This collection contains over 30 letters from World War One published in The Nanaimo Daily News, a local newspaper published in Nanaimo, British Columbia. 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 Nanaimo Daily Free Press provide a fascinating look at the relationship of community and war as played out in the pages of the local newspaper. 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.
These collections contains any material relating to Canada from 1914 to 1918 from either the home front or the battlefront. External links in collection descriptions are either to online attestation papers at Library and Archives Canada or casualty and burial information at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Andrew John (Jack) Napier was born in Scotland in 1884. He later emigrated to Canada and enlisted in Winnipeg on September 1, 1915. He was discharged in 1919. The collection consists of one letter, his discharge certificate, and several photographs.
Edward Beverly Nash was born in Gorrie, Ontario in April 1887. He enlisted in December 1915 with the 161st Battalion in Wroexeter, Ontario. Nash served overseas with the 47th Battalion and the Canadian Machine Gun Corps until he was demobilized and returned to Canada in 1919. The collection currently consists of sixteen letters.
Private Norman Cecil Nayler was born in Marmora, Hastings County, Ontario, on October 26, 1898, to parents John W. and Annie Nayler. Prior to enlistment he worked as a lumberman.
Nayler enlisted with the 230th Forestry Battalion, Canadian Forestry Corps, on March 20, 1917, at Marmora, Ont. He shipped to England aboard the S.S. Olympic in June of 1917, departing the following month for France with No. 55 Company, C.F.C.
Nayler returned to Canada and was discharged April 3, 1919.
The letters were written by Norman Nayler to his brother Walter Nayler between October 1917 and January 1918.
Pte. Norman Nayler’s service record (Serv/Reg# 1013495) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
[Editor’s note: Collection reviewed June 2023. The Collection Description, letter transcriptions, and content descriptions have been reproofed and revised as needed. Jpg file added of envelope for letter of October 28, 1917; one duplicate jpg file removed.]
Shorey Johnson Neville was born in Cottonwood, Saskatchewan in September, 1888. Neville enlisted at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in May, 1916 and then served overseas in France until he was injured and sent to England. Due to his injuries he remained in England with the Khaki University until demobilization, at which time he returned to Canada. The collection consists of ten letters written from 1916 to 1917.
This collection includes letters from area soldiers published in The Speaker, as well as other articles from that paper pertaining to local soldiers and activities in the town. Overall the collection provides an excellent sense of the connection that a small town in Ontario had to World War One through the pages of its local paper. Whenever possible we have linked the names of individuals appearing in the paper with their attestation papers and/or their commemoration through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
The Canadian Letters and Images Project is indebted to Dion Loach for graciously sharing his research.
Peter Newman was born in Leyton, England in 1895 and emigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1913. He enlisted in September, 1914 and served overseas in France and Belgium. Lance Corporal Newman was killed on June 6, 1916. As he has no known grave his name is listed on the Menin Gate, a memorial listing more than 58,000 individuals who died on the Ypres Salient and whose bodies were never found. The collection consists of five letters home from Newman, seveal letters of condolence following his death, photographs, postcards, a songbook, and other miscellaneous items.
John Newton, MC, was born in Limehouse, Ontario in 1887. He attended The University of Toronto where he was the captain of the University of Toronto football team that won the first Grey Cup in 1909 and then coached the Toronto Argonauts for three years prior to the war. Newton enlisted in May, 1916 and served overseas with the Canadian Field Artillery until the end of the war. He was awarded the Military Cross for actions on September 30, 1918. The collection consists of two letters to his wife, several photographs, and his diary from 1916 to 1918.
Fred Nickle studied medicine at The University of Toronto and joined the British Navy to serve as a Surgeon Probationer. He served in England and at the end of the war returned to Madoc, Ontario where he practised medicine. The collection consists of eight letters written between 1918 and 1919 to his cousin Helen Davis. Other correspondents to Davis include the Daniel Austin Lane collection, the Gordon Shrum collection, and the William Grassie collection.
Louis Norris, MM, was born in Russia in March, 1895 and emigrated to Canada prior to the war. Norris enlisted in Ottawa, Ontario in November, 1915 with the 77th Battalion. He served overseas with the 47th Battalion, was awarded the Military Medal in 1917, and returned to Canada at the end of the war. The collection currently consists of twenty letters and two clippings.