Remember Me

Remember Me

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Letter #75, February 16, 1918

Feb 16th, 1918  
37 Forestry Company
Can Expeditionary Force
Sgt. CR Baily

Dear Mother,
            At last I have arrived at my destination, as you can see by the address I am attached to a Forestry Company and I must say Mother that I like it much better than Hospital Dispensing.  It is something quite new as far as the sanitary work is concerned, but something that I believe will prove very interesting.
          The unit I am with are a lot of very fine fellows.  The Officers and men are fine so there is no doubt but what I shall like it much better than simply dispensing from morning till night.  You see Mother it is more along the lines of real camp life “Free and Easy” so needless to say it suits me better.
          The words Forestry Company construe a true meaning of the work and duties of the unit.  It is something that I have never came in contact with before, and the change and novelty I like.  I would like to give you the details of the corps at work but as you know this is impossible and strictly against regulations.  I have had no word from any of you since arriving back in France, but of course, me moving around so much; make it very difficult as regards mail.  However in future I hope it will be better.
          I met several of my old unit during my few days at the General Base and it seemed like old times to have a little chat on some of my past experiences.  Some of the first contingent are getting three months leave in Canada, so far they have all been married men so you see Mother, the rest of us, are what you would call “the Unfortunates” Maybe.
Tell VV I received her cigarettes and needless to say how I did appreciate my favourite smoke again.  Dad and yourself I take for granted are in good health.  As for myself mother I am fine and this open air life suits me fine.  I don’t know what I shall do when I have to work inside again.  Still I believe I would take the chance, providing the war would end soon.  Will Mother remembrance to Dad and the Kid.

Letter #74, January 10, 1918

37 Company CFC
Can Expeditionary Force
Sgt. CR Baily

Dear Mother,
          Just received a letter from VV, the first I have received from any of you for at least two months.  I have wrote several times but addressed them all to the La Claire so goodness knows if you have received them or not.  Since last writing, we have changed our location again, and are now back in the civilian belt again and believe me it is a treat to see somebody else other than soldiers all the while.  By VV’s letter she seems to have grown tired of teaching and is preparing to go home again.  It’s not for me to say but really I think she is foolish.  To be away from home for a while would be a good experience for her, and one that would do her no harm, but after all she is no more anxious to get home than I am, but there is no use me talking of home for awhile yet.  All the married men of the first contingent are not home yet, so there is very little prospects of the rest of us going for some time yet.
          Have you heard anything about Harry Richmond or any of those fellows joining, or does this conscription bill affect them.  You know Mother that was the reason he got married I believe.  Oh yes have you had any more friends telling you lately that I am married.  That really was the joke of the season.  Mother when I tell you all about it you will certainly have to laugh, but I hardly think it was such a joke to you at the time.  Just wait until I see Newman.  Well Mother I must close now. Tell Dad and VV I am quite well and like France considerable better this time than in 1914 and 15.  I will close now Mother with Love

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Letter #73, January 2, 1918

Ristow Barracks
Shorncliffe Kent England

Dear Mother
          I received your letter of Nov 22nd today and the one written on Dec 10th a few days ago so you see how my mail arrives.  By Jove Mother that was a nice little calling down you gave me I know when I asked you for that money that you were hard up and I said I would give it back to you as soon as I could and not to worry about me being in trouble as I was not but to believe me and some day later I will tell you all about it.
          Now Mother you talk about my nonsense will believe me it’s but very little fun I have had lately or for the last couple of years and when you speak of me troubling and worrying you well Mother it kind of hurts my feelings.  Believe me truly it is not nonsense or craziness Mother I am old enough now to know when to draw the line and since my trip to Winnipeg I have been anything but what was idiotic.  I know I can’t convince you by letters but it won’t be long till you will know for yourself.
          You asked me in your last letter if my friends from Buxton had been writing to me.  Yes they have and I told them it was impossible for me to get up for Christmas. Mother it was simply because I couldn’t afford it and if there had of been any where I would like to have gone it was there.  So you see its but darn little nonsense I am carrying on.  Yes my Christmas, Birthday and News was spent working and working hard.
          Things here are just as usual same old routine day in and day out.  The majority of the civilian population think the war is gong to end this spring at the outside but personally  think if we get home a year from now we will be lucky.  However we can live in hope.  You we speaking about sending me a parcel as mine was blown up.  Mother I know you would like to send me one but really I would much rather you spent the money on yourself or Dad, we get lots to eat and for what it costs to send one over here it is not worth it.  Yes I suppose the Richmond babies are very nice and all that but its men we need over here. Oh well they are enjoying life so let them alone.
Say mother do you ever hear anything about Harry Richmond and his whereabouts.  Well mother I am going to close, tell Dad it will have to be a princess that I marry and a darn good one.  Remember me to VV and Dad and write soon


Letter #72, December 29, 1917

Ristow Barracks
Kent England

Dear Mother and Dad
Mother I am going to give you a surprise. I am going back to France if they will let me.  In all probability it will be back dispensing again at least I am going to try and go in that capacity. This time I am going to prove to you that it's not my nonsense that keeps me in the ranks, by Jove if I can't get my old rank back again my name is not Bailey.  Yes Mother there is no use talking, I will be there before you get this letter so don’t worry.  I am not going to stand back and see these married men with kiddies etc go and a young fellow like myself stay behind just because I have been over before.  It’s not right, it’s not fair and I am not going to do it.   If some of those young fellows in Canada will not come then Mother you can tell them, there is some of the old boys that are not afraid to go back and do their share for them and your boy is one of them.
          I have got the old active service equipment again and I feel better, I feel as though I am doing right.  I have volunteered for this mother and I am as happy as a pig in dirt, never let it be said that I was picked.  I was there at the start and if I am spared, I will be there at the finish.  Dad will understand my feeling, and if everything comes out alright, I think he will be proud to say that I was not a quitter, just because some of them are.
          Things in general are just as usual around here, men coming and going every day, Young Faulkner came around to see me and one or two of the Dauphin boys, but they have almost strangers to me now, gee they have altered.    I received your parcel yesterday Mother, and I am sure enjoying the cigarettes but really I would rather you bought some little comforts for yourself and Dad.  I can manage alright, and the expense it takes to send a parcel over here is too much.  VV wrote the other day and by her letters she is getting to be a regular farmer, pigs, dogs, and animals seem to be her hobby.  Well Mother there is no use looking on the dark side of things, Cheer up because by the time you receive this I will be back in France.  I will write just as soon as I get there, don’t think I am foolish Mother, I am only doing what’s right. Remembrance to Dad and V-V
Love Chas
I will write the day I land.  Chas.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Letter #71 Dec 18, 1917

Ristow Barracks
Shorncliff, Kent
Jan 18, 1917

Dear Mother
Ha Ha! Mother you make me laugh. For goodness sake don’t believe what those people try to tell you.  Mother I am further away from being a married man than I was the day I left Winnipeg.  Don’t think that I have lost all sense of reason all together.  (Newman?) if he only knew, happens to be the goat in this case, and the joke is on him.  I didn’t think that it would carry as far a Winnipeg or the rumour would never have started.  But believe me dear Mother you and Dad will be the first to hear of any time I do happen to get crazy enough to get married and you can bet your last dollar that it will never happen for a few years yet and maybe not then.
          Gee I have been laughing to myself all morning.  To think that you and Dad really believed it beats me, the darn fools just want something to talk about.
          Well Mother as you see by the address I have moved or at lest the whole CAMC have moved and I have a dandy job in the office.  Excused from all duties except Office work.  You ask me if I received your parcel. Yes I did Mother and I enjoyed it very much but if I were you I would not spend money sending me eats. Because all this talk of us fellows not getting enough to eat is simply to get people at home to send them parcels.  Every camp has a canteen that all eats and tea and coffee can be obtained at.  I received the smokes and Mother I do enjoy them.  You see in this country Murads can not be got but eats are plentiful and if we don’t spend our money that way it goes some other.
          The weather has set in like as if it meant winter.  Rainy and wet.  Do you know after this war I am going to some country where they never get snow or rain.  I have had enough of it the last few years.  I am not at all surprised to hear the price of wheat is away up and I have been hoping the farm had a good crop.
          Well I have just received VV’s letter and by Jove she has got that idea too.  Mother please do forget it.  It's foolishness and absolutely untrue.  I have to do something now so remember me to Dad and VV and write when you can. I will close now with love

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Letter #70, December 17, 1917

Ristow Barracks
Shorncliff, Kent England

My Dear Mother
          Why Mother do you so want me to let VV see that photo.  No I would much rather you let no one but yourself and Dad see it.  Rumors get about and I will be a Grandfather before I return Lord everybody even in this county think I am married.  One of my old friends says to me “CR I heard you were married I kind of believe its true too” I asked him what he was talking about.  Well he says “You don’t go out any more at nights and your not like the old CR at all.”  By Jove Mother when your own Pals think your married its getting things down pretty fine.  “Eh What” As far as those Winnipeg people go Mother just let them think what they like.  It will give them something to talk about but to you and Dad and VV I am further away from being married than when I left Winnipeg.  Women are like pets, they're all right in your spare time when you need something to amuse you.  I am still in the Office here and am getting on OK.
 I asked you for some money in my last letter, since then I find that with half what I asked you for I could get along with and would be able to pay you back sooner.  If it is possible at all Mother I would sure like it.  But if you can’t spare it then I can't have it and that’s finished with.  You no doubt have said to Dad “ I wonder what that boy wants with the money and I know it's hardly fair not to tell but in this case Mother you can trust me and you won't be wrong.
          Things here are as usual.  Nothing happening of any importance. Law and Ireland should see how these poor wounded and sick have to go through the mill then if they were men at all they would sacrifice a little.  But in both cases I think its cold feet and if they ever do come over the old boys won’t spare them much.
          Well Mother how have you and Dad been keeping winter has started here in earnest wet cold and miserable.  But I am more or less an Englishman now and the climate don’t seem to bother me much.  Yes mother I received your cigs and believe me they are appreciated.
Well Mother remember me to Dad and VV and write when you can.
Your Son

Love Chas

Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy 25th Birthday Charley Bailey

It's the anniversary of my Uncle Charlie Bailey's Birthday. 
He'd have been 25 today 100 years ago. 

Charley was born in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba to Jennie Howie and Charles Bailey Sr. on December 29th, 1892
He was the first and only child born to Jennie and Charles.
The young family has set up house in High Bluff, Manitoba. 


Sadly, before Charley was even a month old, his dad (who was just 30 years old) was killed in an accident while chopping wood in 30 below weather just outside of High Bluff.

A Winnipeg Free Press newspaper article from January 26th 1893 mentions the death of Charley's father. 

It's titled "Portage Paragraphs" with the catchy byline; "Snow-show Tramp and Entertainment, Wedding Bells, Sudden Death" "The unexpected death of Mr Charles Bailey, of High Bluff, on Tuesday is regretted by his many friends here and sorrowing friends have the sympathy of the townspeople."

It might have been a blue day for Charley in 1917 when once again his birthday came and went without celebration or hugs from the people he loved. No doubt they missed him terribly too.

Through the portal of time Charley; Happy Birthday and much love!