interior of the Hotel and it looked very nice. He also stated that it was going to be one of the best moneymakers of any of his hotels. Well VV six o’clock comes early and I expect a big days work tomorrow so don’t forget to write. Remember me to Father and Mother when you write hoping you all kinds of luck in your exams. I will say good night. My address you will find below.

Brother
Chas

CR Baily
No 2 Stationary Hospital
First Can Expeditionary Force France

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