Remember Me

Remember Me

Saturday, August 15, 2015

1915, August 15th Charley's 27th Letter home from France, WW1
No. 2 Stationary Hospital

Dear Mother

This is the first chance I have had to write you at my leisure since I came back so I have taken advantage of it. I heard from the kid yesterday and have made arrangements to have her wish fulfilled.

It was just all I could do, but after failing Dad, I would have done very nearly anything to help before I would see her lose out at Brandon however you can tell her that she can expect a little present from me any of these days soon at all events before September the 26th. 
I could not get any news out of V-V’s letter because all she could talk about was pigs, and more pigs, little pigs and big pigs. Ask her if she would like to go pig crazy.

Well Mother I wonder when this infernal war is going to end it seems to me that we will be out here forever.

The climate is very nice and in our spare time we generally manage to scrape up something to help pass the time more pleasant.

How are things at Holland. You never tell me anything about that burg Holland. Is it a town or a disease? And you never say if Dad likes the place or not.

My ankle is still a little weak but nothing of any account the arm is as good as ever. As yet I have not saw any of the Portage bunch back from the line nor anybody that I am real well acquainted with.

Well Mother there is absolutely nothing in the line of news, only the good news for VV it will arrive in a day or so. Love to Dad and Albert and Lavinia.

It sounds like Charley's dad asked him for financial help. Charley would have been pretty upset to have to say he didn't have it. On active service Charley was making a dollar and 10 cents a day and he lost pay days (fairly frequently it seems) due to reprimands. He would have had a pretty decent wage back home at Clarendon Pharmacy.  In Winnipeg in 1915 a barber could make $18 to $25 a week, a general blacksmith $3.50 to $4 a day.

With Marmaduke's background of being a successful and respected businessman, farming I think would have been a difficult transition.  And he was 58 years old, not a young man. Marmaduke may have been struggling to keep VV in college.
V.V. had just completed her first year at Brandon College and was likely helping her folks with the farming over summer break.  Sounds like she was in charge of the pigs.
Everyone's lives were forever changed.

Pork Poster. Library and Archives Canada. "By 1916, the Canada Food Board encouraged productivity in the agricultural sector, asking Canadian farmers to increase their production of beef, pork and eggs to meet British demand."

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