Remember Me

Remember Me

Saturday, July 29, 2017

July 25, 1917 Letter #60 "The price of things..."

July 25th, 1917 postmark

CMAC Depot
Kent England

Dear Mother
          Recd your letter a day or two ago and I am under the impression that there is a lot of my mail gone astray as that was the first since I received VV’s letter.  Things in general are just the same as usual I don’t know just what they are going to do with me but expect to have a few days leave shortly and that will help some.
          You say Ireland got very mad at Ina when you were over there well for the Lords sake Mother don’t you get mixed up in any of their troubles, let them fight it out amongst themselves.  Apparently he must have changed a great deal because when I knew him it was very hard to get him mad, might have been because he knew it wouldn’t do hem a great deal of good if he did get sore.  Had a letter from Hess the other day but she didn’t say if they are getting on well or not.  You know Mother she is another on that’s darn queer at times however it don’t make any difference to me so I should worry.
          Ther has been a lot of men come in from various hospitals all fit and ready for France at a minutes notice.  This last draft just over from Canada seem to be fine big men very funny thing they were not in the army three years ago.  It makes them feel as if they wish they had of joined a year or so earlier when they get among some of the old timers.  Oh well they are better late than never.
          I am very anxious to hear how VV made out in her exams.  Gee I hope she got along OK.  I know Dad wouldn’t want her to go out teaching but I think the sooner she gets a smash at some of these country schools the sooner she will have a decent place in town.  So if she can get an appointment this fall why not let her have it I believe that in Canada in a few years teachers are going to draw a fair salary.
          You were saying the price of things have gone up terrible well Mother you should see the prices here and compare them with the peacetime prices, by Jove it's fierce.  How some of the poorer classes make a living I don’t know.
          Well Mother this is just to say I am OK and still in the land of the living.  Remember me to Dad and VV and write soon.
Love Chas

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Early June 1917, Letter #59 Folkestone bombing

Written between June 10th and June 18 1917

Granville Can Host
Ramsgate, Kent

Dear Mother
Just got back off a few days leave and I sure enjoyed myself it is like starting all over again to come back to military life after being like a civilian for a few days.  I suppose you have heard of the air raid on Folkstone and seventy-six killed* mostly women and children. Seems to me that the Huns are getting desperate now and are doing anything possible in order to gain their ends.
    Les Newman left today for a medical board he does not know what he will get but expects to have a week or so sick leave.  He is the only Portage boy that I have saw for a long while.

    Say Mother I have never heard anything yet about that money that is suppose to be coming to me do you really think there is anything in it or is it all a false rumour.  I am going to write to Mrs. Richmond again and ask her if she has found out anything more about it. Seems very funny to me if there is really any coming that the solicitors have not informed me before this.
    Everything is in full swing here and the weather is ideal and people are coing in form all parts for there holidays.  The beach and promenades are crowded every afternoon and evening and everything is quite lively.
    There are a few Canadian marines here a few days ago and they sure uphold the Canadians name of being free and easy the majority of them were fellows from Nova Scotia and the eastern provinces fine big men but they sure believe in having a high old time.

    You never say anything about how the business is getting on and if it is as good a paying proposition as you expected.  Tell me just where is Dewalts new drug store and if the Clarendon has been remodeled since the new man has taken it over.

    Well Mother this is pay day and the parade falls in in a few minutes and of course this is one time in the month that CRB is on time So remember me to Dad and VV and answer soon.
Love Chas
Did I tell you last letter I am back on regular pay again.  Feels kind of funny to go down and draw a soldiers pay.

* Charley addresses the Folkstone raid of May 25th 1917 while the June 13th London bombing would just have happened as well.

"June 13 is the anniversary of the first daylight bombing of London in 1917, by German Gothas. Fourteen of the huge planes took off from their base in Belgium and dropped bombs on Britain’s capital city.They killed 162 people and injured 432 others. Among the dead were 16 little children killed by a bomb falling on a primary school. Most of the children were under 5 years old."  Read more at World War 1 Historical Association 

"The 100th anniversary of Britain's first air raid in the First World War, which killed 97 people in Kent, was commemorated at a special memorial service May 25, 2017.
German bomber aircraft attacked the south east on May 25, 1917, claiming the lives of 94 people in Folkestone, while two died in Hythe and there was one fatality in Ashford.At 6.22pm, a single 55lb bomb fell on a queue outside Stokes Brothers greengrocers in Tontine Street, destroying the shop and wiping out several families.That single strike alone killed 61 people and many of the casualties were women and children – the raid is regarded as the greatest civilian loss of life outside London during WWI."
Read more ​about Britain's first air raid in WWI – remembering the 97 people killed in Kent.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 13, 1917 Letter #58 To his sister; Vida Valerie

May 13, 1917
Granville Can Host
Ramsgate, Kent

Dear Sister,
Apparently you have taken a great interest in agricultural work. Well you had better learn enough for the two of us because I can’t tell a pig from an onion when it comes to farming.

The Summer of 1917 CALGARY, ALBERTA Canada
"1917 07 29 homesteading /

I just came back off leave and believe me I sure had a dandy time I went to visit my friends in Buxton by the way they are in the Hotel business and it was simply a heaven to be free for a few days. It's fine to lie in bed and have your coffee brought to you etc quite different from military life and they sure treated me fine. We went motoring a couple of times away out to Rudyard Lake there was a party of six of us and I enjoyed myself a great deal better than I have ever done since I joined the army. You see I was a kind of an honored guest the reasons I may tell you some time later.

Say V-V you don’t need to give all those people my address. I don’t want them looking me up when they first come over here. They kind of look for people to show them around, well let them learn for themselves. I had to, and more over all the friends I have in Winnipeg had either cold feet or something before they enlisted in the ninety ninth contingent so let them get their own experiences and not ours.

Tell Mother I heard she was all swelled out in a new gray suit and has become quite a sport in her old age. Never mind, I am glad she has a last been convinced she is well enough off to afford a new dress. I tell you her son does not look on things the way his mother does. I get the swell rags and let the others do the worrying as to where the cash is to come from.

Well V-V you will soon be writing your final. I sincerely hope you luck but if by misfortune you do fail for goodness sake go back at it again don’t let them convince you to go into a store or anything like that. I know Dad will do anything in the world to help you in an educational line so finish at all costs.

Well kid it is getting late so remember me to Dad and mother and drop me another line shortly

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25th, 1917 Letter #57 "Lots of Dauphin boys out of action in last six months"

April 25th, 1917 postmark

Granville Can Host
Ramsgate, Kent

Dear Mother

Have a few moments to spare so am taking the chance to drop a few lines. As yet I have heard nothing more about going back to France and they are opening up another hospital here so goodness only knows if I will have to go or not and if it comes to the point I don’t think I care very much. I am very nearly fed up with this country.

The officer that was my OC in Southampton just died in this hospital a few days ago and all his family are here. I was out yesterday afternoon with the son and poor fellow, he is taking it pretty bad. This new hospital that is to be opened here is for officers only and is going to accommodate about 400 so it sure will be some fine place when finished. 

You never told me if you had heard anything more about the Bailey money how much or who left it or what happened or anything about it.  Personally I think they were trying to kid the troops.

Things here are starting to show some signs of life now that the weather is opening up a little it sure has been one awful winter cold and miserable and a damp atmosphere that very nearly goes through you. I sincerely believe that an English man can stand any climate on this earth.

I was up to the Roller Rink the other day and needless to say I am still as stiff as a board. But I sure had some fun.

Say what kind of a joint is that Le Claire anyway what kind of furniture etc and has anyone stung you for any more money. I suppose VV will be soon writing off her exams for a teacher. Do you know it just seems like about a year ago that she started to Dauphin school. There is sure a lot of the Dauphin fellows put out of action the last six months over here.

So Dad has put on 20 lbs since going to Wpg, well that’s worth a lot even if you were only clearing expenses. Looks like we are going to be a darn porky family in a year or so, I am getting stouter every day.  The tunic I wore down here will not even button around my waist. And my weight on Saturday was one hundred and sixty-six lbs that is just eleven lbs more than I ever weighed in all my life. Well Mother remember me to Dad and VV and write soon

Love Chas 34260

The LaClaire Hotel ~ A little history from the Winnipeg Free Press

"Arguably the 44-room hotel's most famous guest was Charlie Chaplin, who stayed there as many as five times between 1911 and 1913. In those days it was called the La Claire after having been opened as a boarding house in 1903.

In 1913 Chaplin, then a vaudeville performer, used La Claire stationery to write a letter to his brother saying he was about to sign his first movie contract."

"The Windsor Hotel originally opened as a boarding house. Charles H. Forrester took out a building permit for what is now The Windsor in September 1903, says Penner. It became LeClaire Hall in 1910. Ownership changed over the years.

The building remains much the same as it was in its early days, with 44 rooms occupied by temporary and more permanent residents. Some have lived there for many years, says Penner. There is also a restaurant and beverage room. Although some renovations have been done over the years, the largest in most recent history was the expansion of the beverage room to a capacity of 192 (up from 100). That was done to accommodate a growing audience for blues performers.

At the time of Chaplin's stay, the beverage room was a prestigious gentlemen's club with high-back wicker chairs and large oak tables. It was advertised as a "five-minute walk from anywhere (in the city) you wanted to go."  
Windsor Hotel (September 2015) Originally the LaClaire
Source: Gordon Goldsborough 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April 20th, 1917 Letter #56 ~ arrival of The Stars and Stripes

April 20th 1917 postmark

Granville Can Hospital
Ramsgate, Kent

Dear Mother

Well I have heard some funny ones but Mother you take the cake gee I laughed when I read your letter about accusing me of not knowing how to spell my own name. Baily is only written in a hurry and there is supposed to be an e in it. However don’t worry if there is any money in sight I will put one hundred and four E’s in it, if it will get me anything.

Yes I had some money put through to the Bank of Montreal last fall but it is nothing to speak of. I am watching things pretty close and if anything is coming my way you can rely upon Charles R getting all he can out of it.

It is still cold over here yet and at Buxton they have big drifts of snow yet just imagine such a thing in this country in the middle of April. By the way a few years ago this 29th of April Annie heard a kid crying and on closer examination found it to be Vida Valeria, by Jove, I can't spell her name is that right or wrong. However tell her that her big brother wishes her the very best of Birthday greetings etc.

Well what do you think of the panhandlers coming into the war, London has gone mad over it and the Stars and Stripes are to be seen almost everywhere. If they come over here they had better keep them away from the Canuks. It was fighting every night when the Australians were near us, but good heavens what will it be if the yanks get alongside of us.

Well Mother it is getting late so I had better come to an end. I tell you mother if ever you are up town and you feel like spending a couple of shillings you can send me a few Murads. Remember me to Dad and VV

Love Chas

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Vimy Oak Rings and Pins

This year, April 9th, 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

My post today is a different sort of post, however it comes directly from my passion for my Charley Bailey project.

Charley Bailey lost at least one close friend (Jim Ross) at the battle of Vimy Ridge.

Vimy is considered a defining moment in Canadian history. 
My research of these war years and Charley's life, led me to discover a Canadian project connected with the 100th anniversary of Vimy that fell perfectly in line with the work we do for a living. 

My husband David and I have been offering meticulously hand crafted, bespoke wooden rings for almost 15 years. David is the pioneer of the steam bent wood ring. Touch Wood Rings is our primary website.
In the course of my WW1 research I came across the story of the Vimy Oaks repatriation project.  

David has made hundreds of beautiful Oak wood rings over the years for our Touch Wood Ring clients. We felt it would be an honour and a privilege to offer folks a ring made of this precious Vimy Oak wood. I contacted Jeremy Diamond at the Vimy Foundation who put me in touch with Monty McDonald and the rest, as they say, is history. Learn more about the Vimy Oaks Repatriation Project here.

Vimy Oak, thanks to Monty McDonald and the late Lt. Leslie Miller, is being offered as a Limited Edition Touch Wood Ring commemorating the centenary of Vimy Ridge and the repatriation of Canada's Vimy Oak trees in France.  VIMY OAK RINGS

This is the tie clip and cuff link set David created for Monty McDonald as a thank you for providing us with branches from the Vimy Oak trees in Ontario.

 The first Vimy Oak Ring created for Monty McDonald's daughter; Heather.
It is a tapered Vimy Oak ring with a featured knot, lined with Canadian Maple.

Our Vimy Oak Branches

If you are interested in commissioning a Vimy Oak Ring or Pin, please drop us an email and visit Vimy Oak Rings

Some background on the Battle of Vimy Ridge 
BY PAUL REED Military Historian & author who works in Television: visiting & interpreting battlefields all over the world.
"The Battle of Vimy Ridge, part of the northern operations of the Battle of Arras, which took place 95 years ago today, was one of the defining moments for Canada in the Great War. Up against formidable objective, all four Canadian Divisions – men from every part of Canada – took the ridge in five days at the cost of just over 10,000 Canadian casualties. Together with success in the British sectors at Arras, the sort of advance experienced on 9th April 1917 had hitherto only rarely been experienced and reflected the change in approach to battle not only in the Canadian Corps but in the British Army on the Western Front as a whole.

For a post-war Canada coming to terms with the lost of more than 66,000 Canadian soldiers in the Great War the fighting at Vimy took on a symbolism hard for others to understand; many felt that it was almost as if Canada as a Nation had come together on the slopes of Vimy Ridge. The French government gave the battlefield to Canada who turned it into a memorial park which today is one of the most visited sites on the Western Front battlefields, and one of the largest areas of preserved WW1 battlefield.

Today’s photograph is an official photograph but taken from a special album of photographs published during the war as part of an exhibition of Canadian war photographs. The photographs were printed in landscape format in quite large scale direct from glass negatives, so the quality is very high. This dramatic image shows Canadian troops going into action 99 years ago on 9th April 1917 – they are men from the 29th Battalion Canadian Infantry who were operating on the southern end of the Vimy front."  PAUL REED

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 15, 1917 Letter #55, Folks running La Claire Hotel in Winnipeg

(March 15th, 1916)
Granville Can Host

Dear Mother
          Just received your letter this afternoon it being the first for over a month and I am sure glad to hear that the La Claire is a paying business as I had a kind of a doubt about it at first but seeing that the kid is back at school again and you are making money again and that Dad has a chance to get clear on the Banana Land it sure made me feel good and I only hope to the lord things keep on that way.  

Marmaduke Thomas Lorenzo Lloyd Proprietor La Claire Hotel

By your letter you seem to think I was just about dead well I am all O.K. and don’t worry if anything serious ever happens I won't hesitate in letting you know.
          I guess the Richmond’s are having a big time over their Grand Children I can just see old Ireland sitting quiet and laughing to himself. I sometimes wish that I could see him for a few minutes and jolly him about being a daddie.
          Yes old ‘Ross your fired’ is dead. I had a letter from him the night before he went into action wanting me to tell him what date I could get off so that he could get his leave and we would have a few days in London together. A lot of the old boys that I know quite well have gone south too.  It just makes me feel as if I want to go over there again.  It is the general belief around here that things will come to a big scrap this spring and then finish ~ but~
          Don’t be foolish about your letters being returned the same way as the one you wrote to Ross.  You always look on the blue side of things.  If I am to be boled over it is me that’s going to get it and I am darned sure I am not worrying so don’t be ridiculous I didn’t join the army to become ground fertilizer.  No chance I am not made that way. 
          I don’t understand why Mable is down for an operation and is working at the same time however it's none of my business so the less said the better.  Things here are as usual I am still in the operating room and daily sawing off legs, arms etc.  It sure is a great experience for me, I like it but most of the fellows can't stand it at all but it sure is interesting holding a leg or some limb while the doctor is taking it off.
          Well Mother I am going to close now and tell Dad that I am going to send along that letter that I promised him about six months ago.  Remember me to Dad and V-V also tell Ireland that I will wager two to one that it is a girl.