Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sad Ending to a Young Life

Annie was my grandmother Nevard's sister. She married Herbert Button.
A letter from Susan Hall to her daughter, Mary Nevard in Canada.
Grove Farm
Nov. 13th, 1910
My Dear Mary
I thought you would like to hear from me again as soon as I could write. You asked me about things that you couldn't understand. I will try to explain everything. I may have told the same before.
I received a letter from dear Annie the Thursday after the baby was born, it was born the Tuesday night.
In it, it said Annie was going on alright and I needn't worry but I still felt bad when I found the dear little baby was dead. I wrote back directly and she received my letter that same night and she was very pleased to receive it. Then I had a postcard on the Saturday morning to say she was going on nicely.
The next monday morning there was a letter to say that poor Annie was suddenly taken worse the Saturday night. I said well I must go and see by the next train, so Alice and I both went. We couldn't have both went and left Louie but Mrs. Nevard came here the Friday before.
We sent a telegram to Herbert to say what train we would be going by. He met us at Liverpool street and told us poor Annie had passed away. We wanted to go and see her but he said he couldn't take us it would be too much for us coming so sudden and he couldn't bear it. But he said he had sent a telegram for Father to go up but we were got to the station before it came. He kept saying he wanted Father to come so he sent a telegram to Father to say we were coming home, would he go. So Father went by the five train. Alice and I were very much upset. We felt it terribly to think we couldn't see her. Alice took her night dress and other things, I though she could stop with Annie a few days.

When Father went he cheered Herbert all he could. He said he had nothing to live for in this world. He seemed as if he didn't know what he was doing. They all told Father he had done him a world of good.
Father said he done the right thing not having us go to see dear Annie. If I had known I would have left anything to have gone and see her before she died.
Dick and Maude had been waiting to come when Annie and Herbert came for their holiday. I am sending you a memorial card of dear Annie. They were not done when I wrote to you.

Herbert's sister, Susie, thats living in London used to go and see Annie very often. She was there the Thursday before she died. She said she worried so about losing the baby. I wish they had wrote and told me then. I should have gone but I didn't know it.
We shall send you some of dear Annie's clothes later on. We thought of sending her wedding coat and shirt and white silk blouse as I should like to send something good. We were glad to hear you had got the threshing over. I hope you will be able to make a good price. I will answer Ernie's nice letter another time
Hoping this will meet you all quite well.
With love to all I remain your everloving Mother.
Susan Hall

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I am actually re-cycling this Nevard blog post. It originally appeared over on "Mindless Ramblings" a couple of years ago so some may have missed it. It is a letter written by Arthur Nevard to his brother, Horace.

Dear Horrie

I received your letter this morning alright. I am glad you received the JBs alright. I sent them instead of a letter as I have been busy since the beginning of December getting ready for moving and since we have been in here I have been busy fixing up the house but we have got it comfortable now.
We have one patient in the house. She has been in for two weeks and is going out on Sat. She comes from Pense, the first baby. She is doing well now but has been a hard case. Cissy Southward from Cupar is here too. She is taking her normal class. She will be here about another month. We have another lady from Cupar for a week or so. There is another one coming in any day now.

I think it will pay alright when the warmer weather comes as the coal bill is high now the winter being such a cold one and the house a larger one too. 12 rooms and bathroom. We had to spend quite a bit of money for new floor cloth, bed, etc. but you see Daisy has been helping me pay off the farm debts so I could not very well refuse.
Besides she thinks she can make more money here than going out and nothing venture, nothing have.

The 68th are recruited up to full strength now I guess and may be going any time now. There is another regiment being formed now, or will be in a week or so. The 195th I think it is. They wiill begin to recruit as soon as they can find quarters for the men. The Lieut Col. is here now.
We have lots of snow this winter here. It is drifting quite a bit and makes a lot of work for the street cleaning dept. and the street railway to keep the tracks clear.
I had my notice from the city and sent in my application but don't know the result yet and I would not care if it was the end of March as it would be easier getting another job but they are not so plentiful now. I think several have left the city hall. They are sick of it as this is the 3rd time at any rate that the civic staff have been considered for cutting down and in fact even since the war started the council has been trying to cut wages and do away with all the help they can but it should not be necessary to do it every new council that comes into power as it only shows that the heads of departments and the commisions don't know their business in my estimation.
The Rev. Earp is at Winnipeg taking an officer's course. He is trying to go with the 68th to the front as Army Chaplain.
I think he has made up his mind anyhow to go to the front one way or another. I have not seen any Lipton fellows here although there may be some. Grace Church congregration is made up chiefly of women. There are about 70 men gone in the Army. J. Took is teaming coal for Whitmore now. Joe and T. Borden are down on the farm at Mclean. They are finding out they have a pretty tough proposition I believe and Joe is not happy at all. He would sooner be in the Army he told me. Frank Borden's wife was not cut out for a farmer's wife and they have found it out to their cost. They have not said it in so many words but that is the conclusion I draw by putting 2 and 2 together.
I hope you will get along alright with the broncho busting. I guess you won't do much til the snow goes by the look of things.
As usual A is in a hurry and asks me to finish this off. We are doing alright, not making big profits yet out
of our new venture but just paying our expenses. As you know expenses at this time of year are great.
My love to Mary. I thought she owed me a letter but it seems its the other way. Jenny Dobson, Mrs.
Brinkworth's sister is dead and buried last week. We have a Mrs. Holland of Cupar here, a notorious woman
from Cupar. Her husbands in jail for bigamy, a lady from Pense, and Cis Southward who is studying
for Normal. She is a nice girl.
A says let the others look at this letter. He he's no time for writing to all. We hope to see you down here one
of these days. The folk are about the same. They came in to our place after Church on Sunday evening.
Mr. Earp is going as chaplain of the 68th. We will miss him.
Much love to you all, especially Mary and Dick. Hope all are well.


I don't know but I like to think that these photos were taken at the house mentioned in the above letter. Other photos of the same house hardly look like it could contain 12 rooms as mentioned in the letter. Maybe they were very small. The address I believe is 2081 Ottawa street. I wonder if the house still stands today?
 Daisy, Arthur, and Ernest Nevard. 2 other women unknown.
Arthur Nevard, same house, different occasion.

Just Another Christmas Card

This Christmas card from 1913 was sent to my Ernest Nevard family by their friends the C.H. Fisher family.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Another Nevard Christmas Card

This one from Grandmother to "Master E.W. Nevard, or as we knew him "Bill". No date on this one but I'd guess it is between 1906 and 1910.  Grandmother Nevard or Hall, no mention of which one but they were in adjoining counties of Essex and Suffolk.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

First Christmas at The San

Followers of this blog might recall that Bill Nevard left the farm in the fall of 1948 to begin working full time at the  TB sanatorium near Fort Qu'appelle. This journal entry from December 24 of that year gives a brief view of work and life at "the san".
Dec. 24, 1948
Syd Longstaff was helping me today so as to get most of tomorrow's work done ahead. Alfonse Magillis has apparently been fired. After supper I helped Alf Johnson carry the little organ from the lodge to the children's ward. Then we went to the assembly room and joined the other carollers. Then all went back to the kid's ward to start our show. Several of the nurses were there including Miss Gow, Miss Jobson, while Miss White was there to play the violin and Mrs. Phinney the organ. The men present were: Mr. Anderson, Alf Johnson, George Fisher, Frank Froh, Mr. Smith, Jack Mitchell, the Whites, Father and son, Dick and I. We sang carols all over the main building and then went to the pavilions 28, 31 and 32. After which we went back to the assembly room for lunch.

Monday, December 12, 2011

First Christmas In The New Land

Christmas 1906 would be my grandfather , Horace Nevard's, first Christmas in the new land. He had crossed the Atlantic earlier that summer from his homeland of Essex, England to seek out his fortune in the new province of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Horace sent and received regular letters from the girl he left behind in Suffolk, England and was no doubt happy to read this one written by Alice Hall (who was to eventually beome my grandmother)
Grove Farm
Saxmundham Dec. 9th/06

My Dear Horrie
I hope this will find you quite well. It is a month ago yesterday since I heard from you but Louie had a letter from Arthur yesterday and he said that Ernie was not back yet and he did not expect him until the blizzard was over and so I don't suppose you were back either

We had a letter from Mary a fortnight ago and she told me I must not expect a letter from you just yet as you were away. But I hope I shall soon hear from you now as it seems such a long time since I heard from you. I expect you are all got to the homestead for the winter by this time. It is very cold here today and it has been snowing a little but I suppose it is much colder where you are. I have had the neuralgia lately but it is better now.
I went to Saxmundham Church this morning. There isn't a Church near where you are now is there? It is a month tomorrow since Louie came back and your mother stayed here a fortnight . I don't think she likes to leave the baby as she was got so fond of him. Louie has put him in short clothes today for the first time. He look such a nice little boy. Father is nursing him now. I expect little Ernie would like to see him. I took him out for about half an hour on Friday. I went to the town and bought a bottle for him one day which made me think of the day when you went to Colchester and bought the baby's bottle.
 You have a long way to go to the town where you are now don't you? I don't expect you see very many people. I hope Mary's hands are better now as Arthur said when he wrote to Louie they were cracked and chapped. Dick has had a cold but he is better now.
Annie wishes to be remembered to you. I should think it was rather cold riding up to the homestead wasn't it? I should have waited til I heard from you before I wrote but I wanted to write to you for Christmas and I thought if I waited any longer you would not get it by Christmas.
This will be the first Christmas you have been away from home won't it? I expect Dick, Maude and Elsie will come here for Christmas. I don't know much else to tell you this time except that I should very much like to see you. So now I will bring my letter to a close. Wishing you all a very happy Christmas, I remain your ever-loving

The card that accompanied the letter.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Historic Nevard Document

It seem that every time I think I have seen all the old historic documents my family saved, another one turns up. I found this one in an old wooden trunk the other day. It is the certificate of apprenticeship my grandfather had done up when at the age of 16 he signed up for four years carpentry apprentice. I always knew he had been a carpenter before leaving England but this is the first official document I have found. Heavy old parchment paper written in a combination of old english and legalese, it takes some time to decipher but I did finally get it transcribed for easier reading.
This indenture withseth that Horace Walter Nevard, of the age of sixteen years or thereabouts by and with the consent of his father, Arthur William Nevard, of 36 Straight Road Lexden in the County of Essex, carrier, doth put himself apprentice to Thomas William Miller of Pownell Crescent, Colchester in the said County of Essex, builder.,
To learn his Art and with him after the manner of an Apprentice to serve from the twenty-sixth day of May, one thousand nine hundred unto the full End and Term of Four Years from thence next following to be fully complete and ended. During which term the said apprentice his Master faithfully shall serve his secrets, keep his lawful commands everywhere gladly do.
He shall do no damages to his said Master of the same. He shall not waste the goods of his said Master nor lend them unlawfully to any.
He shall not contract Matrimony within the said Term nor play at Cards or Dice Tables or any other unlawful Games whereby his said Master may have any loss with his own goods or others during the said Term without license of his said Master shall neither buy nor sell.
He shall not haunt Taverns or Playhouses nor absent himself from his said Master's service day or night unlawfully.
But in all things as a faithful Apprentice he shall behave himself towards his said Master and all his during the said Term.
Finding unto the said Apprentice sufficient Meat, Drink , medicine, medical attandance and clothes, Lodging and all other neccessaries during the said Term.
The Amount of the Money or the Value of any other matter or thing given or agreed to be given with the Apprentice by way of premium must be truly inserted in words at length otherwise the Indenture will be void and double such amount or value forfeited.
Signed Sealed and Delivered by the before named Horace Walter Nevard, Arthur William Nevard and Thomas William Miller in the presence of Chas. E. Page, Solicitor, Colchester.
for the true performance of all and every the said Covenants and Agreements either of the said parties bindeth himself onto the other by these Presents. The Witnesses whereof the parties above named to these Indentures interchangeably have put their Hands and Seals the twenty-third day of June in the sixty-third Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria by the Grace of God of the united Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Queen Defender of the Faith and in the Year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred.
the said Thomas William Miller in consideration of the faithful services of his said Apprentice shall pay him the following, namely: Five shillings per week for the first year. Seven shillings per week for the second year. Nine shillings per week for the third year and Eleven shillings per week for the fourth year. said apprentice in the Art of a carpenter the said Arthur William Nevard whom he useth by the best means that he can shall teach and Instruct or cause to be taught and instructed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27 Centennial

A hundred years ago today, November 27, my grandparents, Tom Goff and Mary Lane were married. It wasn't a big affair with many guests invited. Not even in a church. In fact the Anglican minister travelled out from town to perform the service. It happened at the home of Arthur and Daisy Nevard, also known as "Winstanley Grove". Not too surprisingly, Arthur and Daisy were the witnesses who signed the register.
If it was a typical Sask. winter they would have travelled the 3 miles by horse and sleighs.
The choice of location I am guessing had something to do with Arthur and Tom being neighbours and friends since they met up not long after coming to Canada to try homesteading. Being situated only 3 miles apart and coming from "the old country", England, they had common interests.
Not much remains of Winstanley Grove today. A hole in the ground surrounded by rotting logs and the remains of a rusty wood-burning stove marks the spot where my grandparents married a hundred years ago today.
This photo of them is from 1951.

  Winstanley Grove  photos from a few years ago.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Election Day On The Farm

More from the journals of Bill Nevard
1938, November 22
Municipal election day. Dad and both Uncles walked over to Hobetzeders to vote in the morning and heard that a car would come after mother and aunt Alice but it did not come. So I walked there and got my vote cast at ten minutes to 5. Bill Peake was the D.R.O.. I saw Mr. and Mrs. Hobetzeder, Grace, Jack Goff , Karl Miller, Manuel and August Zielke. Uncle Arthur was down here in the evening to find out about going to Lipton.
November 23
Dad and Uncle Arthur went to Lipton and Uncle Arthur got 25 bushels of relief feed oats. Uncle Horrie would have gone but Roy was not feeling well so he stayed home to do the chores. I trimmed Firelight's front hooves, caught Topsy and Gleam , getting water for the house and stock.
It was mild today and snow melting. I only got the 3 cows in tonight. Dad and Uncle Horrie brought some relief canned goods home.
Mr. Fisher was re-elected as reeve with a majority of 40. L. Barkwell re-elected to the council. Chas. Bull and Chas. Hook are the two new councillors. Dr. Griggs went to Silver Birches tonight and put them under quarantine until Dec. 7. Roy , Joy and Donald have chicken pox. Bud came here tonight to say that another car of relief spuds is in Lipton. He is living with Bill Miller just now and helping him bore wells.
Bill with team of horses .

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Horace Nevard Joins the CEF

CEF, the Canadian Expeditionary Force as the army was known at the time. My grandfather, Horace Nevard was 31  years old when he joined up in April of 1916. He survived some of the big battles of the first world war and was always willing to talk about his army experiences to those who would listen.
He had been in Canada for almost ten years working at establishing a homestead farm on NW24-24-14 since leaving his home town of Lexden, Essex, U.K. Through those ten years he had kept in regular contact with Alice Hall through letters. Maybe it was a letter like this one from Alice that helped inspire him to join the army.

Grove Farm
Feb. 3, 1916

My Dear Horrie
I was so pleased to receive your nice long letter today as it did seem such a terrible long while since I heard from you. I was afraid you were ill again with shingles or something, so  I was very pleased to hear you were quite well. I expect the mails get delayed as it was more than three weeks from the time you posted it before it got to Saxmundham.
There has been three more Zeppelin raids over England lately. Last Monday night there was six Zeppelins over  and there was 54 peoople killed and 63 injured. I don't think they were very near here but I heard the explosion of a bomb once only it was a long way off. I expect it was at Norwich as they went there. I wonder when this dreadful war will be over.
I think I told you that we had a letter from Herbert before christmas and we have had a postcard from him since Christmas and he was quite well and still in France. I expect you have heard from Emily about your Grandmother's death. She died on Jan. 8th. I have not seen Louie since then as I have not been to Sternfield but Dick told us about it. Thank you for your good wishes for my birthday.Louie sent me three handkerchiefs for my birthday and Mother gave me a nice pair of suede gloves. We have had a lot of windy weather here lately and there has been a big tree blown down up the roadway. I hope you are all quite well and also little Dick. We will soon be a year old won't he? Does he look anything like Ernie, his brother did at that age? I think Mary said he has blue eyes and fair hair.
Now  my dearest Horrie I don't think I have any more news this time so I will close my letter as it is bedtime past nine o'clock. With love to all and my best truest and fondest love to you my dearest Horrie, I remain your everloving Alice. xxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Forestry Battalion

Remembrance Day
As we approach November 11th  Arthur Nevard, my grandfather's brother   joined the CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) on August 14 of 1916. According to his attestation paper he was 41 years old. Rather ancient in comparison to the average recruit in that war. No doubt he wanted to do his part to defend the home land as reports of the effects of the war in the U.K. reached all the way out here to his little homestead in Sask. Arthur's original home in Lexden , Essex, U.K. that he had not seen since he left it in  1903 must have seemed a long way off. Now he was prepared to leave his recently established farm homestead, his wife and job in the city of Regina to do his part by joining the Canadian army.
Arthur was taken on the 235th Forestry Battalion and after some basic training at Camp Hughes he sailed on the S.S. Scandinavian Sept. 11, 1916 from Halifax harbour reaching Liverpool, England eleven days later . Many Canadians who might have been ineligible for front line duties were able to participate in the Forestry Battalion since it was well away from the front lines. The army needed timber for various purposes including re-inforcing the trenches. They also needed men to harvest it This would be the Forestry Battalion
It is interesting to read Arthur's military record details. Complete physical details including height , 5 foot 8 inches, complete xray pictures of his teeth. Arthur did his part and saw the end of the war, was discharged and sailed back to his home in Canada to resume his farming activities at Winstanley Grove for many more years to come.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Today In Nevard History

From the journal of Bill Nevard. October 29, 1952.
This being the wedding day of Leslie Goff and Joy Nevard, Dick changed days off with Syd Longstaff so he could go to the wedding. Dad stayed home . Besides Rev. Corkhill, who performed the ceremony, Les and Joy, were Dick as best man, Gladys Goff bridesmaid, Uncle Horrie who gave the bride away, Mrs. Corkhill, Mrs. Goff, Doris, Mavis, and Sandy Goff and his girlfriend. Mr. Hobetzeder, Grace and Ivy and I. Roy brought Uncle Arthur, Jack Goff and Donald in his car but he arrived too late for the wedding. We had the reception after at Dick's house and they all went home in good time. it was a lovely day for the wedding.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Picnic at Winstanley Grove

Regular readers might recall that Winstanley Grove was the name that my great Uncle Arthur Nevard chose for his homestead. Named after his wife's maiden name of Winstanley. The date on this photo I am guessing to be about 1935. The occasion, a visit from the "city folks". Arthur would have been a widower by this time since his wife , Daisy, died in February of 1933.
Daisy's sister, May lived in Regina and most summers they would come out to the farm for a visit. I don't think they owned a car but would hire a neighbour for the long drive, in those days probably 2 hours of dusty roads at least.
I don't think it was a Sunday since some of the men are not wearing their "sunday suits or overalls". Maybe Dominion Day, or as we know it , Canada Day. Some of the farm machinery of the day sits in the background including the McCormick Deering tractor and a binder. The barn in the background is long gone having only cement footings in the ground remaining to mark where it stood.
Great Uncle Arthur Nevard sits at the left. Next is my grandmother, Alice Nevard. Beside her is May's husband, Eddie. Next is my grandfather, Horace Nevard in the white shirt and overalls. Beside him are his two sons, Roy and Don Nevard. Seated next to them is Dick Nevard in the white shirt, no hat and 'farmers tan'. My mother, Joy Nevard, looking none too happy to be in the photo is next. Behind her is Bill Nevard whose name has appeared in this blog more than a few times. Next to Bill, his mother, Mary Nevard. The lady on the right who unfortunately got cut off this scan of the negative I am not sure of but she could be Mrs. Hammil, who was an old friend of the family from Regina.
Missing from the photo is Ernest Nevard, father of Bill and Dick. Maybe he took the photo or else was away working at a brick laying or plastering job as he sometimes did. A bit of off-farm income would have been very welcome in the dry years of the 1930s.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hope Deferred

Hope Deferred
Maketh the heart sick. A line from a quotation that my great Uncle Arthur Nevard used to bring out on occasion. Arthur, or "Harthur" as great Uncle Jack referred to him, was a great one for quotations for all occasions. They ranged from the bible to Shakespeare and beyond and were no doubt a source of amusement, annoyance and hopefully inspiration to those around him.
This one, from Proberbs 13:12 of the King James bible came to mind recently while working on "Harthur's" old homestead trying to get the crop planted while rain clouds threatened. As farmers we have hopes of getting the crops planted in a timely manner but that hope is often deferred by the weather. And it came to pass that the rain did fall , effectively shutting down spring planting for a few more days. Planting a crop in Sask. always carries some risk but planting in June becomes even more risky as the threat of early August frosts becomes a factor.
The photo below shows Arthur and Daisy at their homestead cabin , probably in the pre WWI era. They must have had a lot of hope deferred in those early days of trying to turn prairie and bushland into a profitable farm.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Today In Nevard History

 April 13 marks the birthday of Ernest Samuel Nevard. Or as we knew him, "Uncle Ernie". Born in Lexden, Colchester, Essex, in 1878, the son of Arthur Nevard. Ernest was known to be an excellent bricklayer and often took on jobs to supplement his farming in later years.
No doubt the glowing advertisements of "free " homestead land in Saskatchewan caught his interest in the early 1900s and he signed up with the Barr Colonists to come to Canada and try farming. Leaving his wife , Mary, and year old son, Bill, behind in England, he and his brother Arthur left for Canada, arriving in Halifax on April 12 of 1903. The day before his 25th birthday.
All reports indicate it was a rough voyage and a lot of unrest among the travellers may have helped Ernie and Arthur to decide to leave the Barr colonists at Winnipeg and look for work there before eventually ending up in Saskatchewan. Homesteads were still available and who knows what drew them to the Lipton area but the brothers were able to obtain 2 quarters of homestead land in July of 03. They built a shack to live in on Arthur's quarter and began the long process of developing virgin prairie into a productive farm.
Ernest died in 1958 at the age of 80. This photo was taken some time before he left England.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Surprising Conclusion to The Search

Bill and Old Tom
March 10 1944
As the day was too windy to chop oats I went searching for our missing equines again. I called in at Uncle Arthur's and he gave me $10.00 for plowing on his place in 1942. I went across 30 to Richard Supple's and saw his wife. He was away. Went across 29 and called at Isaac Kotyak's. He said the horses might be shut in on the old Hetherington place. I went through there but could see no horses. Got out on the North road allowance and went East turning in onto 33 where the fence was down. I went Southwest until I hit a cross fence , then South to Kotylak's line where I went East over the cross fence and kept on to the Garnock road which I followed South to Shawlands school. I fed my horses and myself, then continued East calling in at Yontz's old place where I saw a Ukranian woman who couldn't talk much English. I went East for another 2 or 3 miles and saw some horses but not ours. Then swung South and West again hitting the road West of Shawlands School and bringing water home with me from the Big Slough. I got home a bit earlier than the previous night. Donald's eyes were sore so did not go looking for the horses but Joy went on 25 and afterwrds went to Bubyn's, Flemings and Kotylak's. Roy went out with the cutter. He had dinner at August Krauser's and afterwards went to look at a bunch of horses South of John Watson's but they were not ours. He went to John Fleming's and got the mail before coming home.
March 13 1944
This morning Donald brought us a pleasant surprise and told us that the horses were all back again on the section although how they got back is a bit of a mystery.
I got hay, water, and oat straw today. The weather is warming up a little bit.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Search Continues

What amazes me about this account of Bill's is the amount of ground they covered in the search bearing in mind that cross country traveling in Sask. in March is usually very heavy going. We usually still have most of our winter's snow accumulation and as the temperature rises it must have been hard on the horses.

March 8 1944
This morning I set out in the sleigh to do some more horse hunting. Donald coming with me on Rusty.We stopped at the Big Slough, watered our horses and went out of Uncle Arthur's East gate, turning South. We found Firelight, Frank, Cloud, Castle, Queen and Trixie all out on the road allowance. Someone had cut the top wire of Uncle's fence. We put them all back and fixed the fence and then went on to where I had found the 4 horses yesterday and called in at Jack Schmidt's. Mrs. Schmidt said that 32 horses had been in at their place on Sunday and been driven East. We went onto section 8 and wandered about seeing nothing but a dead cow. Went through the fence onto 17 and called at Sawchuck's where I saw Mrs. Sawchuck but could get no information.
We then went on to Tom Novak's farm but John Schmidt lives there now and he couldn't enlighten us in regard to the lost horses so we headed West along the road, went North across the West half of 17 to the hill of 20, then turned back and came home to a late dinner. I hauled water and watered the cattle after dinner.

To be continued.......

Monday, March 7, 2011

More Excerpts from the Journals of Bill Nevard

The Lost Horses
March 6, 1944
Sunshiny but a cold Northwest wind blowing. I hauled manure and got water. After dinner Donald and I went to see what had become of our loose horses as only Daisy and her colt seemed to be left on the place. Donald went around the East line of 13 and I went round the West with the team and sleigh. I found the gate against the diversion knocked down and horses tracks going through. We called at Bill Miller's and saw his wife but she didn't know anything about them. Then we went on to Fred Engel's and saw him and Henry without learning anything. We turned back North and went across Bill Miller's but couldn't see anything so Donald went home to get a coat and I went on to John Senft's. He was in Lipton with the truck hauling for Murphy Newton but Mrs. Senft hadn't seen any horses. She said our gate was down when they went to town Friday. I came home and then Donald and I went to Karl Miller's but he was away. Then we continued on to Robert Senft's and afterwards came home, finding no trace of our lost horses.

March 7, the following day.
I took Gleam and Embers with the sleigh and went to see if I could locate the missing horses on 13. I found that Cloud and Castle were with Uncle Arthur's mare and colt. I went around the fence and through the East line onto Fred Engel's. Wandered around the East half of 13 without seeing anything, then came home. Roy went around on Uncle Arthur's South quarter in the sleigh and saw no horses. On the way to the slough I met Donald coming home on Rusty. He had been on their other quarter, to Richard Supple's, on to 29 and to Cliff Barton's where he phoned to John Fleming without any success. He found Uncle Arthur's East gate down when he went out. I watered the cattle and had dinner. After dinner Joy and Donald went off on horseback to do some more searching. They went to Murphy Newton's, the school, Seip's and Bill Senft's with no results.
I went to Bill Miller's and then on to Fred Engel's. I saw horses tracks turning the corner and going East at Fred Engel's so I followed them up going East nearly 2 miles. Then I turned South into Mohr's old place and found Firelight, Frank, Queen and Trixie at a wheat straw pile. I called in at Mohr's but the girl I saw there didn't know of any other horses so I went back and caught Firelight and Frank and led them behind the sleigh while Queen and Trixie followed, Before I got onto the road, Prairie Schmidt overtook me in a sleigh. Also his son, George, riding a toboggan drawn by a single horse. They hadn't seen any horses. I went West to Fred Engel's Southeast corner and then turned North a mile and put the horses in on Uncle Arthur's South quarter. On the way home I encountered Donald. And thus ends the day's momentous occurences

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

William Shakebroom

That was the pen name he once signed a note with, sort of a play on words (William Shakespeare) . Today , February 23 marks the birthday of William Ernest Nevard. Or as we always knew him, "Bill". It must have been an adventure for him at age 4 to board ship in Liverpool with his mother
and Uncle Horrie to head for the new land, Canada. His father , Ernest had been in Canada since 1903 getting a start on his homestead in what would later become the province of Saskatchewan.
Bill was a hard worker from an early age yet still found time to write his own version of science fiction and draw fantastic pictures. One example that he drew in 1954 is shown here.

Often the paper was "recycled" before the term became popular. Money was scarce to buy paper so Bill used whatever was handy . Anything from envelopes turned inside out to old cement bags would do for his purposes.
Bill suffered from a hearing impairment and consequently spoke in a loud voice. In fact he had a good singing voice and was a valued member at the church services where he sang. I'm fortunate to have a few recordings of him singing some of the songs that he wrote himself.
After 40 some years working the farm with his Dad he found employment at the Tuberculosis sanatorium at Fort Qu'appelle in 1948 at the age of 46 where he continued working til his retirement. Many times he would walk the 20 odd miles from the "san" to his old home on the farm occasionally getting a ride from a passing vehicle. Never having driven or even a license he finally did so in 1956 when he and his brother bought a new Chevrolet car. I can well remember the many times Bill and the old Chev would stop by for a visit on his way to the farm where after retirement he continued his gardening and firewood cutting.
After enjoying good health most of his life Bill was stricken with a heart attack in 1970 at age 68. Hard work and plenty of fresh air and exercise had not helped him it seemed. He did recover from this first attack and went on to resume some of his activities including a re-visit to the land of his birth, Essex, U.K.  He suffered a final fatal attack in November of 1975. On a fine sunny morning while cutting firewood with his brother on the old homestead at age 73.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Today's Birthday

January 19 (yesterday) marked the birthday of my grandmother's sister, Mary Nevard, (born Mary Hall) in Swefling, Suffolk, England 1876. She had already seen a lot of miles by the time this photo was taken about 1918 or so. She married Ernest Nevard in 1901.
Almost 2 years later she bid him farewell as he and brother Arthur Nevard boarded the S.S. Lake Manitoba at Liverpool bound for Canada with the rest of the Barr Colonists. Mary remained behind with their son Bill (young Ernie), just over a year old at the time, to wait and see how they made out in the new land. For the next three years their only communication was by mail. In April of 1906 Mary and son Bill sailed for Canada travelling along with Ernest's younger brother, Horace.
The little log house in amongst the poplars may have been a welcome sight when they finally reached their homestead later that year.
It was a hard life no doubt and it took its toll as Mary died relatively young at age 67.
This photo , scanned from a negative shows their family as it was about 1918 with Mary at left, Ernest centre, oldest son Bill at right and youngest son, Richard front and centre.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today In Family History

Today, January 6, was my Grandmother (Nevard's) birthday. The grandmother I never knew, she died a few months before I was born.
She was born in 1884 on her parents farm in Sweflng, Suffolk, England. She met my grandfather (Horace Nevard) not too long before he emigrated to Canada to homestead in the new province of  Saskatchewan. They kept up a steady correspondence for years until he returned to England in 1916 as a soldier in the 195th infantry battalion of the Canadian army.
The following letter is one that she wrote him in February of 1916.
Grandmother Alice Nevard at left in photo.

Grove Farm
Feb. 3, 1916

My Dear Horrie
I was so pleased to receive your nice long letter today as it did seem such a terrible long while since I heard from you. I was afraid you were ill again with shingles or something, so I was very pleased to hear you were quite well. I expect the mails get delayed as it was more than three weeks from the time you posted it before it got to Saxmundham.
There has been three more Zeppelin raids over England lately. Last Monday night there was six Zeppelins over and there was 54 peoople killed and 63 injured. I don't think they were very near here but I heard the explosion of a bomb once only it was a long way off. I expect it was at Norwich as they went there. I wonder when this dreadful war will be over.
I think I told you that we had a letter from Herbert before christmas and we have had a postcard from him since Christmas and he was quite well and still in France. I expect you have heard from Emily about your Grandmother's death. She died on Jan. 8th. I have not seen Louie since then as I have not been to Sternfield but Dick told us about it. Thank you for your good wishes for my birthday.Louie sent me three handkerchiefs for my birthday and Mother gave me a nice pair of suede gloves. We have had a lot of windy weather here lately and there has been a big tree blown down up the roadway. I hope you are all quite well and also little Dick. We will soon be a year old won't he? Does he look anything like Ernie, his brother did at that age? I think Mary said he has blue eyes and fair hair.
Now my dearest Horrie I don't think I have any more news this time so I will close my letter as it is bedtime past nine o'clock. With love to all and my best truest and fondest love to you my dearest Horrie, I remain your everloving Alice. xxxxxxxxx

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years Day Wedding

I meant to post this yesterday but it was a busy day for me having the traditional family
gathering for New Years supper here. For as long as I can remember we always had all the family
get together on New Years day to welcome in the New Year. An old superstition recommended that
a dark haired man should be the first foot in over your doorstep in the new year to promote
good fortune for the rest of the year. And the Nevards were dark haired, therefore the preferred
first guests to arrive on the day.
New Years day, 1919. My grandfather, Horace Nevard and Alice Hall were married that day in Carlton Church, Saxmundham, Suffolk, England. Horace was only recently returned from his services in the Canadian Army in France, Belgium, Germany.
Horace and Alice had known each other for the past 20 years and been in constant overseas correspondence since he emigrated to homestead in N.W.T. (Saskatchewan), Canada in 1903.
In 1916 Horace and his brother Arthur both joined the army and were soon sent to England. Horace
went on to serve in some of the big battles of WWI and was fortunate to survive unscathed.

After their wedding they returned to his homestead in Sask. in August of that year.
I never knew my grandmother as she died a few months before I was born. Through these old photos and the many letters sent by and to her over the years I have gotten to know her better.