Remember Me

Remember Me

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!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Letter #69, Dec 16, 1917

December 16th, 1917
Ristow Barracks
Shorncliff, Kent England

Dear Mother
          I received the money all right Mother and my how glad I was.  I quite realize how scarce money is just now but Mother I needed it so bad.  And this fall I shall be able to pay it back to you.  Thanks very much Mother you don’t know how many ways I tried to get it, before I wrote you as I know you and Dad haven’t got to much just now and it was only at the last minute that I had to ask you.
          I am still in the office here and working fairly hard mostly writing all day long.  Young Billy Faulkner called on me yesterday, gee but he is getting to be a big fellow he was saying that a lot of the Dauphin boys had been put out of action, he had a slight shrapnel wound but is fit again.  Young Sutherland has just gone over and one of the Hamilton boys are here.  Our Mons medal came out the other day and the ribbons to wear are red white and blue, about fifteen Canadian in England are entitled to wear it and just imagine I am one of the few.  Out of all Western Canada there are only about three get it, and I am the only one from Winnipeg.  “In France before Nov 22nd, of 1914” Gee I am proud of that decoration and more so because I am among the very few Canadians that got it.
          How is VV getting on at her teaching.  Say Mother if you haven’t spent any money on me for Christmas I would rather you did not.  I know how tight money is getting to be and I am old enough now to realize all about Santa Claus.  I know Mother both you Dad and VV would like to buy me something for Christmas, just because it is Christmas.  But Mother I would rather you bought something for yourself.  I can get along all O.K.  That explosion at Halifax sure hit some of the boys here that had their parents and wives in it.  Just imagine being over here and not getting any word if your Mother and Dad were safe.  Lord it would drive a fellow crazy.  

After all Mother we are lucky, taking it all around we are alive and that’s a lot these days.
          I would like to go to Buxton this Christmas I know they are counting on me being there, but I can’t afford it.  Sot that’s all there is to it.  Do you remember twenty-five years ago the 29th of this month.  Every time my birthday comes in to my mind I think of the day Annie heard a baby cry and we afterwards discovered VV.  Do you remember.  Gee I can, just as well as if it was yesterday.  Now she is a school teacher and I am a soldier.  Lord but time does fly.
          Well Mother I am going to close.  I know you wonder what I needed that money for.  Well I’ll tell you someday but for now you trust me.  It’s for nothing wrong.  Tell Dad I am feeling fairly fit and may not have to go to France for a little while yet.  Tell the kid I will drop her a line soon but for the last month I have been working night and day in this office.

Bye bye
Love Chas


(The back of the first page ~ likely figuring done by his mom after the letter was delivered and read ~ same for the sums on the back of the envelope)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Letter #68, November 27, 1917 "Your brother is one of the 86 Canadians that is entitled to the Mons Medal."

Nov 27th, 1917 (postmark)
Ristow Barracks
Shorncliff, Kent England

Dear Sister,
          Say old girl this is the third letter and no reply yet.  Think I have nothing to do only write letter s and receive no reply.  You want to buck up or I am going to start answering my own letters. 
          Well I have some fine news for you this time.  Your brother is one of the 86 Canadians that is entitled to the Mons Medal.  All men that were in France before November the twenty second get a big bronze star to war on their left breast of their uniform.  We were the only Canadian unit in France in November therefore the only ones in the Canadian Army that get the decoration and there are only about twenty of us left.  It is the scarcest decoration in the Canadian Army and the majority of people can’t believe that any Canadians are entitled to it but about twenty of us get the decoration.  “Mons Medal of 1914” 

          VV I am prouder of that than any thing I have ever had.  I am the only one from Winnipeg and one of twenty or so out of Canada.  Ha Ha conscripts, talk to an old war veteran like me with the Mons Decoration, I guess not.
          Things are as usual here I am still working in the office.  I am feeling fine and dandy so what more can one expect.  Christmas will be here soon but I am not going anywhere.  The movies will have to satisfy me that day but still I can’t complain.  I think I have had my share of leave this summer.  Do you like chasing kids any better.  I do hope you get a school in the city.  If you are home it will be better for you and far nicer for both Mother and Dad.
          The winter has set in here for ----, it’s raining nearly every day and cold miserable winds, we are billeted in very decent huts so we’re are not so bad.  Two years ago today I was in mid ocean on my way to dear old Canada, but I guess I am here for duration this time.  Unless I go back to France and get a --- one.  But the thing is would I get a --- one You see the square heads are not at all fussy as to how they handle a fellow.  And to say the least they are very, very rude in their actions.
          Well Dear Sister I have no news only about this medal business.  Tell Mother she is the only mother in Winnipeg with a boy entitled to the mons decoration of 1914.  Well VV remember me to Dad and Mother and write me soon.  Just see if you can squeeze one in some time before spring.  Say if you want to spend some of that kid chasing money, just send me along a few smokes.

Love Chas

About the 1914 Star (Mons Medal) from Veterans Affairs Canada 
  • There were 160 awarded to 2nd Canadian Stationary Hospital members who served with the British Expeditionary Force beginning 6 November 1914.