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William Howard Curtis, MM, was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario, where he served in the 57th Regiment. He was in Alberta when the war broke out and joined the 9th Battalion in Edmonton in August 1914. After brief training at Valcartier, Québec, Curtis went to England with the 1st Contingent and shortly after arrival transferred to the 2nd Battalion. He later served in the battalion's machine gun section, was three times wounded in action, and was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field. Lance-Sergeant Curtis was killed in action on October 8, 1916, in the closing stages of the Battle of the Somme. The collection consists of eighteen letters from Curtis to his mother and sister, and three letters to the Curtis family sent after his death.

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