Frederick D. Baragar:

An Inventory of His Letters, Photographs and Documents at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Robert Ross
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
331 Elizabeth Dafoe LibraryWinnipeg, ManitobaR3T 2N2
(2009)

Finding aid encoded by Robert Ross (March 2009)
Finding aid written in English.



Collection Summary

Repository:
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
331 Elizabeth Dafoe Library

Creator:
Frederick D. Baragar

Title:
Frederick D. Baragar Fonds

Dates:
1914-1949

Quantity:
0.43m of textual records

Identification:
MSS 283, PC 243 (A.08-156)

English & French

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Biography of Frederick D. Baragar

Frederick D. Baragar was born 1891 in Rawdon Township, Ontario, to Charles Inkerman Baragar and Emily (Bell) Baragar. He moved with his family to Elm Creek, Manitoba in 1895.

In 1914, Baragar graduated from Wesley College (University of Winnipeg) with a B.A. and moved to Toronto to attend the University of Toronto where he got an Ontario Teaching Certificate in 1915. Baragar was a member of the C.O.T.C. at U of T, but he enlisted in the ranks of the Canadian Field Artillery on 25 February, 1915, in the 2nd Canadian British Expeditionary Force, Divisional Artillery, 7th Canadian Artillery Brigade, 26th Battery. In the military, Baragar saw such battles as St. Eloi, Hooge, Somme, Vimy, Hill 70, Amiens, Arras, and Cambrai.

Beginning in the 26th Battery, Baragar was a Driver and Gunner, but was promoted to Bombardier in January 1916. In 1917, he was promoted to Corporal of the 17th Battery, and became Lieutenant of the 4th Battery in March, 1918. Baragar was awarded a Military Cross in Drocourt-Queant, September 2, 1918. He was demobilized in Kingston, April 25, 1919, but remained as a Lieutenant in the Dominion of Canada Militia. Frederick's brother, Charles, served in the Medical Corps, and his brother, Frank, served in the R.A.F. during WWI as well.

After the War, Frederick Baragar married Edith Anne Robertson on December 31, 1919, and settled in Winnipeg. They had been engaged since May 20, 1915, and corresponded consistently until Frederick's return to Manitoba.

In Winnipeg, Frederick became a teacher at St. John's Technical High School before accepting the position of principal at Principal Sparling School. In 1938, he became principal of Laura Secord School until his retirement in 1957. In 1965, the Fred Baragar Memorial Library, an expansion of the school library, was opened in his honour.

During WWII, Frederick Baragar became an instructor at Camp Shilo where he was promoted to Captain, then Major in 1944. Baragar was always active in the Manitoba Teachers Society, becoming President in 1946-47. He was also appointed honorary president of the United College Students' association in 1949.

Frederick Baragar died October 4th, 1964, at Winnipeg General Hospital. The Frederick and Edith (Robertson) Baragar Scholarship was established in his and Edith's memory at the University of Winnipeg by their family and friends.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

Frederick D. Baragar's war correspondence is divided into six series: Letters to Home Folks (letters written to family and friends), Letters to Edith Robertson, Whizbangs, Typed Transcripts of the Correspondence, Biographical Documents, and Photographs. A brief summary of each letter is given in the detailed description of the collection. There are three photographs in the photograph collection.

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Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged chronologically in each series.

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Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on access.

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Restrictions on Use

Some original letters are fragile and should be handled with an archivist's assistance.

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Related Materials

The Allice Millidge Fonds: Mss Sc 180 (A.04-206); The Archie Polson Fonds: A.00-16.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Letters to Home Folks (Family and Friends of Fred D. Baragar) [ 1914-1919 ]
BoxFolder
11 HF#1: November, 1914 - May, 1915 1914-15

  • Letter of November 8, 1914: Addressed to Mother, Father and all. Fred discusses his academic studies in Toronto, his social affiliations, and describes his financial situation.
  • Letter of November 29, 1914: Addressed to Father from Toronto. Fred writes of school and a possible trip to Niagara Falls. He describes the inconsistent weather and a visit with his friend, Arthur Ferguson. He asks his father for money.
  • Letter of January 24, 1915: Addressed to Sister, Jennie from Toronto. Fred discusses the activities and situations of family and friends, describes his teaching experiences and academic life.
  • Letter of February 20, 1915: Addressed to Brother, Frank. Fred complains about many members of the Officer's Training Corps. not volunteering to form a military unit.
  • Letter of March 7, 1915: Addressed to Father from Toronto. Fred discusses his academic situation, including his involvement in the Officer's Training Corps. He mentions a letter he receive from his brother, Charles, and asks his father for money to return to Elm Creek for the summer.
  • Letter of April 4, 1915: Addressed to brother, Frank from Kingston. First letter written in the army. Fred describes his departure from Toronto to Kingston and all aspects of military training life at Queens.
  • Letter of April 18, 1915: Addressed to Mother from Kingston. Fred describes his impression of the officers in his battery, complains about the quality of socks issued by the government, and delineates his more menial duties.
  • Letter of April 29, 1915: Addressed to Father from Kingston. Fred delights in the improvement of food quality he receives, mentions drilling with 12 pound artillery.
  • Letter of May 7, 1915: Addressed to Mother from Kingston. Fred discusses his placement in signaling squad and describes the departure of the 21st battalion to Montreal.
  • Letter of May 13, 1915: Addressed to Father from Kingston. Fred arranges for a trip to Elm Creek.
  • Letter of May 16, 1915: Addressed to Mother from Kingston. Fred announces his arrival to Elm Creek on the following Friday.

2 HF#1: June - August 17 1915

  • Letter of June 7, 1915: Addressed to Father from Kingston. Fred describes in great detail the training camp as well as his duties on piquet. He says his signaling training is going splendid.
  • Letter of June 11, 1915: Addressed to Jennie & Fred from Kingston. Fred writes of awful food and wet conditions at camp.
  • Postcard of June 29, 1915: Addressed to brother, Ernest, from Valcartier. Fred writes of some friends' departures overseas and his move to Valcartier camp.
  • Letter of July 3, 1915: Addressed to Father from Valcartier Camp, Quebec. Fred writes of a visit to Toronto. He describes packing up in Kingston, the train ride to Valcartier camp, and settling in there.
  • Letter of July 10, 1915: Addressed to Ernest from Valcartier Camp. Fred praises his duties in artillery work and describes supplementing his diet with berries he finds in nearby forests. He receives a pass to visit Quebec City.
  • Letter of July 24, 1915: Addressed to Mother from Valcartier Camp. Fred describes his visit to Quebec City and the St. Anne de Beaupre shrine. He describes the construction of the Quebec bridge in great detail and includes a diagram of it, says he is leaving camp in two weeks for England or Halifax..
  • Letter of August 5, 1915: Addressed to Father from Valcartier. Fred writes of packing up to leave for the east coast.
  • Postcard of August 8, 1915: Addressed to Mother from Cambellton, Nova Scotia. Fred writes to tell he has departed Valcartier by train to the east coast.
  • Letter of August 8, 1915: Addressed to Mother from near Truro, Nova Scotia. Fred writes of taking the ferry down the St. Laurence.
  • Postcard of August 9, 1915: Addressed to Mother from Halifax. Fred boards to S.S. Metagama.
  • Letter of August 11, 1915: Addressed to Ernest from the S.S. Metagama. Fred describes the ship and his lodgings on board, praises the food.
  • Letter of August 16, 1915: Addressed to Mother from S.S. Metagama. Fred describes his activities on the voyage to England.
  • Letter of August 17, 1915: Addressed to Father from S.S. Metagama. Fred writes of two escort ships accompanying the S.S. Metagama on the last leg of the trip to England.

3 HF#1: August 23 - September 22 1915

  • Letter of August 23, 1915: Addressed to Frank from Otterpool Camp, England. Fred describes landing in Plymouth, where he sees his first submarine and traveling to Otterpool Camp by train. He complains of the camp's living conditions, finds many friends from back home.
  • Letter of August 26, 1915: Addressed to Father from Otterpool Camp. Fred describes doing more training for signaling.
  • Letter of September 1, 1915: Addressed to Mother from Otterpool Camp. Fred describes a trip to London, notes that more than two-thirds of the soldiers he sees are Canadian. He writes that his brother, Arthur, also in camp, has rheumatism.
  • Letter of September 6, 1915: Addressed to Ernest from Otterpool Camp. Fred gives an update on Arthur's health.
  • Letter of September 9, 1915: Addressed to Mother from Otterpool Camp. Fred describes a trip to Canterbury and mentions that the battery's horses have arrived. Arthur is out of hospital.
  • Letter of September 16, 1915: Addressed to Father from Otterpool Camp. Fred notes of the 27 Battalion departing camp and complains about the officer in charge of signaling training.
  • Letter of September 22, 1915: Addressed to Father from Otterpool Camp. Fred describes another trip to Canterbury.

4 HF#1: September 27 - December 26 1915

  • Letter of September 27, 1915: Addressed to Jennie and all from Westenhanger Huts, Shorncliffe Camp. Fred describes the move to Westenhanger. He describes his new lodgings and a visit to Dover.
  • Letter of September 29, 1915: Addressed to Mother from Westenhanger Huts. Fred describes the favourable conditions of his hut.
  • Letter of October 5, 1915: Addressed to Frank from Westenhanger Huts. Fred writes that drilling has intensified, gets a tour of Canterbury Cathedral from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • Letter of October 11, 1915: Addressed to brother, Harry, from Westenhanger. Fred writes of musketry drill, says he is considering applying to the Royal Field Artillery.
  • Letter of October 19, 1915: Addressed to Ernest from Westenhanger. Fred describes a visit to Hythe.
  • Letter of November 1, 1915: Addressed to Mother from Westenhanger. Fred writes that daily activities and drilling have intensified.
  • Letter of November 19, 1915: Addressed to Jennie and Fred from Westenhanger. Fred describes another trip to London.
  • Letter of November 21, 1915: Addressed to Father from Westenhanger. Fred says his battery is performing well in inspections, gets a second issue of clothing. He asks for more handkerchiefs and describes their usefulness.
  • Letter of December 9, 1915: Addressed to Mother from Westenhanger. Fred meets up with his brother, Frank, complains of the damp weather in England.
  • Letter of December 17, 1915: Addressed to Father from Westenhanger. Fred writes of his plans over Christmas.
  • Letter of December 26, 1915: Addressed to Mother and all from Westenhanger. Fred describes a visit to Stonehenge, writes of gun practice. He praises the Christmas dinner at camp and his visit to Brabourne Vicarage.

5 HF#2: January - February 1916

  • Letter of January 9, 1916: Addressed to Frank from Westenhanger. Fred writes that he will be departing England at anytime.
  • Letter of January 9, 1916: Addressed to Father and Mother from Westenhanger. Fred writes to tell he is very busy and expects to leave England soon.
  • Postcard of January 9, 1916: Addressed to E. A. Baragar . Fred writes he is sending a package.
  • Letter of January 15, 1916: Addressed to Father from Westenhanger. Fred writes he is leaving for the front tomorrow.
  • Letter of January 24, 1916: Addressed to Father and Mother from "The Somewhere," France. Fred writes the trip to France went smoothly and is staying in a barn. He finds his location surprisingly peaceful.
  • Letter of January 24., 1916: Addressed to Ernest from "The Somewhere." Fred complains about the strict censorship to which his letters are now submitted.
  • Letter of January 26, 1916: Addressed to "Sis" from "the Somewhere." Fred says he is doing little more than exercising horses, but expects to see more activity soon.
  • Letter of February 1, 1916: Addressed to Mother from "the Somewhere." Fred writes of a bath parade and complains of meagre food and pay rations.
  • Letter of February 3, 1916: Addressed to Mother from "the Somewhere." Fred describes how the lace he sends is made by the French.
  • Letter of February 14, 1916: Addressed to Mother from "the Somewhere." Fred asks for his mother to send old towels and thanks her for previous parcels.
  • Letter of February 23, 1916: Addressed to Father from "the Somewhere." Fred describes the winter gear his battery has and is thankful for his rubber boots in the horse lines, describes living conditions as tolerable with minimal German artillery.
  • Letter of February 26, 1916: Addressed to Emily from "the Somewhere." Fred writes of a soldier hut burning down and staying warm in the cold weather. He describes a "jake" breakfast he eats and says he went down to the guns.

6 HF#2: March - April 1916

  • Letter of March 3, 1916: Addressed to Father from "the Somewhere." Fred writes of his duties in the horse lines and taking ammunition to the guns. He describes in great deal his impressions of combat: the shells and bombs he hears and says combat is better than training.
  • Letter of March 16, 1916: Addressed to Father. Fred has moved to a tent and visits a signaler's dugout.
  • Letter of March 25 & 26, 1916: Addressed to Frank. Fred writes he is with the guns and in a dugout, but sees little action. He complains of the rainy weather.
  • Letter of April 3, 1916: Addressed to Aunt Annie. Fred writes he is back in the horse lines and the weather has improved.
  • Letter of April 5, 1916: Addressed to Mother. Fred experiences his first bomb raid at camp and is forced to evacuate with his battery while the shelling continues. He gives a description of farm people continuing work relatively unperturbed by the war.
  • Letter of April 10, 1916: Addressed to Frank. Fred sends two Canadian P.O. orders for Frank to cash in London.
  • Letter of April 22, 1916: Addressed to Mother. Fred describes moving the guns to a new position and setting up a new camp. He writes of a "stand-off" with German forces and a successful outcome, mentions he was promoted to Bombardier.

7 HF#2: May - June 1916

  • Letter of May 2, 1916: Addressed to Mother from "the Somewhere." Fred writes he is alive and well in the horse lines where it is quiet, though the front he is near [Ouderdom?] is busy.
  • Letter of May 7, 1916: Addressed to E.A.B. [Ernest]. Fred writes of setting up another camp and working in the horse lines.
  • Letter of May 9, 1916: Addressed to Herb [cousin]. Fred describes the different guns and ammunition used by the Germans and French.
  • Letter of May 22, 1916: Addressed to Art. 'Ouderdom' is written in pencil at a later date on the last page. Fred has just returned from an intense period on the guns. He catalogues seeing and trying to find people he knows in the ranks.
  • Letter of May 23, 1916: Addressed to Ernest. Fred describes sleeping in the gun pit and trying every job on the gun crew.
  • Letter of May 31, 1916: Addressed to Frank. Fred describes his experience in the gun pit with more detail and gives a more detailed account of people he knows in the trenches.
  • Letter of June 6, 1916: Addressed to Father. Fred says the Canadians have been paying a terrible price but his division is quiet.
  • Letter of June 10, 1916: Addressed to Father. Fred sees his first German soldiers as prisoners. He mainly writes about parcels from home.
  • Letter of June 19, 1916: Addressed to Ernest. Fred writes of other batteries being very busy, but he spends most his time riding the horses.

8 HF#2: July - August 1916

  • Letter of July 3, 1916: Addressed to Mother. Fred describes his experiences building a new observation place near the front line and working with the guns again.
  • Letter of July 24, 1916: Addressed to Frank. Fred writes he is back on the guns and spends more time digging trenches. He notes that all his division's sargeants have been recommended for commissions.
  • Letter of July 24, 1916. Addressed to Father. Fred writes of digging a trench and being in charge of the guns while his corporal is at the front.
  • Letter of August 4, 1916: Addressed to Jennie & Fred. Fred catches his first cold since enlisting and has been busy trench digging and harness cleaning.
  • Letter of August 8, 1916: Addressed to Ernest. Fred says the working parties have eased off but is busy preparing for a general's inspection. He experiences more shelling from the Germans.
  • Letter of August 11, 1916: Addressed to Mother & all. Fred finds reports of success on all fronts heartening, is thankful for all the letters from home.

9 HF#2: September - October 1916

  • Letter of September 11, 1916: Addressed to Mother. Fred writes he was in a German trench, is now living in a hut built of ammunition boxes and a tarpaulin.
  • Letter of September 18, 1916: Addressed to Harry and all, later identified by Fred after the war as written at The Somme. Fred writes he has been busy running ammunition, gives a description of the land recently captured from the German forces.
  • Letter of September 21, 1916: Addressed to Art, later identified as from The Somme. Fred describes the devastation he sees in "Fritz's country" caused by British artillery, describes the German trenches he sees. He notes the third casualty of his battery.
  • Letter of September 23, 1916: Addressed to Ernest, likely from The Somme. Fred gives a more detailed description of the German trenches recently captured. He notes that the day's casualty list contains three names he knows very well.
  • Letter of September 27, 1916: Addressed to Frank. Fred describes setting up new trenches in captured territory and carting ammunition. He notes difficult wet weather conditions.
  • Letter of October 1, 1916 from Frank: Addressed to Mother. Frank is forwarding Fred's letters he has received from home, anticipates meeting up with Fred.
  • Letter of October 1, 1916: Addressed to Frank. Fred asks Frank to find him as soon as he lands on the continent, is back in horse lines.
  • Letter of October 5, 1916: Addressed to Jennie and Fred. Fred thanks his sister for the recent parcel and asks for "police" or "president" braces, finding the military ones unsatisfactory.
  • Letter of October 14, 1916: Addressed to Mother, location censored in blue pencil. Fred describes a field obliterated from shelling. He asks for more food to be sent to him.
  • Letter of October 14, 1916: Addressed to Father, location censored. Fred writes he is busy and enjoying his work in the battery. He notes the superiority of British air power.

10 HF#2: November - December 1916

  • Letter of November 1, 1916: Addressed to Home Folks. Fred writes that Frank has come to the continent, but nowhere near where Fred is stationed: close to the front and running ammunition. Conditions are poor due to rain.
  • Letter of November 22, 1916: Addressed to Mother. Fred writes of a mix-up which caused his family to believe he was dead. He also indicates that he has asked for a reduction as a consequence of having to ask his men to do something he believed was unfair.
  • Letter of December 7, 1916: Addressed to Art. Fred is back in the horse lines in comfortable conditions and has had dry feet for several days.
  • Letter of December 7, 1916: Addressed to Folks at Home. Fred writes he has struck a very quiet position in the horse lines, and describes his comfortable living conditions. He notes that the last bout at the front wore his battery out severely, including himself.
  • Letter of December 8, 1916: Addressed to Mother and All. Fred gives thanks for recent packages sent over from Canada.
  • Letter of December 10, 1916: Addressed to Mother and All. Fred describes eating the food he received from home as well as other local food sources, is busy preparing horses and vehicles. He refers to having left the "Salient" long ago, a possible reference to being in Ypres, Belgium.
  • Letter of December 12, 1916, from Edith Robertson to Mrs. Baragar indicating the last letter from was sent to her to forward home.
  • Letter of December 25, 1916: Addressed to Father, Mother, and All from London. Fred is with Arthur for Christmas and New Years on leave, and writes he was in the Somme for almost 11 weeks where he saw hard service and lost many comrades. He gives his battery's current position in the horse line as Sains and the guns at Grenay. He describes the Maple Leaf Club's Christmas preparations and St. Bartholomew's Hospital.

11 HF#3: January - February 1917

  • Letter of January 5, 1917: Addressed to Ernest. Fred describes his activities on leave during Christmas.
  • Letter of January 5, 1917: Addressed to Father and All. Fred describes the gifts he sends to his family in Canada for Christmas.
  • Letter of January 9, 1917: Addressed to Mother. Fred writes of a cold he has struggled with since December 1st, describes the success of the butter she sent him.
  • Letter of January 15, 1917: Addressed to Ernest. Fred has been off duty with rheumatism in the limbs. He mentions he has been acting corporal for three months and expects a promotion to corporal of D subsection, then describes his responsibilities of late in considerable detail.
  • Letter of January 20, 1917: Addressed to Folks at Home. Fred writes of cold weather, and again, of the wonderful butter he got from home.
  • Letter of January 28, 1917: Addressed to Mother. Fred is on rest and billeted in a farm house. The weather is cold.
  • Letter of February 3, 1917: Addressed to Father & All. Fred is still on rest, but in a different village farm house. He is able to practice his French and cares for the horses.
  • Letter of February 7, 1917: Addressed to Art. Fred is still enjoying rest.
  • Letter of February 11, 1917: Addressed to Harry. Fred is still on rest and enjoying himself.
  • Letter of February 12 & 17, 1917: Addressed to Mother. Fred is in charge of his subsection and preparing for a General's inspection. He describes the workings of the farm house in which he stays. A further note dated, February 17, indicates he is back at the guns and in charge of D subsection.
  • Letter of February 26, 1917: Addressed to Mother. Fred is still on guns and busy fixing the gun pit and repairing dugouts, asks for sugar.
  • Letter of February 28, 1917: Addressed to Ernest. Fred is on guard in D subsection gun pit, gives a detailed description of the day's occurrences and his living conditions in the gun pit..

12 HF#3: March - April 1917

  • Letter of March 5, 1917: Addressed to Frank. Fred is eager to hear details of the planes Frank flies, says he is still with the guns and things are quiet
  • Letter of March 25, 1917: Addressed to Art. Fred notes his official promotion to corporal.
  • Letter of March 25, 1917: Addressed to Folks at Home. Fred writes he was busy at the guns but back at the horse lines. His feet are always wet and he has a cold.
  • Letter of March 30, 1917: Addressed to Art. Fred is in the horse lines amongst poor, wet conditions, is not pleased with his new superior officers. His rain jacket has been "pinched."
  • Letter of April 3, 1917: Addressed to Jennie, Fred, and Bill. Fred is running ammunition in soggy weather and his living quarters are bug infested.
  • Letter of April 18, 1917: Addressed to Father after the victory of Vimy Ridge. Fred is homesick and longs for Canadian weather, is optimistic about recent Canadian victories.
  • Letter of April 23, 1917: Addressed to Frank. Fred speculates about transferring to the R.F.C. He talks of the recent victory and being very busy hauling ammunition during the attack.
  • Letter of April 30, 1917: Addressed to Mother. Fred is thankful for food packages and asks $5/month to be sent him from his assigned pay.

13 HF#3: May - June 1917

  • Letter of May 5, 1917: Addressed to Folks at Home. Fred is busy on the front. Thanks to a louse-proof shirt, and water collecting in a shell crater, he is able to become lice free.
  • Letter of May 10, 1917: Addressed to Mother. Fred is thankful for more food parcels, is still at the guns. Good weather.
  • Letter of May 16, 1917: Addressed to Mother. Fred writes things have quieted down and he is busy digging Hun-style dugouts.
  • Letter of May 20, 1917: Addressed to Folks at Home. Fred writes he is doing a great deal of night work digging dugouts.
  • Letter of May 26, 1917: Addressed to Father. Fred experiences quiet times and sends a lilac flower from the village of Vimy.
  • Letter of June 2, 1917: Addressed to Mother. Fred is back on horse duty and socialising with old friends.
  • Letter of June 10, 1917: Addressed to Art. Fred writes of being at the wagon lines and a recent flurry of activity at the guns.
  • Letter of June 10, 1917: Addressed to Mother and All. Fred describes his new position as "cushy."
  • Letter of June 18, 1917: Addressed to Folks at Home. Fred writes things are quiet and the food exceptional.

14 HF#4: July - August 1917

  • Letter of July 3, 1917: Addressed to Father and All. Fred complains that most of the work he does polishing brass doesn't contribute to ending the war, mentions how other soldiers play cards and gamble.
  • Letter of July 7, 1917: Addressed to Ern. Fred writes he's had a few afternoons off and took a ride through the country side.
  • Letter of July 8, 1917: Addressed to Jennie and Fred. Fred congratulates them on their second child, sees their brother Frank.
  • Letter of July 17, 1917: Addressed to Aunt Annie. Fred describes his lodgings and location as pleasant and amongst civilians.
  • Letter of July 24, 1917: Addressed to Folks at Home. Fred tells he has asked for a commission in the R.F.A., there being no opening in the C.F.A.
  • Letter of July 30, 1917: Addressed to Father and All. Fred is busy in a new gun pit and in charge of two guns, is also doing observation for his R.F.A. commission. Fred states he is in favour of conscription laws.
  • Letter of August 1, 1917: Addressed to Dad. Fred receives money his father sent, spends more time at Observation Post (O.P.).
  • Letter of August 7, 1917: Addressed to Ern. Fred writes of a letter from Frank and about his dinner that evening.
  • Letter of August 8, 1917: Addressed to Mother. Fred writes he plans to visit some Wesley graduates where he is currently stationed.
  • Letter of August 17, 1917: Addressed to Mother. Fred describes his recent observation activities at the Battle of Hill 70, feels the Germans are on the retreat.
  • Letter of August 21, 1917: Addressed to Ernest. Fred describes the devastation he sees on observation duty at Hill 70, is relieved to his battery that day.
  • Letter of August 30 , 1917: Addressed to Folks at Home from Shorncliffe. Fred writes he enjoyed his observation work at Hill 70 (Lens), describes the position of his battery as in concrete houses and gun pits built by Germans. He indicates he will be attending an Imperial Cadet School for O.T.C. training.

15 HF#4: September - December 1917

  • Letter of September 8, 1917: Addressed to Mother from Witley Camp, Surrey. Fred describes his new surroundings and camp, tells of his social outings. He expects to be on leave soon and go to Scotland.
  • Letter of September 12, 1917: Addressed to Ern Boy from London. Fred writes of his activities in London, discovers Frank lost a toe and gives an account of how he lost it in a fire fight with Baron von Richtofen's flying circus.
  • Postcard of September 23, 1917: Addressed to Jennie. Fred has returned from Scotland and spends his time going to the theatre.
  • Letter of September 30, 1917: Addressed to Father from Witley Camp. Fred writes of a visit to Oxford, explains what a commission means.
  • Letter of October 14, 1917: Addressed to Ernest from Witley Camp. Fred tells of an artillery course he is taking, is discouraged about R.F.C. prospects.
  • Letter of October 21, 1917: Addressed to Mother from Witley Camp. Fred writes of his recent studies and commission prospects.
  • Letter of October 28, 1917: Addressed to Mother from Witley Camp. Fred writes his studies are going well and he has been going on walks.
  • Letter of October 29, 1917: Addressed to Dad from Witley Camp. Fred writes of a visit to Hambledon and Canadian political matters.
  • Letter of November 4, 1917: Addressed to Jennie and Fred from Witley Camp. Fred writes of seeing a friend and taking more exams.
  • Letter of November 11, 1917: Addressed to Mother from Witley Camp. Fred rents a room in a private house to study in, is sick of military food.
  • Letter of November 25, 1917: Addressed to Mother from Witley Camp. Fred writes of casualties of Passenchdaele he knows, realizes his fortune being England.
  • Letter of December 9, 1917: Addressed to Sis and Bro from Witley Camp. Fred is still taking courses and gong on social outings.
  • Letter of December 4 or 7 from Lizzie Anderson. Addressed to Sister (Fred's mother) from Mictin Mills (?). Lizzie writes of her son's (Fred's cousin's) amputated leg due to a bullet wound.

16 HF#5: January - March 1918

  • Letter of January 6, 1918: Addressed to Ern from Witley Camp. Fred has spent a week in manoeuvres training, describes the reputation the Canadian military has earned. He says coal issues don't last the week.
  • Letter of January 13, 1918: Addressed to Folks-at-Home from Witley Camp. Fred makes more social calls, is in gun drill.
  • Letter of January 17, 1918: Addressed to Dad from Witley Camp. Fred writes of miniature range drill and his next course.
  • Letter of January 20, 1918: Addressed to Mother Mine from Witley Camp. Fred writes of his appreciation for McLean's Magazine.
  • Letter of January 27, 1918: Addressed to Dad from Witley Camp. Fred visits Farnham, excels in his recent exams.
  • Letter of February 10, 1918: Addressed to Mother and All from Witley Camp. Fred writes of Frank's return to England and visiting Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher Argue.
  • Letter of March 10, 1918: Addressed to Dad from Witley Camp. Fred has finished his courses, visits with the Argues considerably, is purchasing items for his new officer position.
  • Letter of March 24, 1918: Addressed to Mother and All from London. Fred visits Yeovil and Somerset on leave.

17 HF#5: April - June 1918

  • Letter of April 7, 1918: Addressed to Mother from Witley Camp. Fred writes of a reunion with brothers Frank and Art. in London, is doing office work while on reserve.
  • Letter of April 18, 1918: Addressed to Folks at Home from "the Somewhere" (active duty). Fred has returned to the front where conditions have improved thanks to his commission., is on guns.
  • Letter of April 23, 1918: Addressed to Sis. Fred was with the Infantry working as liaison officer and living well.
  • Letter of April 30, 1918: Addressed to Mother & All. Fred does another O. P. tour and does some sniping.
  • Letter of May 16, 1918: Addressed to Dad and All. Fred gives a detailed description of his new daily activities on the front and is enjoying his new position.
  • Letter of May 21, 1918: Addressed to Wink. Fred gives a summary of his recent times back in England, says he is with Infantry on the front line.
  • Letter of May 23, 1918: Addressed to Mother. Fred writes of his liaison duty in the front line.
  • Letter of June 2, 1918: Addressed to Home Folks. Fred writes of the divisional sports competitions taking place.
  • Letter of June 15, 1918: Addressed to Ern Boy and All from France. Fred writes more of divisional sporting activities he witnesses and friends he meets.
  • Letter of June 18, 1918: Addressed to Art from France. Fred is out on manoeuvres and writes of more sporting events.
  • Letter of June 19, 1918: Addressed to Mother and All from the Somewhere. Fred is orderly officer today, having quiet times.
  • Letter of June 22, 1918: Addressed to Tribe (no typed transcript). Fred writes of having to bivouac one night on manoeuvres due to rain.
  • Letter of June 29, 1918: Addressed to nephew, Bill.
  • Letter of June 29, 1918: Addressed to Jen & Tribe. Fred writes of meeting up with Bob Baird.

18 HF#5: July, 1918 - March, 1919 1918-19

  • Letter of July 7, 1918: Addressed to Folks at Home. Fred describes the July 1st celebrations.
  • Letter of July 29, 1918: Addressed "Dear People." Fred describes a raid into German lines.
  • Letter of August 5, 1918: Addressed to Home Folks. Fred writes of bad weather and getting lots of sleep.
  • Letter of August 12, 1918: Addressed to Ern. Fred writes of his experience of the Battle of Amiens from his position at O. P.
  • Letter of August 15, 1918: Addressed to Dad. Fred writes he is busy and greatly pleased with the recent battle's outcome. Resistance is currently strong.
  • Letter of August 20, 1918: Addressed to "Wink." Fred gives a description of the Battle of Amiens from his viewpoint.
  • Letter of August 21, 1918: Addressed to Ern Boy (Second Battle of the Somme). Fred writes he is doing liaison work with the French infantry.
  • Letter of August 29, 1918: Addressed to "Mater." Fred writes he is well, but busy and unsettled.
  • Letter of September 10, 1918: Addressed to Sis & Folks. Fred describes his time at the guns during the Second battle of the Somme. He is currently at ease and might get a leave to Paris.
  • Letter of September 15, 1918: Addressed to Dad. Fred responds to news of brother Ernest's enlistment, is living well currently.
  • Letter of October 20, 1918: Addressed to Folks at Home (most of letter missing). Fred writes he was part of the first battery over the canal (Battle of Cambria).
  • Letter of November 9, 1918: Addressed to Jennie and All. Fred has returned from leave. Fred writes of his time in London and his new sister in law (Arthur's wife).
  • Letter of November 12, 1918: Addressed to Ern Boy. Fred writes of the recent success of the war efforts. He is eager to get home, but not eager about the amount of marching he has to do before returning to Canada.
  • Letter of November 19, 1918: Addressed to Folks at Home from Casteau, Belgium. Fred complains of marching and describes refugee civilians returning to Belgium.
  • Letter of November 28, 1918: Addressed to Dad from Marchin, Belgium. Fred describes his marching and Hun equipment he comes across.
  • Letter of December 31, 1918: Addressed to Sis and Fred from Artillery Barracks, Wahn, Germany. Fred gives a summary of the war in the latter part of 1918. He finds living conditions superb and is now Education Officer for his brigade.
  • Letter of January 19, 1919: Addressed to Ern Boy from Château du Fumal, Belgium. Free writes of a visit to Cologne and his trek back west, describes the château and its occupants.
  • Postcard no date (1919): Fred writes he is busy as education officer.
  • Letter of March 30, 1919: Addressed to Folks at Home. from Bankwood, Charing. Fred writes he expects to be home in Canada in a month.

Return to Top


Letters to Edith Robertson (Fred's Fiancé) 1915-1919
BoxFolder
11 E#1: March - May 1915

  • Letter of March 28, 1915, from 123 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto (no typed transcript): Fred tells Edith he has enlisted and how it came about. He is to depart for Kingston shortly.
  • Letter of March 29, 1915, from Toronto (no typed transcript): Fred describes seeing shrapnel shells being made and gives a diagram, describes how an 18 pound artillery gun works.
  • Letter of April 4, 1915, from Kingston: Fred writes of his arrival at Kingston, fatigue duty, his battery, the food, living quarters, Queen's University, and Fort Henry.
  • Letter of April 11, 1915, from Kingston: Fred writes of drills and French lessons. He commends his battery but mourns the soldiers' wild reputation in town.
  • Letter of April 19, 1915, from Kingston: Fred outlines a sermon from Dr. J. A. McDonald. He feels the officers are the "punkest" part of his battery, describes guard and fatigue duty.
  • Letter of April 27, 1915, from Kingston: Fred is now drilling with 12 pound guns. Major-General Sam Hughes reviews the troops. He describes Queens activities and a canoe trip.
  • Letter of May 2, 1915, from Kingston: Fred responds to news of the western front, says the food is improving.
  • Letter of May 9, 1915, from Kingston: Fred describes the departure of the 21st Battalion, mentions the Lusitania and those he knew aboard. He tells of being placed among the signalmen for drill. He goes on to describe a food raid into the mess hall by his fellow bunkers.
  • Letter of May 15, 1915, Kingston: Fred writes to tell of his return to Winnipeg on leave.
  • Letter of May 21, 1915, from Elm Creek: Fred wishes Edith well.
  • Letter of May 23, 1915, Elm Creek: Fred writes of being home.

BoxFolder
22 E#2: June 1915

  • Letter of June 6, 1915, from Kingston: Fred writes of the days events at camp, describes picquet duty.
  • Letter of June 11, 1915, Kingston: Fred tells of worse food until his N.C.O. complains, describes signaling work.
  • Letter of June 15, 1915, Kingston: Fred writes of his daily activities and the churches he attends, gives an account of wet conditions, bad food, and sick horses. He finds training "humdrum."
  • Letter of June 20, 1915, Kingston: Fred writes he is out of signaling and back on gun drill.
  • Letter of June 26, 1915, Kingston: Fred writes of a visit to Toronto, tells of leaving for Valcartier soon.
  • Letter of June 28, 1915, Kingston: Fred writes of his battery's excellent reputation.

3 E#2: July - August 6 1915

  • Letter of July 1, 1915, from Valcartier, Québec: Fred describes the voyage to Valcartier from Kingston, goes on to describe Valcartier in detail.
  • Letter of July 4, 1915, Valcartier: Fred raves about horse riding, notes his battery is gaining in reputation.
  • Letter of July 9, 1915, Valcartier: Fred writes of berry picking in the hills.
  • Letter of July 10, 1915, Valcartier: Fred is guarding prisoners and enjoys artillery work.
  • Letter of July 18, 1915, Valcartier: Fred is back at signaling, speculates about the future.
  • Letter of July 23, 1915, Valcartier: Fred writes of a visit to Québec City, Ste. Anne de Beaupré Church, and Kent House.
  • Letter of July 25, 1915, Valcartier: Fred focuses on Edith's current situation as a teacher.
  • Letter of August 1, 1915, Valcartier: Fred writes of a visit from the Duke of Connaught. He writes of the possibility of not coming back from the war.
  • Letter of August 3, 1915, Valcartier (no typed transcript): Fred expects to depart Valcartier soon.
  • Letter of August 4, 1915, Valcartier (no typed transcript): Fred receives news his departure has been postponed, goes to the dentist.
  • Letter of August 6, 1915, Valcartier (no typed transcript): Fred is packing up to depart for a boat to cross the Atlantic.

4 E#2: August 8 - August 25 1915

  • Letter of August 8, 1915, from Spring Hill Junction, Nova Scotia (no typed transcript): Fred writes of his journey to the Atlantic coast.
  • Postcard of August 8, 1915, from Cambellton, N. S. (no typed transcript): Fred writes to say he got away fine and enjoying the train.
  • Letter of August 9, 1915, from aboard the S.S. Metagama in Halifax Harbour: Fred writes of boarding the S.S. Metagama, describes the ship.
  • Letter of August 10, 1915, S.S. Metagama: Fred awakes to find the ship at sea, describes mild sea sickness.
  • Letter of August 11, 1915, S.S. Metagama: Fred writes of a quiet conditions and physical drill.
  • Letter of August 12, 1915, S.S. Metagama (no typed transcript): Fred writes of socializing on board and other ship activities.
  • Letter of August 13, 1915, S.S. Metagama: Fred writes of sports activities taking place on board.
  • Letter of August 14, 1915, S.S. Metagama (no typed transcript): Fred writes of waiting for escort ships.
  • Letter of August 15, 1915, S.S. Metagama: Fred writes of the ship's Sunday sermon.
  • Letter of August 16, 1915, S.S. Metagama: Fred writes of preparations in case of submarine attack.
  • Letter of August 17, 1915, S.S. Metagama: Fred writes of encountering the two escort destroyers accompanying the Metagama to England. He expects to land the following morning.
  • Letter of August 19, 1915, from Otterpool Camp, England: Fred describes entering Plymouth Harbour and the trip to camp.
  • Letter of August 23, 1915, Otterpool Camp: Fred visits his brother, Art, and describes his new surroundings and the friends he encounters. He writes of his impressions received from other soldiers.
  • Letter of August 25, 1915, Otterpool Camp: Fred writes of signaling practice and a signaling course.

5 E#2: September 1915

  • Letter of September 2, 1915, Otterpool Camp: Fred writes of Arthur's rheumatism, an inspection from King George and Kitchener.
  • Letter of September 6, 1915, Otterpool Camp: Fred goes to Folkstone and Canterbury, describes his time there. The horses for his battery arrive in mayhem.
  • Letter of September 9, 1915, Otterpool Camp: Fred writes Art is out of hospital. He, himself, is busy caring for the newly-arrived horses and plans to buy a bicycle.
  • Letter of September 13, 1915, Otterpool Camp: Fred writes of his social activities and wanderings. He is back on signaling training.
  • Letter of September 16, 1915, Otterpool Camp: Fred's signaling course has been put on extra foot drill for poor results.
  • Letter of September 20, 1915, Otterpool Camp: Fred details his recent excursions into the countryside and his piquet duty at camp.
  • Letter of September 22, 1915, Otterpool Camp: Fred complains of the seemingly pointless duties of camp life. He is no longer a regular signaler.
  • Letter of September 27, 1915, from Westenhanger Huts, Shorncliffe Camp: Fred writes of moving to Westenhanger and conditions there, visits Dover. He is made a driver.
  • Letter of September 29, 1915, Westenhanger Huts: Fred describes hut life, enjoys working with horses as a driver.

6 E#3: October - November 1915

  • Letter of October 5, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred writes he is comfortable and visits Canterbury again where he gets a tour of the cathedral from the Archbishop. He notes a large amount of Red Cross boats and trains.
  • Letter of October 9, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred is pleased with his training progress, is learning musketry.
  • Letter of October 11, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred asks for copies of the Free Press.
  • Letter of October 16, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred is on picquet and writes of news he hears from home and his social activities.
  • Letter of October 21, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred recounts an earlier trip to London.
  • Letter of October 24, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred visits a Mr. Manning at Hythe and does more sightseeing on his bike.
  • Letter of November 4, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred visits Brabourne vicarage.
  • Letter of November 4, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred is tired of training and the English weather.
  • Letter of November 12, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred finds cleaning harness wearisome
  • Letter of November 15, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred recounts another visit to London and mentions he is on manoeuvres.
  • Letter of November 21, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred's battery has passed inspection as one of the best in the division. He writes of orderly piquet and dealing with drunk soldiers returning from the train.

7 E#3: December 1915

  • Letter of December 1, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred considers a commission, responds to Edith's last letter.
  • Letter of December 9, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred goes to London to find his brother, Frank, but fails.
  • Letter of December 13, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred responds to Edith's last letter, goes marching.
  • Letter of December 17, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred complains of training in rain, recounts that one day passes were suspended for all soldiers in order to find a cat.
  • Letter of December 18, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred writes he has been selected to go to Salisbury for firing practice.
  • Letter of December 18, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred is packing for Salisbury.
  • Letter of December 19, 1915, Lark Hill Camp, Salisbury Plains: Fred describes the new camp and journey there, visits Stonehenge.
  • Letter of December 24, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred writes of firing practice at Salisbury, says a few of his officers are incompetent.
  • Letter of December 26, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred describes Christmas dinner at camp and a visit to Brabourne vicarage in the evening.
  • Letter of December 29, 1915, Westenhanger: Fred writes of trying to meet up with his brothers over New Year's, expects to go to the front soon.

8 E#4: January - February 10 1916

  • Letter of January 1, 1916, from Upper Bedford Place, London: Fred recounts his time on leave in London with Frank.
  • Letter of January 5 & 6, 1916, Westenhanger: Fred recounts the rest of his stay in London and a visit to Edinburgh. The next day he writes he is expecting to leave for the front in ten days, recounts meeting Edith.
  • Letter of January 9, 1916, Westenhanger (no typed transcript): Fred writes of getting guard duty instead of leave due to officer incompetence.
  • Letter of January 12, 1916, Westenhanger: Fred writes of a visit with Frank.
  • Letter of January 15, 1916, Westenhanger: Fred writes he is leaving for the front the next day.
  • *Letter of January 23 & 26, 1916, from The Somewhere, France (typed transcript only, no original letter): Fred describes the horse lines where he is stationed.
  • Letter of January 31, 1916, Somewhere: Fred responds to letters from Edith.
  • Letter of February 1, 1916: Fred writes he is promoted to Bombardier.
  • Letter of February 3, 1916: Fred sends Flemish lace and describes its fabrication.
  • Letter of February 6, 1916: Fred describes being close to the front and taking munition to the guns. He writes of living quarters and rats being a problem.
  • Letter of February 8 & 10, 1916: Fred finishes the book, "A Far Country." He responds to personal matters with Edith
  • *Letter of February 9, 1916 (typed transcript only, no original): Fred writes of increased fighting and one of his N.C.O.s becoming a casualty. He enjoys his work.
  • Letter of February 10, 1916: Fred asks Edith about exams.

9 E#4: February 13 - March 17 1916

  • Letter of February 13, 1916: Fred tells of what he's been reading and tries to solve the problem of keeping Edith's letters.
  • Letter of February 16, 1916: Fred responds to Edith's letters of late about studies at Wesley College.
  • Letter of February 18, 1916: Fred responds to the news of women getting the right to vote.
  • Letter of February 18, 1916: Fred is on piquet and fighting is minimal at the front.
  • Letter of February 20, 1916: Fred writes of sermons he hears.
  • Letter of February 23, 1916: Fred writes of the weather and horse line routine.
  • Letter of February 24, 1916: Fred writes of people he and Edith know at the front.
  • Letter of February 26, 1916: Fred writes of the book's Edith has sent him and asks for magazines.
  • Letter of February 29, 1916: Fred writes he has stopped using cutlery, is glad about Edith's Y.W. work.
  • *Letter of March 6, 1916 (typed transcript only, no original): Fred writes he is having fun and everyone is okay.
  • Letter of March 7, 1916: Fred writes of wet conditions and heavy artillery from both sides.
  • Letter of March 11, 1916: Fred writes he has not received mail for two weeks.
  • Letter of March 16, 1916: Fred writes he is in a new position in the horse line and conditions have improved. He sees many friends.
  • Letter of March 17, 1916: Fred is overjoyed to finally receive mail.

10 E#4: March 22 - April 30 1916

  • Letter of March 22, 1916: Fred details his first time at the guns and the conditions there. He renovates the living space.
  • Letter of March 28, 1916: Fred is back on horse lines and enjoyed his time at the guns.
  • Letter of March 30, 1916: Fred recounts more from his time at the guns, lists his duties at the horse line.
  • Letter of April 3, 1916: Fred writes of heavy artillery from the German lines, causing his battery to flee on horseback.
  • Letter of April 4, 1916: Fred responds to news from Edith's recent letters. Edith has become Lady Stick.
  • Letter of April 7, 1916: Fred writes of another German artillery assault and his battery's responses.
  • Letter of April 10, 1916: Fred writes he at rest in a farm house.
  • Letter of April 16, 1916: Fred is back at horse lines running munition and living in the open air amidst continual rain.
  • Letter of April 22, 1916: Fred writes he is now doing more soldiering than ever. His battery has set up camp in a new position.
  • Letter of April 27, 1916: Fred writes of a close friend's death in the war, Bill Crummy.
  • Letter of April 30, 1916: Fred writes of improved weather and sorrow for Bill Crummy.

11 E#4: May - June 1916

  • *Letter of May 2, 1916 (typed transcript only, no original): Fred writes of spring and socializing.
  • Letter of May 5, 1916: Fred builds a table for his hut and is busy building horse lines.
  • Letter of May 9, 1916: Fred trades his cigarette rations for green envelopes.
  • Letter of May 17, 1916: Fred writes of being back at the guns and conditions there.
  • Letter of May 20, 1916: Fred writes to commemorate his one year engagement with Edith.
  • Letter of May 23, 1916: Fred is thankful to be back at the horse lines.
  • Letter of May 26, 1916: Fred responds to news of Edith's summer plans.
  • Letter of May 27, 1916: Fred has lots of socks and the weather is good.
  • Letter of May 31, 1916: Fred learns of Bill Mann's engagement and will send a dress made by refugees.
  • Letter of June 6, 1916 (no typed transcript): Fred writes he is upset with the war and feels the Canadians have paid a terrible price (Battle of Mount Sorrel).
  • Letter of June 7, 1916: Fred congratulates Edith on her exams.
  • Letter of June 9, 1916: Fred writes of how Canadian mail boosts the morale of Canadian troops.
  • Letter of June 15, 1916: Fred writes the Canadians have advanced and he sees German prisoners.
  • Letter of June 19, 1916: Fred describes washing cutlery and the tin hats some soldiers wear. He goes on to talk of Frank's commission and the effects of rum in the ranks.
  • Letter of June 24, 1916: Fred writes of berry picking in a nearby ruined town (Ypres?), and his position being quiet.
  • Letter of June 28, 1916: Fred is at the guns amidst very wet conditions, visits W. J. Graves.

12 E#5: July - September 1916

  • *Letter of July 1, 1916 (typed transcript only, no original): Fred describes volunteering for a mission to set up a new Observation Post and sees the front lines.
  • *Letter of July 3, 1916 (typed transcript only, no original): Fred is back on the horse lines, tells a story of Ralph Connor and German planes flying above his position.
  • *Letter of July 4, 1916 (typed transcript of excerpts only, no original): Fred describes the countryside at the horse lines and the front. He delineates why the Allies will win the war.
  • *Letter of July 11, 1916 (typed transcript only, no original): Fred writes of his activities during quiet times at the horse lines, including seeing a Chaplin film. He hears some of Frank's flying experiences through Arthur.
  • *Letter of July 14, 1916: (typed transcript of excerpts only, no original): Fred writes of letters he receives from various people.
  • Letter of July 23, 1916: Fred notes the inaccuracy of Canadian papers he reads other than the official communiqués they contain.
  • Letter of July 27, 1916: Fred tells of busy times at the guns and digging trenches, tells of Frank flying planes over to France. Five sargeants in his battery are recommended for commissions.
  • Letter of July 28, 1916: Fred writes of taking a gun back to the shop for overhauling where he sees more of the country.
  • Letter of August 3, 1916 (no typed transcript): Fred writes of his first cold since enlisting and digging more trenches.
  • Letter of August 8 & 9, 1916: Fred tells of Frank crashing a plane. Fred writes of suffrage and a clear night filled with the sound of war.
  • Letter of August 21, 1916: Fred has been busy at the horse lines preparing for an inspection but is now on the guns and is temporarily in charge. He describes an electric lighting system they've installed in the gun pit.
  • Letter of August 23, 1916: Fred is proud of Edith's myriad of summer activities.
  • Letter of August 24, 1916: Fred responds to news of Edith falling off a horse.
  • Letter of September 11, 1916: Fred writes of being very busy and being in a German trench (the Somme). He is weary of letter censorship.
  • Letter of September 18, 1916 (no typed transcript): Fred writes of hauling ammunition and crossing German lines marked by heavy artillery. His battery receives another casualty.
  • Letter of September 21, 1916 (no typed transcript): Fred responds to news in Edith's letters of her achievements and activities.
  • Letter of September 26, 1916 (no typed transcript): Fred writes he is very busy but received three letters from Edith.
  • Letter of September 27, 1916: Fred is at the guns, describes his tasks and living quarters, details German bunker craftsmanship. He gives an update on Arthur and Frank.

13 E#5: October - December 1916

  • Letter of October 2, 1916: Fred recounts his time at the guns during battle from his position further back.
  • Letter of October 14, 1916: Fred writes of active times working on horse lines and taking up ammunition.
  • Letter of October 16, 1916: Fred writes of socializing with Wesley College mates.
  • Letter of October 26, 1916: Fred is carrying ammunition in muddy conditions, describes the importance and value of Y.M. stations.
  • Letter of October 29, 1916: Fred replies to a thanksgiving letter and notes the people he visits.
  • Letter of November 12, 1916: Fred writes of times and food at the guns, discusses books.
  • Letter of November 21, 1916: Fred explains how he was mistaken for a casualty, is in charge of his section in the horse line as acting corporal.
  • Letter of November 22, 1916: Fred writes in anticipation of Christmas.
  • Letter of December 4, 1916: Fred is far from the front and describes his new surroundings (Bethune).
  • Letter of December 8, 1916: Fred writes of shining buttons and little prospect to get leave.
  • Letter of December 10, 1916: Fred describes new living quarters of great comfort, mentions fallen friends.
  • Letter of December 13, 1916: Fred writes Edith's mother's parcel came.
  • Letter of December 25, 1916, from London: Fred recounts his trip to London and Arthur's place.
  • Letter of December 28, 1916, London: Fred gets his teeth fixed and enjoys London. He gives a large synopsis of the play, "A Kiss for Cinderella."

14 E#6: January - March (no typed transcripts, except when indicated with a '*'.) 1917

  • Letter of January 5, 1917, the Somewhere: Fred writes of the remainder of his time in London and gives another synopsis of a play he saw.
  • Letter of January 10, 1917: Fred is running ammunition and has a terrible cold. He expresses his appreciation for parcels from Canada and hears from Frank.
  • *Letter of January 20, 1917: Fred is eager to hear of Edith's exam results, tells of coming down with rheumatism and a successful raid amidst busy times. He learns Art has come to France, says the war has made him lose the ambition and enthusiasm he once had.
  • *Letter of January 28, 1917: Fred is overjoyed with frozen conditions in France, but is on rest where there are no fires. He congratulates Edith on her exam results.
  • Letter of February 3, 1917: Fred writes of being billeted in a new town and the luxuries and horse rides he enjoys there.
  • *Letter of February 7, 1917: Fred writes of riding a new horse, "Silver Heels." He is acting sergeant and still on rest.
  • *Letter of February 17, 1917: Fred is still in charge of his subsection, but is now on active duty. He describes his new gun position.
  • Letter of February 26, 1917: Fred is still at the guns and busy. His sergeant has returned.
  • *Letter of February 28, 1917: Fred gives a detailed description of his day at the guns.
  • Letter of March 4, 1917: Fred's letter writing is disrupted by having to fire artillery, wishes the best on Edith's upcoming exams.
  • Letter of March 25, 1917: Fred becomes Corporal of the 17th Canadian Battery, is back at horse lines after busy month on guns.

15 E#6: April - June (no typed transcripts, except when indicated with a '*'.) 1917

  • Letter of April 3, 1917: Fred is at the horse line and in charge of "snaking up" ammunition to the guns., considers getting a commission.
  • Letter of April 7, 1917: Fred is convinced the war will end this year, eats a chicken sent from Canada.
  • *Letter of April 28, 1917: Fred is at Vimy Ridge after the victory, thinks more of getting a commission.
  • *Letter of April 30, 1917: Fred writes of typical quiet times at the guns, wishes he could see Edith graduate from College.
  • *Letter of May 6, 1917: Fred writes of the "warmest" time he's had at the guns.
  • Letter of May ?, 1917: Fred is overjoyed to receive a picture of Edith
  • Letter of May 10, 1917: Fred thanks Edith for a recent picture.
  • Letter of May 16, 1917: Fred is happy with news of Edith's convocation. He spends most of his time at the guns or the half-way house between the guns and horse line.
  • *Letter of May 26, 1917: Fred goes to a sniper post, notes increased air activity, gives a description of his day from sunrise to sunset.
  • *Letter of June 2, 1917: Fred is having a pleasant time at the horse lines running his subsection. All medical students in the lines have been sent back.
  • *Letter of June 10, 1917: Fred writes of a new gun pit, describes some ammunition fires he's seen. Edith visits Elm Creek. Fred responds to news of her graduation and convocation.
  • Letter of June 18, 1917: Fred responds to the latest issue of Vox. Edith gets a job at a school with tables and bureaus for the summer.
  • *Letter of June 20, 1917: Fred is having "lazy" times and is shining a lot. He is excited for the evening's dinner.
  • *Letter of June 21, 1917: Fred writes of Frank's recent success in the air.
  • Letter of June 29, 1917: Fred writes he is having the time of his life with plenty of work and success on the front (Avion?).

BoxFolder
31 E#7: July - August (no typed transcripts, except when indicated with a '*'.) 1917

  • *Letter of July 3, 1917: Fred writes of preparing his subsection for a General's inspection, who is displeased with the condition of the battery's tents. Edith starts a Sunday school.
  • Letter of July 6, 1917: Fred visits the "back country" while at the horse lines.
  • *Letter of July 8, 1917: Frank visits Fred and takes him to an aerodrome. Fred gets recommended for a commission in the R.F.A.
  • *Letter of July 13, 1917: Fred says his commission is moving along nicely.
  • *Letter of July 24, 1917: Fred is dividing his time between horse and gun lines. His commission papers have gone through.
  • *Letter of July 30 1917: Fred is still in a gun bit and given more responsibility, describes work on observation.
  • Letter of August 1, 1917: Fred has moved up to Observation Post from the guns.
  • Letter of August 6, 1917: Fred is at O.P., talks of news of a friend's engagement.
  • *Letter of August 7, 1917: Fred writes of Frank's activities, who flies manoeuvres for Lord French.
  • Letter of August 19, 1917: Fred writes he is busy with many prisoners to show for his work "O-pipping" (Hill 70). He sympathizes with Edith's ordeals teaching school children.
  • Letter of August 21, 1917: Fred writes of heavy bombardment and the Germans lighting many flares.
  • Letter of August 30, 1917, from Shorncliffe, England: Fred writes of his passage to England. He sees many people from his battalion who were injured. He expects to attend classes at Imperial Cadet School after a leave.

2 E#7: September - October (no typed transcripts) 1917

  • Letter of September 8, 1917, from Witley Camp, Surrey: Fred is still waiting for his leave, visits the Stacks.
  • Letter of September 12, 1917, from London: Fred is on leave. Fred tells of Frank losing a toe in a encounter with "the Circus."
  • *Letter of September 16, 1917, from Inverness, Scotland: Fred tells of his travels and the people he meets.
  • *Letter of September 23, 1917, from London: Fred is spending time with Frank and sees many plays, recounts the rest of his time in Scotland.
  • Letter of September 28, 1917, from Witley Camp: Fred visits Oxford. He is starting a C.F.A. course, but wants to be in the R.F.C..
  • Letter of September 30, 1917: Fred meets up with old members of the 26th Brigade.
  • *Letter of October 3, 1917: Fred tells of his C.F.A. course.
  • *Letter of October 7, 1917: Fred takes an exam and wanders through the English countryside, condemns Church Parade.
  • Letter of October 14, 1917: Fred gets 90% in last week's exam, finds his prospects for entering the R.F.C. discouraging.
  • *Letter of October 21, 1917: Fred writes of junior gunnery class, hears Frank is leaving for Canada.
  • *Letter of October 28, 1917: Fred talks of future plans with Edith.
  • *Letter of October 28, 1917: Fred is pleased with his course work, receives news of possible prospects in the R.F.C.

3 E#7: November - December (no typed transcripts, except when indicated with a '*'.) 1917

  • *Letter of November 4, 1917, Witley Camp: Fred finds camp monotonous, is doing well in his classes.
  • Letter of November 4, 1917: Fred responds to news from Edith.
  • *Letter of November 11, 1917: Fred feels he botched an exam.
  • Letter of November 14, 1917: Fred describes a room he is renting as a study, hears about his brothers, Ernest and Harry, requesting exemption from conscription.
  • Letter of November 25, 1917: Fred writes of casualties from his subsection and visits in the country.
  • *Letter of December 2, 1917: Fred accepts a commission in the C.F.A., lists his reasons.
  • *Letter of December 9, 1917: Fred reads Ralph Connor’s “The Major.” Frank is in Canada on leave.
  • Letter of December 14, 1917: Fred wants Edith to visit Frank while he is in Canada.
  • *Letter of December 20, 1917: Fred moves to officer’s quarters, describes his new room mates, commends his senior gunnery instructor.
  • *Letter of December 28, 1917: Fred writes of Christmas Holidays in London and west England.
  • *Letter of December 29, 1917: Fred visits friends.

4 E#8: January - February (no typed transcripts, except when indicated by an '*'.)) 1918

  • Letter of January 6, 1918: Fred describes manoeuvres training, tells of coal being scarce.
  • *Letter of January 13, 1918: Fred does not enjoy gun drill. He hears of Edith meeting Frank in Elm Creek.
  • Letter of January 15, 1918: Fred reads a book but finds it not worth while to send to Edith.
  • Letter of January 17, 1918: Fred is eager to hear from Frank and describes miniature range training.
  • Letter of January 20, 1918: Fred buys a bike, is anxious about being a changed man if he ever gets back to Edith and Canada.
  • Letter of January 25, 1918: Fred is enjoying manoeuvres training again, did well on recent exams.
  • Letter of January 27, 1918: Fred writes of his social life while at camp.
  • *Letter of January 30, 1918: Fred gets injured riding a skittish horse.
  • *Letter of February 4, 1918: Fred meets up with Frank to hear of his recent trip to Canada.
  • Letter of February 10, 1918: Fred enjoys a gossipy letter from Edith and hears her praises from his family.
  • Letter of the following Monday: Fred encounters the Argues at a friend's house.
  • Letter of February 15, 1918: Fred spends more time with the Argues.
  • *Letter of February 18, 1918: Fred is preparing to return to France, tells of another visit to the Argues with Frank.
  • *Letter of February 20, 1918: Fred is preparing to return to France.
  • *Letter of February 25, 1918: Fred writes of a visit to Brighton and a machine gun course.

5 E#8: March - May (no typed transcripts, except when indicated with a '*'.) 1918

  • Letter of March 3, 1918: Fred talks of machine gun drill and his plans for a leave.
  • *Letter of March 6, 1918: Fred writes of friends' marriages, is taking a gas course.
  • *Letter of March 10, 1918: Fred finishes his courses and prepares to go on leave.
  • *Letter of March 13, 1918, from Rochford, Essex: Fred visits Frank at an air base, describes what it is like to be in a plane.
  • Letter from Frank of March 13, 1918: Frank thanks Edith for her kindnesses.
  • *Letter of March 24, 1918, from London: Fred is busy buying his kit in London for when he returns to France, tells of his time in London.
  • Letter of March 31, 1918, from Witley Camp: Fred retells of his time on leave.
  • *Letter of April 7, 1918: Fred is doing office work as battery orderly. He reunites with both Arthur and Frank for a day.
  • *Letter of April 11, 1918: Fred prepares to return to France.
  • Letter of April 15, 1918, from the Somewhere: Fred arrives at his battery and tells of crossing the channel.
  • Letter of April 18, 1918: Fred writes of good food and living quarters.
  • *Letter of April 29, 1918: Fred writes of his time at O.P., sniping.
  • Letter of April 30, 1918: Fred writes about meadow larks.
  • *Letter of May 5, 1918: Fred describes duty at O.P.
  • *Letter of May 16, 1918: Fred describes the satisfaction of seeing an enemy gun get hit, describes duty at forward guns.
  • Letter of May 19, 1918: Fred is orderly officer today.
  • *Letter of May 20, 1918: Fred has his first visit to the front line trenches as liaison officer.
  • Letter of May 23, 1918: Fred finds the front line deceptively quiet.
  • Letter of May 29, 1918: Fred is far from the front and billeted in a school master's house, preparing for an inspection. He receives word that Arthur was promoted to Major.

6 E#9: June - September (no typed transcripts, except when indicated with an '*'.) 1918

  • Letter of June 8, 1918: Fred is in the back country out on manoeuvres. Frank is now an acting flight commander.
  • *Letter of June 13, 1918: Fred tells of his time in the back country and censoring letters.
  • Letter of June 15, 1918: Fred is doing manoeuvres and playing baseball. He meets up with many friends on a sports day.
  • *Letter of June 18, 1918: Fred attends his divisional sports day and describes the scene.
  • Letter of June 20, 1918: Fred writes a line in French.
  • Letter of June 22, 1918: Fred catches a cold in bivouac training.
  • Letter of June 29, 1918: Fred recovers from the grippe and plays baseball.
  • *Letter of July 2, 1918: Fred writes of Dominion Day festivities.
  • Letter of July 7, 1918: Fred writes of more sports activities in his brigade. Wins a bet on a race.
  • *Letter of July 10, 1918: Fred is still at rest and participating in sport activities.
  • *Letter of July 17, 1918: Fred is back in action close to the front line in a favourable position.
  • *Letter of July 25, 1918: Fred hears Arthur is to be married, is still on a quiet front.
  • Letter of July 27, 1918: Fred takes part in a raid.
  • Letter of July 29, 1918: Fred is at Observation Post and describes a night raid and its consequences.
  • *Letter of July 30, 1918: Fred describes a ride through the French countryside and the shattered villages he sees.
  • *Letter of August 5, 1918: Fred is busy, is optimistic about the war.
  • *Letter of August 15, 1918: Fred writes about O.P. work on August 8th during the Battle of Amiens.
  • *Letter of August 21, 1918: Fred is doing liaison with french infantry.
  • *Letter of August 28, 1918: Fred is busy but can see an end to the war.
  • *Letter of August 31, 1918: Fred writes things are stiff where he is (Somme).
  • *Letter of September 15, 1918: Fred is enjoying a break.
  • *Letter of September 20, 1918: Fred is at rest but the weather is terrible.
  • *Letter of September 25, 1918: Fred is anxious to get mail, expects a leave soon.

7 October - December (no typed transcripts, except when indicated with an '*'.) 1918

  • *Letter of October 6, 1918: Fred sees the warmest times yet, is now in a quiet part of the front, describes the new dugout.
  • *Letter of October 9, 1918: Fred is doing liaison with infantry.
  • *Letter of October 14, 1918: Fred tells of mushroom picking when a German shell lands nearby and making new living quarters.
  • *Letter of October 15, 1918: Fred is still busy making living quarters, hears gossip about Arthur's new wife.
  • *Letter of October 20, 1918: Fred is part of the first battery to cross a french canal (Cambria?), stays in a chateau as liaison officer for infantry, describes the joy of liberating civilians as the Canadians pursue the Boche.
  • *Letter of October 28, 1918, from Bankwood, Kent: Fred describes his journey to London, where he stays with Art and visits Frank.
  • *Letter of November 7, 1918, Bankwood: Fred writes of times in London and Somerset.
  • Letter of November 8, 1918, Bankwood: Fred goes flying with Frank, returns to France the next day.
  • *Letter of November 12, 1918, the Somewhere: Fred writes of his return to the front, the civilians returning to shattered homes, and armistice celebrations.
  • *Letter of November 19, 1918, from Casteau, Belgium: Fred is heading towards the Rhine, describes his billets.
  • Letter of November 19, 1918, Casteau: Fred wishes Edith Merry Christmas.
  • *Letter of November 23, 1918, from Thiaumont, Belgium: Fred writes of a ball held in honour of the officers and billet comforts.
  • Letter of November 26, 1918, from Corroy-le-Château, Belgium: Fred expects a stiff march for the next few days, asks Edith to find out about teaching employment for when he returns.
  • *Letter of November 28, 1918, frm Marchin, Belgium: Fred describes the horse ride through Belgium towards Germany.
  • *Letter of December 2, 1918, from Fays, Belgium: Fred describes more Belgian countryside, finds the trek tiresome and the weather poor.
  • *Letter of December 5, 1918, from Born, Germany: Fred describes the change in peasantry he finds in Germany.
  • *Letter of December 8, 1918, from Call (Kall), Germany: Fred describes the German country, towns, and people he encounters.
  • *Letter of December 11, 1918, Walberberg, Germany: Fred describes a lively commercial part of town, commends his billets and describes the German reaction to Canadian soldiers. He finds occupation unpleasant.
  • *Letter of December 14, 1918, Lind, Germany: Fred describes the first division's march through Cologne and the local reaction on the streets.
  • *Letter of December 22, 1918, Artillery Barracks, Wahn, Germany: Fred is in good quarters, visits Cologne, is to organize general education classes for the troops of his artillery brigade.

8 E#10: January - April (no typed transcripts, except when indicated with an '*'.) 1919

  • Letter of January 8, 1919, Wahn: Fred finds the soldiers unwilling to learn. Frank gets a flying cross.
  • *Letter of January 19, 1919, Château de Fumal, Belgium: Fred writes of a service given by the Archbishop of Canterbury in Cologne. He describes his baron billet and the château.
  • Letter of January 25, 1919, Château de Fumal: Fred describes the surrounding Belgian countryside.
  • Letter of February 6, 1919: Fred sends a birthday parcel.
  • *Letter of February 6, 1919, Fumal: Weather allows for a hockey games on fresh ice, describes visiting Liege.
  • *Letter of February 12, 1919, Fumal: Fred will turn in his horse and guns soon in preparation to leave.
  • *Letter of February 15, 1919, Fumal: There is a delay in the discharge of horses. Fred plays more hockey, works on a history of the 4th Battery, wants to marry in the summer.
  • Letter of February 20, 1919, Fumal: Fred writes of a nice dinner with the Baron's family.
  • *Letter of February 28, 1919, Fumal: Fred's departure has been postponed till March.
  • Letter of March 2, 1919, Fumal: Fred is working on the Battery history and eager to leave, talks of the future.
  • Letter of March 4, 1919, Fumal: Fred is idle, hears Arthur had the flu and survived.
  • *Letter of March 8, 1919, Fumal: Fred’s departure is postponed to the 16th of March. He spends his time reading.
  • *Letter of March 24, 1919, from Bramshott, England: Fred visits Brussels and Antwerp, describes his passage to England. He has become Officer in charge of records.
  • Letter of March 30, 1919, from Bankwood: Fred writes of his time on leave visiting his brothers.
  • Telegram of April 25, 1919, from Mactier, Ontario: Fred cables to say he will be in Winnipeg on Sunday.
  • Letter of April 28, 1919, from Elm Creek: Fred is home in civies spending time with his family.

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Whizbangs & Empty Envelopes 1916-1919
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39 Whizbangs & Envelopes 1916-19

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Typed Transcripts of the Letters 1914-19
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310 Typed Transcripts of Letters to Home Folks 1914-19
11 Typed Transcripts of Letters to Edith Robertson 1915
12 Typed Transcripts of Letters to Edith Robertson 1916
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41 Typed Transcripts of Letters to Edith Robertson 1917
2 Typed Transcripts of Letters to Edith Robertson 1918-19
3 Typed Transcripts of Letters from Edith Robertson 1916-1919
4 CD of Typed Transcripts of Baragar's Letters 1914-1919

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Biographical Documents 1909-1949
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45 Education Documents 1909-1949
6 Personal Documents 1919-1927
7 Military Documents 1919-1944

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PC 243: Photographs 1915-18
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48 Military Photographs 1915-18

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Oversize 1914
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11 Diploma from the University of Manitoba 1914

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