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This contains collections of an unique nature, such as newspaper letter collections, interviews, and out of print publications.

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Carry On: Letters in War-Time, by Coningsby William Dawson.

Lieutenant Coningsby William Dawson was born in High Wycombe, England, on February 26, 1883, the second of six children of parents William James and Jane (nee Powell) Dawson. After completing a degree in history at Oxford University in 1905 he lived with his family in Taunton, Massachusetts, spending summers with them at the family’s orchard-farming property on Kootenay Lake near Nelson, British Columbia. Working as a writer, he published several novels in the decade prior to the outbreak of WWI.

Early in 1916 he travelled to Ottawa, where after training at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant with the 53rd Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. Embarking for England in July of 1916, and to France later that September, he was wounded several times during the war before being demobilized in June of 1919.

The Dawson letters were originally published together as the book Carry On: Letters in War-Time in 1917. Now in the public domain, the book was digitized by the Internet Archive Digital Library in 2007 from the collection of the Robarts Library, University of Toronto. The formatted letters that have been made available here were created from the book as part of a research project at Vancouver Island University.

The book’s introductory poem “When the War’s at an End was written by Coningsby’s younger brother Lt. Eric Powell Dawson who served during the war in the British Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and in 1918 published the wartime memoir Pushing Water (link below). Following the war Eric settled in Victoria, B.C.

External links:

Lt. Coningsby Dawson's service record* is available through Library and Archives Canada.

Carry On: Letters in War-Time, written by Lt. Coningsby William Dawson, C.F.A., with introduction and notes by his father William James Dawson; provided online by the Internet Foundation at archive.org, from collection of the Robarts Library, University of Toronto.
Pushing Water, written by Lt. Eric Powell Dawson, R.N.V.R.

 

*[WWI officers were not routinely assigned Service/Regimental #s]

This collection contains over 250 letters from World War One published in The Cobourg World, a local newspaper published in Cobourg, Ontario. Newspapers across Canada regularly printed letters home from overseas, either letters written directly to the newspaper by the soldiers, or first written to the family and then contributed to the paper by the family. Collections such as those from The Cobourg World provide a fascinating look at the relationship of community and war as played out in the pages of the local newspaper. All letters in the collection have been previously published in the newspaper and were also later collected by local historian Percy Climo in a work entitled "Let Us Remember". The dates for which the letters are listed represent the dates on which they were published, as the original dates of the letters are not always indicated. Where the original date of writing is known it will be part of the letter text. Introductions to the letters and editorial comments as they appeared in the newspaper have been left as published. All transcriptions have been taken from copies on microfilm and as such there are no scans for this collection.

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