Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: April 8th 1940

CNR - En. route.



Dearest Jean,

We have left Montreal, and I have just crawled into bed. The train is rolling along so I hope you will be able to untangle this. Bill is in bed too, we are both a bit tired and have some sleep to catch up on.
In all the excitement in Winnipeg I forgot to post your letter - but dropped it at one of the stations East of there. You probably have it by now.

At the sta. in Winnipeg, I was met by nearly all the Andrews clan that could be rounded up, including the following.

Uncle Alfred Andrews, his daughter Marjory - and his grandson - (a young Lieut. on the Naval Reserve) Uncle Fletcher, his wife Mabel, Emily, and Marion Harris,(my uncle Frank's wife now a widow). Then Eunice McLaughlin (my cousin) her husband, and her youngest daughter. Then there was also Mrs. McKiechon & Miss McKiechon (Robs Mother & Sister) Then Pearce Armstrong & his wife & Mother. You have heard of them through Rob. It was some confusion - fortunately the young naval Lieut. took Bill across town to his officers mess - while the rest of us had coffee at the station restaurant. Everybody was wonderful, & so kind. I certainly appreciated Robs Mother & sister coming down, also the Armstrongs - Pearce is a fine jolly fellow. We finally got on the train and after settling down our composure, trotted into the diner - You know dear - the good-byes have all been easy - after the first one on this trip, to my wife & baby - that was the hardest of all. Mrs. & Miss Mckiechon gave Bill & me some margarine & too two parcels (which are [?] not yet opened) - it was so sweet of them.

At [?] I saw Alice & Ashton Fife for a few minutes - and then went to bed. Bill says he doesn't think the CPR could get along without the support of all my relatives staying put [?] it.

The only ones I missed at Winnipeg are Bill & Joyce - They were away on the road in Northern Saskatchewan. I felt very badly about that.

Emily is a sweet girl and very pretty. I felt sorry for her, - because she is the lonely one of our family - she never really had a chance to get to know her older sisters & brothers or they her. She likes he rjob though, and has a good boy friend and seems happy.

The train is pretty rough - and I'm not too bright - we sat up ½ the night with Ben Sivertz between Toronto and Kingston - where he had to return to his duties with the Navy.

It has been nice to see all my sisters & their children - but my own Jean & Mary are the ones I would love to see - I got your letter at Noras and boy it was great to get it dear - I wish I could bring in some wood for you, and get you a scuttly of coal & give you both a kiss & Mary a piggy back ride, dear little tyke. I will continue this tomorrow. So good night & I'll be dreaming about you.

Tuesday - 9-IV-40 -

We are still rolling along on the train - in New Brunswick now. Soon we will be at Moncton - and then its only a short run down to St. John. I telegraphed Charlie Swannell from Montreal - however our train is over an hour late but perhaps they won't get too fed up waiting at the station.

We had a pleasant day between Winnipeg & Toronto -quite a change of scenery - around the north shore of Lake Superior - and through the Laurentian Country - although I think it gets wearisome too.

Nora was at the station in Toronto. Also Ben Sivertz, who had come up from Kingston for the day. Bill & Ben went off for breakfast with friends of Bills - (Mallory by name, and cousins of the Mr. Mallory from the Queen Charlotte Islands who called on us in Victoria)
Nora is looking splendid - and little Nancy is darling - Nora is a wonderful mother - so Nancy is entirely unspoiled but a dear sweet natural happy child. Mary and harry and Betty arrived about noon, they had motored down from London Betty's little girl Nora Anne and Mary's John [?], but Marys youngest boy Michael was not too well so stayed home in London. Larry's brother, Geoff. Bonnycastle was also with them - a nice fellow.

We all had a wonderful dinner rounding up bill Hall & Ben Sivertz too, so there was quite a crowd, but we did it Buffet Style and everything was swell. The London contingent had to start home about 7 in the evening - and Bill & Ben had a dinner engagement, so Nora & her husband Jack & I had a quiet evening. We rejoined Bill & Ben at the train.
Mary looked a bit tired and was trying to get rid of a cold - her boy John is a great little lad - you would love him. Betty was looking well, and Nora tells me much better than when she first got down from Winnipeg. Her little Nora Anne is a very pretty child, like a little doll, and very affectionate.

They were all so interested in learning all they could about Jean - and they think you have been wonderful in this business.

We sat up nearly all night with Ben Sivertz till he got off the train at Kingston. Ben looks very handsome in his Naval Lieut. uniform. He is doing very well and prospects look bright for him. He was sorry to see us go.

We had a nice time at Montreal - where we changed to the CNR - Mr. Jenkins of the Can. Airways was there to meet us and took charge of us Had a most interesting unit at his office. Saw an old college pal of mine, Jim Mackenzie.

We have met some very fine officers - some of the Canadian Army and are Imperial Airforce - there are quite a few officers on this train - evidently bound for the other side too. Everybody seems to think that Bill and I are doing the right thing, and that we are going to the right place.

Am not sure what will happen at St. John - but will let you know as soon as I can. If you want an address in London, try the Bank of Nova Scotia, 108 Old Brood St. LONDON, E.C.2.

Things may be a bit confused & mixed up at St. John - so I will have this ready for posting and may not get another chance to write till I am on the boat.

This country is under the spell of Winters Grip - snow and cold, although the train is comfortable.

You must not worry and I do hope you will not try to do too much yourself when you pack up. Get Miss Taper to do all the heavy work and don't be afraid of spending a little money. We are going to make out alright.

If you ever get in a jam write to Uncle Fletcher Andrews, c/o Andrews & Andrews, Bank of Nova Scotia Bldg, WINNIPEG, Manitoba.

Remember - our plan for your trip over to meet me when its all over - and we will think always of that happy day when we are together again - you, Mary & I.



Original Scans

Original Scans