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David McLean was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1880. He immigrated to Canada sometime prior to the war and enlisted in Toronto, Ontario, on January 16, 1916. McLean served overseas in France with the 48th Highlanders and was killed April 20, 1917, leaving behind a wife and infant son. David McLean appears to have been a prolific letter writer for according to his 1916 Vest Pocket Reference Annual where he noted each letter, he sent over 150 letters and other forms of notes from August 31, 1916, alone. It is also noted that from November 17, 1916, onwards he received 55 letters and packages. The collection consists of more than fifty letters and one photograph.

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