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Friday, October 31, 2014

Letter #5, October 31st, 1914 from Salisbury Plain.

Letter # 5 of 88.  Oct 31st, 1914 from Charles Roy Bailey, to his mom in Viceroy Saskatchewan.  Charley is 'settled in' with the First Canadian Contingent at Salisbury Plain.

Oct 31st, 1914
Salisbury Plain

Dear Mother
How is everything. Just got back from London and it is sure some town. Say it is worth the trip over here just to see it alone. I never had any idea what the place was like before. Gee it is wonderful.

They are sending wounded by the thousands into England there were two trains of fourteen cars each came into one of the stations in London inside of one half day nearly all Belgium’s so if that many come into one station in half a day you can imagine what it would be like in all the stations in London let alone the other cities of England.
The weather here is pretty hard on the Canadians here it being so wet. I was on guard the other night and gee it was a lonesome job. Wandering around the lines all alone about 4 o’clock am.

The Highlanders that came over here with the Canadians are a pretty tuff bunch; one of them got fifteen years in the penitentiary the other day. There has been a couple of spies caught in the Canadian forces and they were both shot. 

I got Pa’s letter yesterday and more than pleased to think the Hotel is such a good paying proposition. When you write tell me about the young people if there are any in Viceroy.
How is V-V getting on at College, I will write to her just as soon as I get a chance but here you have to do your writing when you can. 

It is one awful place to be in a tent as the weather is wet.
Well Mother, write often and soon. When you write to V-V give her my address remember me to Pa and the kid. Hopefully this finds you in good health and spirit as ever.
No 2 Stationary Hospital
First Can Exped Force
Salisbury Plain

Oct 31st 1914, Charley's Pay Record showing his first 43 days paid out at one dollar a day. 
Life on Salisbury Plain was wet and cold. Colonel Nicholson's Official History of the Canadian Army notes that beginning October 21 through to mid February the amount of rain that fell on Salisbury Plain almost doubled the 32 year average. 
The Canadians were housed in unheated tents, there were gale force winds and the chalky ground did not drain.  Some nights dropped below freezing.  "There were no means of drying clothes and men who ploughed through ankle deep mud all day had to let rain soaked uniforms dry on their backs."  

Getting Weather-Proofed! Gallant Canadians, who are in training for the Front, 
in the mud and water of Salisbury Plain.  
The Canadians encamped on Salisbury Palin, for the completion of their training, are becoming weather-proof in readiness for the hour when they will recieve their much-desired marching orders for the front and the trenches.  Our photograph is a party of them negotiating the deep mud of the roads round the camps.  The persistent rains of the past weeks have turned the chalky soil of teh Wiltshire uplands inot quaqmires in the neighbourhoop of the camps, under the trampling of marching men ever on the move along them.  A visitor to the camps describes the various roadways as being in places "a sea of mud," "a veritable lagoon of slime," in spite of all efforts at "road making with planks and wattled hurdles and bundles of cut furse-bushes."

The conditions for the Canadians at Salisbury were plainly miserable and only going to get much worse.
Nicholson, G. W. L. 1962. Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War: Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919. Queens Printer and Controller of Stationary, Ottawa, Canada.
The WW1 service files of Charles Roy Bailey Canadian Expeditionary Force  #34260  Files can consist of up to two or three dozen forms, dealing with enlistment, training, medical and dental history, hospitalization, discipline, pay, medal entitlements and discharge or notification of death.

Newspaper Photos UK Ilustrated War News 1914  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Letter #4 October 23rd, 1914 from Salisbury Plain

Letter #4 of 88 From Charley Bailey at Salisbury Plain, October 23rd 1914  
Written to his Mom in Viceroy, Saskatchewan.  It won't be delivered to Viceroy till November 4th. 
Salisbury Plain
Oct 23 / 14

Dear Mother

Arrived here after 21 days aboard ship. We had fine weather all the way over and a great voyage. The trip did not make me sick, funny it did not effect, as there was so many that were seasick. This place is sure pretty.

We landed in Devonport and marched to Plymouth, where we got the train to Salisbury. As you see by my address, I have transferred to a Hospital corps, from Hamilton Ontario. By the time you get this I will have seen London as we get a few days off.

Gee it is a funny country, hedges, roads and little villages. The Canadian soldiers are getting a great welcome here. When we were waiting for our trains at Plymouth, there were thousands there cheering us. One old lady came over and talked to me. When I left she threw her arms around me, kissed me and said “ God Bless you my little man.”

They were so glad to see us that they were giving us fruit, cigarettes and everything. The girls come up to you and beg for a button or a badge for a souvenir some of the boys landed in camp with all the buttons off their coat. But of course I am too bashful so naturally I had all my buttons on.

Was there anybody came out here from Viceroy. There is some talk of us going to [S-----] but I don’t know if it is true or not. On Sunday there is an inspection by Lord Roberts. So you see I am going to see some of the Lords and Dukes as well as the country. So far it has been just like a pleasure trip.

How does VV like Brandon College. I am going to write to her tonight. She will like it there I know as she will be acquainted by this time. Do you like Viceroy very much? If I can I will send you a keepsake from London. I am going to go threw Westminster Abbey and a few more of those places during my stay in London.

I saw the Winnipeg Red Cross Boys and they are a field ambulance; have to take care of horses and Red Cross wagons when I am in a Hospital you see things turned out pretty good for me. I am writing this laying on my stomach and it is no fun. So I will write often. Remember me to Dad with love from Chas.

P.S. My Address
No 2 Stationary Hospital
Salisbury Plain

 October 15th, 1914
  An excellent website soon to migrate 
Here is an excerpt from another report in the Times of October 19, 1914 describing the scene on Salisbury Plain. The Canadians At Salisbury.

"Nothing like the Canadian Contingent has been landed in this country since the time of William the Conqueror. Friendly forces and hostile forces have reached our shores from time to time; the hostile ones always so badly found that they were quickly extinguished, the friendly ones coming unequipped by reason of their friendliness. But the Canadians come armed cap-a-pie, horse, foot, and artillery. The force has its own engineers, signalers, transport corps, ammunition parks, and field hospitals, and there are 34 chaplains and 105 nursing sisters. It would be a military offense to state the number of million rounds of ammunition brought by the Contingent, so great is it.
The Contingent has come through without any trouble worth mentioning. The weather was perfect throughout; the feeding and accommodation were first class, and the health of the men excellent. It is believed that only 11 horses were lost altogether, five of them in a ship that was loaded up for three weeks. Disembarkation has been spread over three days, troops and material as disembarked being entrained for Salisbury Plain, where camps at West Down South, West Down North, Bustard, and Pond Farm have been prepared for them.
A visit to Salisbury Plain on Saturday morning, therefore, was premature so far as seeing the Canadians as a whole was concerned, for only the few who had straggled in the night before were to be seen. But the roads in the neighbourhood were full of them, just off the railway and marching to their destinations. One saw men and horses in the rough, before they had polished their boots or brushed their hair, or the horses had been groomed. Neither looked the worse for being a trifle unkempt. Physically, of course, the men are a fine lot, and in intelligence they are up to colonial form, which is usually a trifle ahead of that of the old country.
Half of them come from the West of Canada, and are hard fellows used to a rough life. Only about half are Canadian born, and one good Scot assured me half of the lot were Scotch, the remainder being English, Irish, Welsh, and French. French Canadians are sprinkled all over the eastern contingents. Two brigades wear the kilt. A few Regular British officers and quite a number of Canadian officers who served in South Africa are a great source of strength, as are a number of Regular non-commissioned instructors.
Where the Canadians are strong is in the type of which they are composed. Most of them, officers and men, have roughed it at one time or another. Many are thoroughly accustomed to horses. Many have succeeded in life on their own merits alone. They are practical as colonials must be practical. And they have courage and character, or they would not be where they are. But the probability is that they will be ready before many others who cherish the same ambition-to strike a blow for their country.
The Troops At Plymouth.
The disembarking and entraining of the Canadian troops goes on steadily at Plymouth. The Canadians have made themselves popular at Plymouth, and the departure of every train in the early part of the night attracts large crowds, which distribute cigarettes, fruit, and newspapers among the men, and in return receive badges, buttons, and other souvenirs. An extraordinary assortment of mascots and pets accompanies the contingent; dogs and goats and other animals are numerous. One regiment actually adopted a small boy, a newspaper seller who was anxious to go with them. He seems to have been smuggled on board one of the transports, and has since become a bugler.
Indeed, the Canadians did have a good many unusual mascots, one of them becoming very famous.
The March Through Plymouth
The Canadians will never forget the reception they had at Plymouth. Great as was the welcome accorded to the troops the day the transports steamed into Plymouth Sound, it was as nothing compared to the enthusiasm manifested by the good people of Plymouth as the soldiers from Canada marched through the city to the various railway stations, there to entrain for the camp at Salisbury Plain. Disembarkation, of course, was carried out behind the high walls of the dockyard, entrance to which was denied to the citizens. Consequently the residents had to content themselves with a foothold of the street pavement and the knowledge that, sooner or later, the Canadians must emerge through the dockyard gates en route to the trains. Large crowds assembled in witness the departure of the troops, who seemed to be in high spirits and glad to stretch their legs after being confined to the transports for nearly twenty days. The throng gave some ringing cheers as the soldiers swung along the streets singing the latest choruses, the favorite, as usual being "It's a long, long way to Tipperary." All the way to the station the streets were lined with cheering seamen and civilians, and Canada's soldiers will not soon forget the splendid treatment accorded them by the warmhearted people of Plymouth. The residents handed cigarettes, matches and other timely gifts to the Canadian volunteers as they marched through the streets, while the troops reciprocated by giving regimental buttons and such as souvenirs. Thousands of citizens remained at the station until the last troop-train departed in the early hours of the morning. The trains left at regular intervals, and the ringing cheers given by the spectators were returned with equal vigor by the troops as each train pulled out of the depot.
A Gift From Mrs. Astor.
The onlookers manifested especially keen interest in the Toronto Highlanders, whose ranks extended from one end of the platform to the other, the regiment being over a thousand strong. The men sang and whistled popular Scottish airs while they waited for the train, "Annie Laurie" finding most favor, while "Just a wee Deoch an' Doris" was very popular and went with a good swing. Every man was in his place two minutes after the order to entrain was given, and as the train steamed out thousands of handkerchiefs fluttered good-byes. Similar scenes were witnessed in Plymouth day after day until the disembarkation and entraining of over thirty thousand troops had been completed. The headquarters staff and the nursing sisters were among those who left Plymouth on Friday afternoon, the nurses in their navy blue greatcoats and hats, attracting as much interest as the Highlanders on the previous day. At the station a pleasant surprise awaited them in the shape of several pans of Devonshire cream, these being the gift of Mrs. Waldorf Astor, wife of the member of Parliament for Plymouth. On the Union Jack covering the pans was the inscription, "To the Canadian Nurses, From Plymouth." Transportation arrangements were made by major G.H. Gason, while Major-General A.P. Penton, Commander of the fortress, and other officers were present at the station to witness the departure of the troops for the training camp...."

- Vimy Ridge History ~ an excellent WW1 research site soon to migrate.
- Life on Salisbury Plain ~ Canadian Great War Project
- For genealogists and historians, is a tremendous resource.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Background and Back Home in Canada, October 1914

Almost 100 years ago to the day, Charley Bailey is disembarking from the S.S. Scotian after traveling across the Atlantic with a convoy of ships transporting men and women, horses, food and ammunition to their destination in England.  His first letter home from Salisbury Plain in England doesn't arrive for a while yet.
All the ships in the Canadian convoy arrived safely and with much jubilation and appreciation from the onlookers.  
Sadly, any sense that our Canadians had that this Great War was to be some Grand Adventure will soon come to a end.

Meanwhile, back home in Canada, Charley's Mother and step-Father had moved from Vancouver, British Columbia to Viceroy Saskatchewan. 

Marmaduke Thomas Lorenzo Lloyd's ties with Vancouver were deep and went back more than a decade. He had a thriving business, The Palace Livery Stable, on the corner of Pender and Burrard.  Here's an 1898 Map of Vancouver.  The wee yellow dot on the map is the location of the livery stable.

 Here's a close up of the same map. 
And my latest exciting discovery; a photograph of my Great Grandfather's Livery Stable. Going in closer we can see a man walking in front of the building and the Palace Livery Stable sign up above.
Below is the transcript of an article from the Vancouver BC World Newspaper, Souvenir Edition June 20, 1896 which speaks quite highly of Marmaduke and his business dealings.

There is no more thriving and popular establishment of the kind in the Province than the Palace livery stable, Mr. M.T.L. Lloyd, proprietor, located at the corner of Pender and Burrard streets.  
Eight years ago these stables were opened and in 1891, Mr. Lloyd became proprietor. The main building is a three storey structure 80x150 feet in area, thoroughly modern and complete in appointment and equipment.  It is lighted by electric light; is provided with the latest sanitary appliances and is up-to-date in every particular.  There is accommodation for upwards of 90 horses.  A general livery and boarding business is conducted. First-class single and double-driving, and ladies and gentleman's saddle-horses; gladstones, phaetons, buggies, and all the latest styles of carriages are kept and promptly sent to any part of the city.  There are no finer equipages in the city than those turned out by the Palace Livery Stable. A specialty is made of boarding horses.  In all instances the rates are very moderate.  Mr. M.T.L. Lloyd is very well-known and is quite popular in the city.  He came here ten years ago from Manitoba, where he was in business.  After arriving in Vancouver he followed contracting for a time.  He takes an active interest in the city`s welfare and has various interests in a logging business.  His time, however, is chiefly occupied about the stables.  He is a lover of good horses and has often stated, `there is just as much difference in horses as in men.' Besides his many business pursuits he has frequently favoured the press with some choice poems.  As a writer Mr. Lloyd has won considerable distinction.

and a similar article published July 13th 1894 in the Vancouver Daily World
I have yet to find any published poetry written by the man Charley called 'father'. 

Charley's biological father (Charles Bailey) had died in an accident January 24th, 1893 when he was out cutting wood in 30 below weather. Charley was just a month old.    

Marmaduke Thomas Lorenzo Lloyd married Jennie Bailey (Charley's mom) on June 7th, 1898 at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.  Vida Valerie Lloyd (Charley's little sister) was born April 29th, 1899 in Brandon Manitoba. Somewhere between 1899 and 1914 the family must have moved back to Vancouver.  We know for certain that VV and her mom and dad were living in Vancouver when Charley enlisted and that Charley was working in Winnipeg at Clarendon Pharmacy when war was declared.

There is as yet no evidence as to why Marmaduke and Jennie moved to Viceroy.  It was a happening place at that point in time.  The Grain Elevator had just been built.  It still stands today, one of the last vestiges of what once was a thriving community. The railway was big news in 1913.  Historical notes on Viceroy tell us there was a hotel and bar in the town in 1914, however one can barely find Viceroy on a map today. 

Photo Credit Shaun P Merrigan 2010

There is no date with this photograph but this is a portrait of Charley Bailey's mother; Jennie Lloyd (nee Howie).
and this is Charley's sister, Vida Valerie (VV) I'm guessing at about 16 years old.  
It's October 1914 and as Charley is settling in at Salisbury Plain awaiting deployment, the Lloyds are settling in to their new hotel business in Viceroy, Saskatchewan and VV is in her first semester at Brandon College.