Remember Me

Remember Me

Friday, January 30, 2015

January 30, 1915 Charley's 17th letter home from France. WW1

from the book "First Canadians in France" 1917

Jan 30 1915



Dear Mother

Received your letter today and needless to say I was glad to hear from you.  Had a letter from Ernie Perrin the other day and I answered him and maybe you think I did not kid him. Gee when Ruby reads the letter she won’t be a thing but sore at me.  Where did they spend their honeymoon?  It will sure be lonesome for the poor girl being so far away from all the rest of them.

We had another train load of wounded; among them were eleven German soldiers. They were good intelligent looking men, but they were so downhearted that one could not help feeling sorry for the poor fellows. One of them told me, he did not want to fight the English, but if he did not, his officers would shoot him and it was sure a luxury for them to get good food and a good bed.

I have some picture post cards of two or here of us in a group and if the authority will let them go threw I will send you a couple.  Say Mother did you get my fur coat from Mr Scammel or is it still in the Storage.  Next letter let me know so I can drop him a line to instruct him as to what he will do with it. 
It is quite an ordinary sight for me to see aeroplanes now.  Most ever day there is one goes over here.  The weather is not so cold now but it is still damp.  It is rumoured that we are going to get a few days leave of absence if it is true, and I can get away, I will see Paris and some other important towns of France.

If it is not to much trouble to you would it be possible to send me out a Winnipeg paper once in awhile as those that write to me from there never tell me anything of the doings around town.  I am very glad to hear that V.V. likes the College so well, and it is sure that if she makes such good marks in the monthly exams, she will sure come out all right in her finals at midsummer.

Well Mother it is very near time for me to start work so remember me to Dad and VV and don’t forget to write often.

With Love

© Nicola Perrin Finch

© Nicola Perrin Finch

©Nicola Perrin Finch

Nicola Perrin Finch ©
The illustration of German Wounded arriving at Hospital is from the book "First Canadians in France" by By F. McKelvey Bell.  Copyright 1917

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January 22nd, 1915. Charley's 16th letter home from France.

January 22, 1915


Hello Mother

Just received V-V’s letter laughing at my upper lip, well if you could see it, you would laugh till you were sore.  It is perfectly white and as stiff as pigs bristle and it bothers me like anything.

           V-V sure writes some letter that is by far the biggest I have ever got and believe me she does not believe in wasting paper.  The hospital has been filled several times but as yet there have not been any Canadians.  Very lucky.  I suppose you heard about Princess Pat’s outfit making such a brilliant bayonet charge. 
January 1915 Princess Pats at rest.

Well if the others don’t do equal as well it will fool me, and I have seen all of the men in the first contingent.  The weather here is still very damp and wet.  I got pains in my lungs a few days ago so they put me in the Hospital but I am out now and feeling fine.  Seems funny to be in a Hospital in France and have a Winnipeg nurse waiting on you.  She was in that Hospital (1) on Sherbrook Street.

          It was reported around here that there were bombs dropped in the village near here.  How true it is I cannot tell you.  At present the Germans are playing havoc in Air raids of course you read all about those in the papers.

          The medical depot has drafted ten more men on to us. One of them used to be an officer in the Belgium Army but he is only a Private in this.  Very nice fellow to talk to.  

VV was asking for a picture, well the first opportunity I have of getting one I will send it to you.   Today three of us had our picture taken in (see note below _______)  If I can get one I will send it to you.

          Say mother I wish you would write to Mr. Scammell (2) on the corner of Edmonton and Portage and just ask him if my Coon Coat will be all right there and if there is any more storage to pay on it.  If it is all right then I can leave it there till I come back. 

          Had another letter from Lavinia she writes a very nice letter but why Dad don’t drop a fellow a line occasionally I don’t understand.  Tell him that I would like very much to hear from him if it is only a note.    The letter he wrote to me in Salisbury Plain I have yet, as there is one little phrase in it that makes me laugh every time I look at it. 

          Had another round of golf the other day and like the game better every time I play it.  Ina’s letter was saying that the day Ruby left, Aunt Rachie sat down and cried for two days after wards.  Gee she must of hated to see her leave.  Ruby was such a hand for staying home and you can bet your life that Ernie has his hands full for the next few weeks.

          Well Mother there is no news around here only the same old routine every day.  So remember me to Pa and the Kid and write often. Love Chas

Dear readers of Charley Bailey. I need your help. There are two words in this letter that I cannot make out which I've outlined below with a blue square ~ Charley is talking about having his picture taken with two other lads.
He writes " Today, three of us had our picture taken in __ ____, if I can get one I will send it to you."
I have only three photographs of Charley and would love to find more so any clues to where and when a photo was taken of him is really important to me. Thanks, Nicola.  I've posted my question on Charley's Facebook page too.  Any ideas?

(1) CONVALESCENT HOME, for the Women's Hospital Aid Society, Elgin Avenue near Sherbrooke Street, 1910

(2)  Mr Scammell was a well known Winnipeg furrier. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Charley's letter dated January 12th, 1915 from France

Western Canada 1915
And on the home front ...
Letter #15.  Written by Charley from the #2 Stationary Hospital in France to his Mom in Viceroy Saskatchewan

January 12, 1915


Dear Mother

          Just had a letter from Aunt Rache, and she was saying that you are all the time fretting.  Well there is absolutely no occasion for that as I am just as safe here as at home, and if you saw me with a mustache and as fat as a pig you would laugh yourself sick.  Answered Lavinia's letter tonight she will sure be surprised to hear from me.  I could not think of any thing of interest to tell her but I did the best I could.  It seems too bad that Albert has such hard luck with his investments but they might not be always that way. 

By the time you get this letter you will have heard about our boys at the front. And I guess they will bash a few Huns Helmets too. It’s great to see the spirit between the English and the French.  It would surprise you to see how many of the French can sing “It’s a long way to Tipperary” and it would make you laugh to hear some of the kids trying to sing when they know absolutely no English. 

          It is quite a topic of the day over here about the states and Italy but I guess you hear more about them than we do.  Sometimes I think they are going to be mixed up in it too, and at other times it seems impossible for the states to get in it.

The boys are all gathered round playing the gramophone that the nurses gave us for a Xmas gift.  Aunt Rachie's parcel contained cigarettes, socks and handkerchiefs.  She sent my favourite brand of Turkish cigarettes. I guess I made such a mess around her house with them that she could not forget even the name of them.

          It is funny there is not much action at the front on either side seems they are waiting for some big event to come off and when it does “Let's hope it will be in our favour".  I am learning more French here in the short period we have been here than I ever learnt at College and the pronunciation is all together different to what they teach you in Canada.

          Mother when the war is finished you want to be sure and send me your peoples address in Scotland as it is quite probable that we will be able to get leave for a week or so and I would sure like to see these Scotchmen that you speak so much about.

          As yet we have had no Canuck wounded but I guess about the first lot of them as we are established.  Every day puts us further away from the Germans by the time the Canucks get going they will be along way from here.  Well Mother Remember me to Father and tell him to spare a few minutes to drop a fellow a line or two.  As I am always anxious to hear from any of you.

Bye Bye


and on the home front ...
This 17 page magazine (which opens as PDF) is worth a read.
"Devoted Entirely to Propaganda for the War"

The Canadian War, January 2015 (PDF)

Friday, January 9, 2015

January 9th, 1915 Charley's 14th letter home from France

January 9th, 1915 written by Charley to his Mother in Saskatchewan 
Letter # 14 of 88

Jan 9 1915 (written as 1914)  France
Dear Mother.
This is my second letter to you since I received one from you.  Had word from E. Perrin in Montreal the other day he mentioned he was going to be married on New Years Day. But he did not say what his intentions were afterwards.

from mental floss          Rc'd a parcel from Aunt Rach yesterday and rc'd yours just after New Years and you could not of sent anything better.  I gave the cigars to some of the boys and were considered quite a treat.  You know the French tobacco is much different to ours and a good American or Canadian smoke tastes fine.

          It has been raining here the last few days you see it is just in the heart of the rainy season now. At present everything is about the same as usual around here. Patients coming in and going out every little while.  The Hospital has a good name for itself around here and I guess it is nothing more than it deserves, as so far we have been quite fortunate with nearly every case.  The officers are very clever medical men and have proved it so far. 

Well Mother how do you like the Prairies in wintertime in comparison to Victoria, I guess you will feel the changes.  That picture V-V was quite natural and by the expression on her face she seems to be enjoying the fun.  That Nail Driving contest is a new one since I left the College.  Just as soon as the Canadians go into action we will be filled with Canadians in place of English but it does not matter I guess as long as who ever the Hospital has, does well.

          There is a golf link just behind our quarters and some times some of us play a round or two and I tell you it is not such a sissy game as it looks.  I have often made fun of the Chapies game but since I played I have changed my opinion.  Gee wouldn’t my friends in Winnipeg laugh if they heard of me ever playing golf.        

          What kind of a time did VV have at home for her holiday ~ I guess she would enjoy a holiday after four months studying.  Does Pa still like his new business or does the poor times effect it much.  Well Mother I cannot for the life of me tell you anything that will interest you.  You know all letters must be censored but if I can I will have my picture taken in my uniform and send it to you.  Remember me to Pa and write often


*Jan 4th, 1915  Improperly dressed, absent without leave ~ 7 days confined to barracks

Cnd Tobacco image from
*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.)