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 abord 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. Even more extraordinary was his medical record throughout such a long period of active duty - he was never once seriously wounded or taken ill.
He remained with the Cyclists for the entirety of his service (however readers will notice name changes from the original "Divisional Cyclist Corps," most notably the official change in mid-1916 to the "Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion"). Pte. Ramsey was demobilized after the end of the war 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 back in 1914, but died in Belgium of pneumonia just months prior to demobilization on 27th January, 1919.
Pte. Ramsey's Service Record (Reg/Ser# 40) is available online through Library and Archives Canada.