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WWI

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.

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John Phillips was born in Vernon, British Columbia in October, 1894, and later moved to Lasqueti Island, British Columbia.  Phillips was recruited in November, 1917, undertook his medical examination in Nanaimo, British Columbia in March, 1918, and arrived in England in May, 1918.  He joined the 7th Battalion in France on October 2, 1918 and was killed 10 days later on October 12, 1918.  The collection currrently consists of two photographs.

Second Lieutenant Alfred James Pickup was born in Croydon, Surrey, England on October 21, 1887, to parents James and Louisa Pickup. After emigrating to Canada in April of 1912 he worked as bank clerk in Ladysmith, British Columbia, before moving to Victoria, B.C.

With the outbreak of war he returned to England in September of 1914, where in December he was commissioned as an officer with the 13th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, British Expeditionary Force. He was serving with the 2nd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, when he was killed in the Battle of Loos on September 26, 1915. Pickup is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, at Pas de Calais, France.

The letters in the Pickup Collection were published in The Ladysmith Chronicle newspaper and were compiled, along with those of other local WWI soldiers, through the work of the Ladysmith & District Historical Society (links shown below).
The complete list of soldiers in the can be found in the Ladysmith and District Historical Society collection.

External links:

A member of the British Army, 2/Lt. Pickup (Serv/Reg# 1794) does not have a publicly available service record.
Burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
A collection of WWI soldiers' letters published in The Ladysmith Chronicle was undertaken by the Ladysmith & District Historical Society through their work with the Ladysmith Archives.

Albert Edmund Pinder was born in North Toronto, Ontario in November, 1892. Pinder enlisted in Guelph, Ontario in December, 1915. He served overseas during the war until his return to Guelph. The collection currently consists of six postcards written by Pinder.

Donald Elwood Pinder was born in Guelph, Ontario in 1924.  During WWII he served in the Merchant Marine, as well as in the Canadian Navy.  Pinder served on the Nipigon in convoys in the North Atlantic, and for a short time on the Haida.  The collection currently consists of numerous photographs and documentation from his time in the navy.

Henry Errol Beauchamp Platt, known as Errol Platt, was born in London, Ontario in May 1891.  When war broke out he took a commission with The Queen's Own Rifles in Toronto, and then proceeded overseas with the 35th Battalion.  Platt was serving with the 3rd Battalion at the time of his death on May 5, 1916. He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Belgium.

The collection consists of 83 letters, 3 photographs, and other miscellaneous items. 

Within the letter collection, the main correspondents are:
Fern McIntyre, sweetheart/fiancée
Helen Platt (“Nennie”), mother
Arthur Thomas Platt, father,
Catherine Platt (“Kae”), sister
Madeline Platt (“Molly”), sister
Lieutenant George Lawrence Bisset Makenzie, close friend/fellow soldier

Additional remembrances of Lieutenant Platt can be found at both the The Canadian Virtual War Memorial and The Great War Law Student Memorial Project (pg 112).

Note: The original handwritten letters have been lost but typed transcriptions were made sometime after the war. It is the scans of these typed copies that have been included with each letter. 

Albert Playfoot was born in Kent, England in June, 1894. He emigrated to Canada prior to the war and enlisted with the 70th Battalion in October, 1915 and served overseas in France with the 58th Battalion until his demobilization in 1919. The collection currently consists of two photographs and his discharge certificate.

Archibald (Archie) Polson was born in Gimli, Manitoba. Polson enlisted at Gimli, Manitoba in February, 1916, and was later transferred overseas with the 2nd Divisional Machine Gun Corps. Polson served in France, including the battle of Vimy Ridge. At Vimy he was wounded, resulting in the amputation of his arm. While almost fully recovered from his wound he contracted tetanus and died on September 1, 1917, and was buried in England. The online collection currently consists of twenty four letters exchanged between himself and his mother. The complete Polson collection is housed at The University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections and the materials contained herein are used with their permission.. The Project greatly appreciates the cooperation and assistance of The University of Manitoba in making these letters available.

David Pool was born in Annan, Scotland in October, 1888. He emigrated to Canada and resided in Blaine, Saskatchewan until he enlisted in May, 1916 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan with the 232nd Battalion. David Pool was serving with the 5th Canadians when wounded in August, 1918, and he died in a military hospital in September, 1918. His older brother William Pool was born in Annan, Scotland in March, 1884. He joined the CEF in January, 1918 in Calgary, Alberta. William Pool was serving with the 10th Battalion at the time of his death in September, 1918. The collection currently consists of two letters from David, one photograph, a Christmas card, remembrance cards for both brothers, and death notices for both brothers.

Thomas Poolton was born in Birmingham, England in May, 1888. At some time prior to the war Poolton emigrated to Canada and enlisted in Toronto, Ontario in November, 1914. He served overseas with the 20th Battalion and was wounded in 1916 as indicated by the postcards to him. The collection consists of a number of postcards to Poolton, as well as a number of miscellaneous items.

Edward Porter was born in Norfolk, England in August, 1889. Prior to the war he emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, where he enlisted in November, 1915. The collection currently consists of his paybook.

The two letters in the collection were originally published in a Charlottetown newspaper in late 1916 and the clippings were part of a scrapbook kept by one of the residents of the city during the war. Few details are known about either the individuals in the letters or the circumstances of publication. The Cudmore letter was from John Richard Cudmore, born on Prince Edward Island in May, 1898. Cudmore enlisted in March, 1916 in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Herbert H. King enlisted and served with the Newfoundland regiment. Both soldiers appear to have survived the war. If anyone can provide any further information about these letters, please contact The Canadian Letters and Images Project.

Frank Cyril Pye was born in Essex, England in February, 1896 and later moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Pye enlisted in Winnipeg in December, 1915 and was serving with the Nova Scotia Regiment at the time of his death on August 11, 1918. The collection consists of twenty four letters to his sister Flo, as well as images, postcards, and miscellaneous items.

Henry Ralph was born in Dover, England in November, 1885 and emigrated to Toronto, Ontario sometime prior to the war. Ralph enlistd in September, 1914 and served overseas with the 48th Highlanders. During the war he was taken prisoner and returned to Canada after the war. The collection consists of an extended letter written in 1918 describing his experiences as a prisoner, as well as one photograph.

Samuel Hugh Ramsay was born in Aylmer, Quebec in June, 1894. Ramsay enlisted in November, 1915 with the Canadian Grenadier Guards Overseas Battalion and served overseas in France and Belgium. The collection consists of two letters, a field card, and one photograph.

Private Edward "Eddie" Cresswell Ramsey was born on February 2nd, 1896, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. Emigrating to Canada prior to the outbreak of World War I, Ramsey enlisted in Toronto on December 8th, 1914, with the Canadian Expeditionary Force's 2nd Divisional Cyclist Corps in Toronto, Ontario.

He arrived in England aboard the S.S. Corinthian in May of 1915 and was soon on his way to France where he would serve a remarkable total of 42 months without being seriously wounded or ill.

He remained with the Cyclists for the entirety of his service (within his letters there are several name changes from the original "Divisional Cyclist Corps," most notably in mid-1916 to the "Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion"). Following the armistice in November of 1918, Ramsey was demobilized on April 23rd, 1919.

The letters in the collection were written by "Eddie" Ramsey to his father Capt. E.C. Ramsey, his mother Nellie Ramsey, his sister Eve, and his Aunt Madge & Uncle Jack (J.R. Arkley).

Included are photos of Pte. Ramsey and the Cyclist Corps, as well as photos of the funeral and gravesite of fellow 2nd Division Cyclist Private Thomas Hughes. Hughes had enlisted alongside Ramsey in 1914 but died in Belgium of pneumonia on January 27th, 1919, only a few months before he would have been demobilized back to Canada.

External link:
Pte. Ramsey's Service Record (Reg/Ser# 40) is available online through Library and Archives Canada.

George Henry Redman was born in Norfolk, England in September, 1892. He enlisted in Pincher Creek, Alberta in February, 1915. Redman served overseas with the Fort Garry Horse until his death in April, 1918. The collection consists of more than thirty letters from Redman to members of his family, as well as photographs, postcards, and telegrams.

Lance Corporal David Leslie Reekie, MM, was born in Camperdown, Ontario on March 2nd, 1896, to parents Alexander and Isabella Reekie (née Walker).

He enlisted in Meaford, Ontario, on December 14th, 1915, with the 147th Overseas Battalion (Grey County), embarking for England on board the S.S. Olympic in November of 1916. He served in France with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, where he was awarded the Military Medal on February 2nd, 1918. Reekie was demobilized on March 19th, 1919.

External links:
L/Cpl. Reekie’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 838674) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

The David Reekie letters are part of the Sandy Stevenson Collection at the Grey Roots Museum & Archives in Owen Sound, Ontario, and were transcribed through the work of the Grey Roots Volunteers in the Fall of 2021. Minor changes have been made by the Canadian Letters and Images Project to these originals to conform with CLIP transcription protocols, and as such responsibility for any errors or omissions is ours.

Private George Abraham Reekie was born in Lyleton, Manitoba, on July 18th, 1893. He enlisted with the1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force, on January 12th, 1918.

Shipping for England on board the S.S. Megantic in March of 1918, he was called-up to action in France beginning in August of that year with the 27th Battalion.

Following the cessation of hostilities Pte. Reekie returned to Canada and was demobilized on May 25th, 1919.

The letters in the collection were written by George Reekie to his aunts in Camperdown, Ontario.

External links:
Pte. Reekie’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 2129198) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

The George Reekie Collection was donated through the work of the Grey Roots Museum & Archives in Owen Sound, Ontario.

Daniel Spencer Reid was born in Middle Musquodobit, Nova Scotia in October, 1896. Reid enlisted in October 1915. He served overseas with the 85th Overseas Battalion, the Nova Scotia Highlanders. Reid was killed at Passchendaele, October 30, 1917. The collection consists of more than thirty letters and one postcard.

Donald Calderwood Reid was born in Middle Musquodobit, Nova Scotia in January, 1895. Reid enlisted in May, 1916 and served overseas with the 85th Overseas Battalion, the Nova Scotia Highlanders. He was killed September 25, 1918.

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