Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Letter Dec. 43

Headlands P.O.
Dec. 19, 1943
Dear Dick
I didn't write my usual epistle to you last Sunday as I had finished my last letter only two days before and had it posted on the Saturday so now I have 9 days news to tell you.
Roy went to Lipton with John Fleming on the Friday although I didn't know it until afterwards.
On Saturday the 11th Dad and both uncles went to Lipton in the democrat taking King and George. Uncle Horrie brought the mail down with him as he came and I got your last letter written from B.C. Pleased to hear that you are able to make a little extra money. Hang on to it as you will find it very useful later on. I don't think you need furnish any more towards the tiller as I will have enough accumulated to pay for it when it comes I expect. Of course there is always the possibility that the company may not be able to fill my order.
I got another load of wood home while the men were away in town. Uncle Arthur rode back from Lipton with August Zielke in his truck and August took a load of barley back to town for him.
Sunday was quite a bit colder, 10 below zero in the morning and Monday was quite cold but nice and bright and I managed to get 2 more loads of wood home. August Zielke took two loads of wheat down for Uncle Arthur who rode to Lipton with him the first time and sent away the final payment on the separator. On Tuesday the 14th I got 2 more loads of wood home which makes 20 loads piled in the yard and ready for the saw and I guess that should make a year's supply although I still have a little to get in.
In the afternoon I hauled away manure and got a jag of oat straw. Dad baked a Christmas cake. We are getting all the cattle in now. On the 15th I went on 25 and got 50 green poles for a new hen house. The weather was turning milder again. On the 16th I went again and got another 50 poles. I guess I will have to get a third load to have enough. Part of Uncle Arthur's big slough has had the snow cleared off with a fresno and there is a bunch come and skate or slide there every Sunday now. Wheales, Bartons, Suppples, Berners and so on. On the 17th Cliff Barton came to Silver Birches to help Uncle Horrie kill his turkeys and Dad went up to help. I think they killed 32 altogether. Dad is sending one of them to Regina and Uncle Horrie is going to have a gobbler from Dad. The Herrings went to a dance at Headlands. It was a farewell affair for Billy Bordass who is going overseas.
Yesterday we chopped oats both for ourselves and for Uncle Horrie. It was a mild day , hardly freezing but too windy for comfort. Donald brought the mail down in the evening. Besides your letter Dad got one from Uncle Cecil. I think he is going to live in Colchester when he can get a house. Today has been reasonably nice without any outstanding events to record. I have composed 4 new songs in the past week. Dad will take your rubbers, felt socks, mitts and overalls tomorrow and leave them in Andy Gray's office for you when you come home. If you are coming home for New Year's celebration I guess I'll probably be seeing you before I write any more letters. Anyway I'll wish you a merry Christmas and ask you to convey the compliments of the season to Uncle Eddie and Aunt May from us. I think thats all the news I've got just now so goodbye Dick
From your loving brother E.W. Nevard
Bill and Dick Nevard by poplar logs about 1922.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas 1936

The Nevards celebrated Christmas at "The Poplars", home to the Ernest Nevard familly. Here is an account of the day from Bill Nevard's journal.

Christmas day. Fairly cold but calm. Everybody assembled at the Poplars for dinner and supper. Aunt Alice actually staying until after supper. We all had some of the plum pudding made by Grandmother Nevard and sent out from England. Also we had Headlands concert graphically described by Joy and Donald and various presents handed around.

This is a photo of Sarah Wagstaff Nevard (Grandmother) with her daughter Emily Nevard about 1936

And just throwing in another Christmas card. This one from 1917.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Coronation Day 1937

May 12, 1937 actually. While Bill Nevard worked at home planting the crop , some of his family made the  trip to town for the day of celebration of the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Some excerpts from letters give quite a good account of the day's events. This one written by Joy Nevard....

Donald, Uncle Arthur and I walked to Senft's. When we arrived quite a few people were there. Edith Seip, Miss Dodd, Mrs. Newton, Tom and Irene. We waited for a while til Mr. Dan Seip came with the truck with some of the other children in it. We all got in the truck and went off singing and yelling. When we arrived in town we got out and wandered around buying and looking at things.
At ten minutes to one we all went to the town hall. There were 8 schools there including Lipton, Hayward, Jeshurun, Shawlands, Headlands, Balrobie,  Heavylands and Freelands. Then all went up in twos and we had medals pinned on our coats. After that Mr. Fisher gave a speech. We all marched to the school grounds where there were some trees stuck in holes in the ground and piles of dirt on each side and as each pair came up we went one on each side of the hole and threw a handful of dirt in. After that we marched to the sports ground. We had races. Donald won one race and got fifteen cents. I raced but I did not win.
Then there were ball games. When the games were over we went to the town hall for supper. We went out and had some fun. Then Mr. Dan Seip, Uncle Arthur and Miss Dodd came to the truck. They stood talking for a while. Then Miss Dodd came and told us we could stay to the picture show. We got home about 11 o'clock.
                                                                Your loving cousin, Joy
P.S. Kenny Fisher took pictures of us while we were having our badges put on and we were standing in line.
 Now some from Roy's letter....

I guess you heard the coronation celebrations over the radio eh? Well Bud and I rode down to Lipton on Snap and Fly on coronation day  and Uncle Arthur and Joy and Donald went with the rest of the children in Dan Seip's truck.
We watched the different school groups all assembled in front of the school. Then we went over to the station and watched the children march to the sports grounds. We went over to the sports grounds and watched the procession circling around. We saw Sidney Ford and he was with us for quite a long time. He was asking us about you too.
We went to the Chink's cafe and bought chocolate, ginger beer, peppermints, gum, etc.
After a while we went to the sports grounds again and watched Headlands playing softball against Heavylands. Heavylands won. Balrobie played against Hayward and Balrobie won. Sandy Goff was pretty good.
We went to Calver's and got tickets for the picture show. Then we had lunch at the chink's. We had supper at the town hall. At half past seven the picture show started and lasted for two hours. When we came out we saw them shooting off fireworks in Walwyn's back yard. We came home a few minutes later.
                                                     Your loving cousin Roy
Main street of Lipton as seen from the top of a grain elevator in the 1930s

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Working At Redpaths

The winter of 1910-1911 Arthur and Margaret (Daisy) Nevard left their homestead at Winstanley Grove to work at the farm of Mr. Redpath in the Parklands district. They received this post card to mark Christmas and Daisy's birthday on the 26th of December. I have been unable to read the name of the sender.
Dear Daisy:
As I wrote you a week or so back I don't think I will write now as I am very busy. But I must just wish you a very happy Xmas, also a happy birthday. You seem to be very happy. Do you like the idea of going to Mr. Redpath's? It seems alright to me and you will be more lively I should say. We all have colds and no wonder with the damp weather we have. Much love to both, your loving sister.....

Christmas From Far Away

Another old christmas card , from 1908 this time. Alice Hall sent this christmas post card to her nephew, young Bill Nevard in December of 1908. It would have been five years since she had seen him leave  for Canada.
Interesting to see all the areas in red on this card which I am assuming are British colonies.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Card From Cecil

My grandfather, Horace Nevard's brother, Cecil Nevard, sent this photo/postcard as a Christmas card to his brother , Ernest in Canada in 1910. Written on the back....
To Ernie,
As I cannot come myself I am sending this to wish you every happiness this Xmas time through the coming year. From Your loving brother, Cecil.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas 1916

A Christmas card sent to my grandfather, Horace Nevard, from his sister Emily Nevard. Horace was somewhere in France with the 195th Canadian Expeditionary Force so it would have been quite a different Christmas than he had ever known before.
On the back is written: 
With much love and all good wishes for a happy Christmas and God's blessing through the coming year.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Christmas Card For Ernie

Bill Nevard was known as "young Ernie" to some in the family. It was a long way from his original home in Lexden, Essex, U.K. to his new home in Saskatchewan, or as it was known then, "district of Assiniboia". It must have been exciting to receive letters and cards from their family still in England. Like this one from Aunt Louie (Louisa Nevard/Hall).

Dear Ernie
I thought perhaps you would like to have a card from Aunt Louie. I hope you will get this in time for Xmas and I hope you will all spend a happy one. I wish I could send you something else but it costs too much by post so we shall have to tell the postal folks they must make it cheaper. I must write and tell you about little Horrie anther time. He is a funny little boy and makes me think of you when you were his age. Uncle Cecil is coming to see us for Xmas if he can. I hope poor mother's cough is better. We had a nice letter from her Sunday morning.
Wishing you all a Happy Xmas and a bright and prosperous new year.

From your ever-loving Aunt Louie
No doubt a familiar view of Bill's old home town of Straight Road, Lexden, Essex.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winter Work On The Nevard Farm

Headlands P.O.
January 17, 1944
It looks to me as if you are going to get two letters from me at once as my other letter, written on the ninth, hasn't been posted yet. They are figuring on going to town tomorrow which means both will be posted together and also a letter to Aunt Flo thanking her for the Christmas gifts.
There being no letter from you in the last mail I wondered if you might be popping in on Saturday night or Sunday morning.
On Jan. 10th as the water in the pasture well was getting pretty low I walked down to that slough of Uncle Arthur's in the corner East of our house and cut a hole through the ice in the middle. After cutting through about 8 inches of ice I hit dirt so I knew there was no use bothering with that slough. I got a couple of loads of wheat straw home and hauled away manure. John Senft came along about dinner time and took the saw and frame away to cut wood. He paid $4 for a share in the saw.
On the 11th Richard Supple came through with his covered in cutter. It is painted red and the shape of it makes you think of a grain elevator in miniature. He was taking Jimmy down to catch the train, the latter having got his second call for training, but he is back now having been turned down. Roy went to town with them. I got three loads of wheat straw home trying to get as much as I could from the stack up the hill before the stock pull it all down.
On the 12th Dad and I loaded the sow up in the sleigh with some difficulty as she apparently couldn't see eye to eye with us in the matter . I took her for her second visit to McCullough's and got her bred to his boar. If it is successful as last time she should have her litter about the 5th of May. I stayed at Mac's for dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Sam Smythe have another little daughter 5 months old. That same day I started hauling water from Uncle A's big slough for the cattle. Donald was cutting wood for Uncle A.
On the 13th I hauled manure and got another jag of wheat straw home. Guess I have got nearly enough bedding in the corral now to last the rest of the winter, if you can call what we are having winter.
There was a C.C.F. meeting at Headlands at night but none of us went. Uncle H. has a bad cold.
On the 14th I cleaned out the new hen house. It was snowing and blowing a bit that day but it didn't amount to much.
Saturday the 15th was dull all day and the trees white with frost. Dad and I took Raspberry up to John Senft's behind the sleigh and got her bred. Bill Senft was there to help John fix his well pump. Do you remember the Fordson tractor that Fishers had? Sandy Goff has it now. He came here on it Saturday afternoon wanting to borrow the saw, and afterward took it home with him.
Dad killed a rooster for Sunday dinner. Roy and Joy went to a party at Barton's Saturday night. Quite a lot there I heard. Donald had a cold and stayed home. On Sunday there was quite a crowd down at the big slough playing. Likely you'll hear a detailed account from one of the herrings.
Today I was choring about and Dad , Uncle A and Roy went to the annual school meeting. They had to elect a complete board of trustees. The new board is Cliff Barton, Sam Wheale, and Mike Kowbel.
Hoping you are in the best of health I remain your loving brother
E.W. Nevard
The only photo I have in the family albums showing a closed in cutter.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

69 Years Ago On The Nevard Farm

 At the time Bill Nevard wrote this letter to his brother, Dick Nevard was stationed at Nanaimo, B.C. with the 116th Field Regiment of the 25th Field Regiment of the Canadian Army.
                                                                       Headlands, Sask.
                                                                        Nov. 21, 1943

Dear Dick

It is now time to commence my usual Sunday night epistle to you. I have only 3 days news at present as I finished my last letter to you Thursday night and posted it Friday.

I beat the alarm on Friday morning and got up at 4:35 a.m. in spite of which is was 9:00 by the time I started off to Lipton with a load of wheat. It took me over 4 hours to get to town owing to the rough roads. It has been thawing a bit in the daytime and freezing at night so it is either rough or slippery most of the way but I got down without mishap. Fred Engel overtook me on the way and told me that Mrs. Hobetzeder had died the day before and in town I heard that she would probablyl be buried on the Saturday.

Jack Binnington and Johnny Supple rode to town with John Fleming. He charges fifty cents a piece for passengers now when driving the mail. When I got home I found that Hobetzeder had been here in my absence wanting Dad and Uncles to go as pall bearers. John Senft was also around looking for his calves. We have calves of John Senft, Fred Engel and Wm. Miller all on our summerfallow besides 3 of Uncle H's horses and two of Uncle A's with ours.

On Saturday, November 20 Donald came down with the mail. Besides your letter to Dad there was one from Aunt Louie which I guess I will have to answer in a little while.

Dad and both uncles went to the funeral at Lipton in the democrat. Dad, Uncle H, Messrs Fisher, Michelson, Radwell and McCullough were the bearers.

I cut 1/3 of a load of wood that day and did various chores. I am finishing this letter on Monday night before going to bed as I figure on going to Lipton again tomorrow and posting it so you will not need to be alarmed if you get two letters close together. You know it is not always possible to post letters at regular intervals and if the weather were to change suddenly a snowfall might keep us away from town for quite a while.

Sunday was quiet and uneventful. I cut some holes in the ice of the slough down near the grade so that the stock could get a drink as the ice was getting quite thick, about 5 or 6 inches.

This morning I got up early and after getting ready and loading up started out for Lipton. It was a nice bright day and thawed quite a bit but cool enough in the wind. Uncle A took a load too and caught up to me before I got to town. Jack Binnington and Murphy Newton were in ahead of us with loads. Jack had a three year old mare with him who had never been to town before.

I saw Mr. Brinkworth in town today and ordered a Cockshutt tiller (4 1/2 feet). It will cost $296 cash and is ordered for February delivery. It can be handled by six horses and has a power lift. Of course I am not sure that the company can fill the order but Mr. Brinkworth thought my chances would be better if I ordered early. I have put your money in the bank for safe keeping until it is needed. Dad bought a heater at Jampolsky's on Saturday and I brought it home today. Dad had sent to Eatons for one previously but they could not supply it and sent back the money.

Well its time to go to bed and I can't think of anything more of interest. Will probably send another letter next week. Cheerio

from your loving brother E.W. Nevard

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

News Of The War

My grandfather, Horace Nevard, was kept well informed of the goings on back in his old home of Lexden, Essex, U.K. by his sister Emily. World War I was in full swing at the time of this letter and no doubt quite a concern to all British subjects.
36 Straight Road
Lexden, Essex
June 8, 1915
My Dear Horrie
We were very pleased to receive your letter on the 2nd. Curiously enough I had one from Daisy. They were both posted 18th May and arrived June 2nd. I'd just posted one to you the day before asking if you were still alive.
I am thankful to say we are all alive and well up to the present. The German Zeppelins have been very lively just lately. They passed over London on the night of the 31st. We don't know full particulars of the damage as the government won't allow a full account to be published. They were seen to pass over Colchester on Friday night and on Sunday night they passed over England and killed several people but they won't let the press publish the locality. So they are pretty daring just now. One of our airmen brought down one Zeppelin as they were near the enemy lines. A British monoplane circled above the Zeppelin and dropped a bomb into it. It broke up the Zeppelin and blew the 25 men that were in it all to pieces. The force of the Zeppelin turned the monoplane over and over as it came to the ground but the airman got up the power in his engine and got away.
You said in your letter you had rain on the day you were writing. We do hope you will have plenty of water and a bountiful harvest and a bumper lot of potatos. .
The warmer weather we have had has brought things on fine. The peas are in bloom and Horrie's wheat is in the ear. It is strong and high. Its a fancy of his to plant some wheat each year. As we do not keep fowls in the lower garden he has dug some of it up and have a nice lot of onions and potatos, a few runner beans near the wire netting.
Annie Lusted is going to be married this month. It was the second time of asking on Sunday. I expect they are doing a very good trade now as her young man has left his job as chauffeur and is going to live there and carry on the business. They have five National Reserve men in the room in the back where they used to hold club suppers, etc. (well just for lodging or sleeping I should say).
They get 9d per night.5/3 per week. That means 26/3 per week. A good many are doing fairly well out of the soldiers. The men are having a good time here, better than the poor fellows at the front. They only have to go on guard every 4th night. So they have 3 nights clear and when they are going on guard at night they don't go for a march that day.
Arthur Clayden's wife presented him with a son on Monday morning. I mean Arthur C. whose mother live next to our garden. Harold is still in Philadelphia. Uncle Robert's Walter had the stand off at R. Beaumont's so he is working on the new huts at Reed Hall. He is color man and has to mix all the paints.. The only trouble, he don't get enough work to do. He don't know what to make of it as he was used to being hustled (at R.B.). He gets either 8 or 9d per hour.
Will is still at Mr. Hutton's. He has not enlisted yet but he expects he will have to. Ernie Gooch says he hd enough of the army when he was in it. He is not going to join any more. Fred Denton is still serving butter and bacon at London Road stores. They do a big trade there now. I overheard him say he cut up between 3 and 4 hundred pounds of cheese in a week and he told me he cut up 11 sides of bacon in a week.
You see all London Road and Stanway, Colne Road, Nelson Road, Straight Road, etc., soldiers are billeted. Of course those in the new huts are supplied by the government and some of them billeted out have their rations sent but not the yeomanry. There was a fine account of them at the front in the E.C. Standard a fortnight ago. A lot of poor fellows will never return. Joe Hemmings has been at the base since last August. Just lately he moved into the firing line and he got wounded in one leg. He is in the veterinary corps. and look after wounded and sick horses. Miss Corse Scott was married..............
Unfortunately the rest of the letter is missing.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dick Returns From Leave

January 5, 1944

Regina, Sask.

Dear Dad

This is my first letter for the new year. I arrived in Regina about 5:30, the journey being uneventful I did snatch a few winks of sleep on the train. Tell Bill I sat on the opposite side of the train at Lipton station so he woud not see me if he looked. I was arranging my luggage and taking my coat off when the train pulled out. I ate one apple on the train and the other one when I got to the barracks.

When I got to Regina I asked the provosts if there was a duty truck. They said I would have to find my own means of getting to camp so I started to hoof it. I had not gone very far before a car pulled up to the sidewalk and a man asked me to hop in, which I did. He took me right to the barracks which was pleasanter than going by duty truck. The guard at the gate asked me if my pass was good till this morning. I said yes, then he asked , "do you want to go uptown tonight"? I told him yes and he said, well buzz off then, but don't tell anyone. So I went and drew my blankets and two kit bags. They could not locate my large pack so they told me to call for it this morning, which I did. I was told that it was 15 below zero in Regina yesterday morning, the same as at home.

After getting everything straightened out at barracks I walked to Uncle Eddies, taking my civilian clothes with me, and the books. Aunt May put them on the verandah. Aunt May had a cold. Uncle Eddie is about the same. I listened to Fibber McGee and the news, then we played five hundred rummy until around 11:00.

So far I have been doing next to nothing and have heard nothing as to what they are likely to do with me. So I spend some of my time catching up with my sleep. I hear a couple of fiddles tuning up in the next bay so we are going to have a little entertainment.

Your loving son, Dick.

P.S. will you please give the enclosed letter to Aunt Alice.

Dick Nevard at left with Uncle Eddie Edwards.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bill's Trip To Town January 1944

  Headlands P.O.
Sask. Jan 9, 1944
Once again I'm writing to you on Sunday night as usual. I don't know just when it will be posted. Uncle A said a few days ago he would have to go to town soon, either Monday or Friday on account of getting in the bank but Dad was up at Silver Birches this evening and he never said anything about going tomorrow.
After you left on the train Tuesday I went over to the elevator but Andy Gray wasn't there. Jake Huffman was in with a load of wheat and I talked with him for a while, then went over town and posted the letters. Then I bought the lumber Dad wanted. Willie Wilson told me there was some freigtht over at the station so I went and put that on the platform ready to pick up. It was for Uncle A. Then I went to the elevator again and saw Andy Gray. He told me he had room for wheat but not for oats and barley just then. I can't haul until we get more snow anyway.
I asked him about salvage paper. They are not doing anything in Lipton about it yet. The last time they collected salvage paper there it was kind of a washout. They had a whole lot of it stored in sheds and were going to have it trucked out but they were told that the expense of hauling it out would be more than it was worth. So finally , needing the sheds for other purposes, they paid somebody $6 to take it out and burn it.
I got home alright on Tuesday night and on the fifth I hauled away manure and got a load of wheat straw. In the evening Tom and Ed North came along in their covered in cutter after the parcel. They came in and stayed for a while.
On the sixth I got a jag of last year's hay home from 13 for the cattle and on the seventh I got a load of good hay home for Raspberry and the team. Yesterday being a nice day I went up the hill for a load of wheat straw and brought the mail home with me including your letter to Dad. Uncle A. has heard from Bud at last, he is in Italy.
I had two more books from the Open Shelf, "52 Years a Policeman, and Commentary on the Bible". The latter is a big book containing the text of the first five books in the Bible. There is about 675,000 words to read in it so it will keep me busy to get through the two books in the time I'm allowed.
Well I guess its bedtime again and five o'clock will be here before I'm ready for it so goodbye Dick.
From your loving brother............... E.W. Nevard
Aunt Alice wishes me to thank you for your letter to her.

Bill and Ernest Nevard 1946.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

August 1942 Letter From L.G.

A letter to Dick Nevard from Les Goff who was already in the Canadian Army in England.

                                                                                          August 22, 1942
                                                                                          2nd AT Regt.
                                                                                          Orderly Room
Dear Dick
Just a few lines hoping this finds you all well and not working too hard. Sorry I've slipped up on my writing lately but you see there isn't a heck of a lot to write about outside of what we are doing and thats against rules.
Well I guess you are all pretty busy back home right now with the harvesting. I hear you had lots of rain this summer. Things should be looking better now. Do you see much of Sandy these days? I haven't seen Bud yet but have seen quite a bit of Phil Fisher and Dick Creese. I guess there will likely be quite a few of the boys around home being called up for training pretty soon.
Well the army isn't so bad and its quite a change but I daresay I'll be glad to get back when its over. We have a pretty good time and theres a good bunch of boys and you get around quite a bit. Every three months a seven day leave so a guy gets a chance to sleep in a real bed once in a while. But most of us come back off a leave more tired than when we went so you can imagine what kind of a time we have.
Things get a bit dull at times especially if you are out in the country but lately its been rather exciting what with bombs and a few other things. Me and my chum were dodging machine gun bullets one day. Lots of fun. I've seen a few German planes but they don't come often enough. Really livens things up a bit.
We missed out on that raid that the Canadians made but maybe we'll get a chance next time. Well I've seen quite a bit of London, spent some of my leave there with my chum. Its sure quite the place but would be better once we get to know our way around. We didn't do bad. Had quite a hectic time. I also had a nice time with my relations in Wimborne.
Well Dick, I guess I'll have to bring this scribble to a close. Give my best regards to all. I've got about six more letters to answer so cheerio and all the best. Keep writing. Always a friend...
Les Goff at left.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Postcards From Belgium

As we approach Remembrance Day 2012 its interesting to look back on postcards from November 1918. My grandfather, Horace Nevard sent these to Alice Hall back in Suffolk. The war was over and he was headed home.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

As Fall Turns To Winter

The Nevards were busy preparing for winter in November of 1940 as recorded here in Bill Nevard's journal.


Jack Binnington called in tonight on his way back from Lipton to say he would haul a load of wheat fot Dad tomorrow.

November 6

Dad, both Uncles and Jack Binnington went to Lipton with wheat . Snowing and somewhat unpleasant but they managed to get down without mishap. Jack's team ran away on the road home while he was riding with Dad and Willie Miller caught them near his place. James Walton came here this morning to get wheat statistics in regard to the bonus.

November 7

Enough snow on the ground to stop going to town with grain for a while.
My grandfather, Horace Nevard with his grain wagon backed up to the bin preparing to load wheat.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Basic Training at Brandon

About a year ago I had a blog posting re: Dick Nevard joining the Canadian Army in January of 1943 . By March 25th of that year he was headed to Brandon, Manitoba for more basic training. Here is his letter to his mother

I arrived in Brandon about 2:00 this morning. The train was two and half hours late or more. It was an hour late pulling into Lipton. What caused the delay was the train had so much freight to pick up. There are not so many freight cars now so the passenger train does some of the freighting, thus the delay.
I guess Dad told you that I introduced him to George Macknack who was also going back from his leave. Dad, Uncle Horrie and Mr. Binnington chatted with him a few moments while the freight was being loaded (there were 73 crates of eggs shipped out of Lipton).
I slept a good deal the latter part of the journey but it was kind of a fitful sleep. We kept picking up the gunners along the way until the final score stood at eight. I think most of them were catching up on sleep. Most of the fellows are back now but two of them are stretching their ninety-sixes a bit. Brassingweight and Rushaway are the culprits. One fellow went on the loose last Monday. He came out of hospital, they would not give him his ninety-six so he took it.
The snow has pretty well gone around Brandon. There is lots of water standing around near the huts. It is mild and bright but windy today.
I received your letter this morning. Bombardier Dunn handed it to me. No letter from Aunt Flo but I guess she has not had time to write.
When I was in hospital I got the news both from the radio and the papers. Now I just scan the papers, I do not read them thorougly.
I asked Bombardier Dunn and he said I could get another ninety-six hour leave in about two months time. I can get a fourty eight hour leave in about two or three weeks time which I will take the opportunity to visit Aunt Flo. But that will put my ninety-six hour leave off for another two or three weeks so it will be between two and half and three months before I get home again but time soon goes. I must close now with love and best wishes to you all.............                Your ever loving son Dick

L60919 Gnr. Nevard. R. A.
116th Field Battery, 25th Field Regiment R.C.A. C.A.
Fort Brandon Barracks
Brandon, Manitoba

Dick Nevard far right.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Wedding And A Fight On Straight Road

Much excitement on Straight Road, Lexden when Emily Nevard wrote this letter to her brother , Horace, in Canada in 1915,
36 Straight Road
Lexden, Essex
June 26, 1915
Dear Horrie
I thought of sending your letter off quick and here it is now. I do hope you are not getting very dry weather like we are. We have had cold, drying Northeast winds for the past 7 weeks or more. Today it is due West. It will be 7 weeks come Tuesday since we had any rain. Until last evening. We had just a little. Not enough to lay the dust.
I should like for you to see our gardens and the houses. Every flower is dusty. The tiles look as if someone has shaken a lot of white pepper over them.
I had a letter from Louie on Monday. Poor Louie was taking on terribly about the weather. She says it will be pounds out of their pocket. Just for the want of rain. Will says it is enough to break the bank. The cold winds has done more damage than if it had been hot and dry. There are a lot of trying times to put up with when you have to get your living on the land. You know that don't you.
Annie Lusted was married on Wednesday. It was quite a smart affair. Mother and I watched the proceedings from the bedroom window. They had two motors trimmed up with red and white rosette. There were between 20 and 30 of the guests went down to the Church from the house. A number of men from the National Reserve also. They took a large cart rope with them and when the newly married left the Church they fixed the rope to the motor and dragged them home. Each man wearing a cream rose in his cap. They cut them off Mr. Lusted's tree on the shed in the garden. There were nearly 30 men. When they reached home the wedding party had their photos taken sitting back to the palings near the orchard facing the house. The men of the National Reserve stood lining the road on their right. Next the men were taken with the bride and bridegroom in the centre front and the Colonel and Captain, Sgts. etc. on either side.
Afterwards the Colonel presented Mrs. Moore with a green marble timepiece and a picture from the men. Annie was dressed in a white satin (walking length) veil and orange blossoms and carried a sheaf of white lillies. The two bridesmaids were in pale blue with blue mob caps and had bouquets of pink carnations. 2 little boys were in blue tunics and knickers, hats and carried walking sticks tied with blue ribbon. Mr. Daniells sent a barrel of beer and Mr. Lusted gave another so you can guess the men were alright. We heard plenty of their singing. We do get plenty of noise now there are so many men about.
Since I started this letter I heard that Fred Denton is going to be married. Charley Bibby, Frank Bibby's father, is to be married to his housekeeper next Tuesday.
Dear Horrie
They finished up the week of the wedding by having a free fight on Saturday night in the front yard. It started between a National Reserve and a soldier (invalided from the front for the second time). He has a very bad leg and didn't know how to stand so his brother took his part, then they knocked him about and their father also who was with them. It was disgraceful. They are to blame for serving them with so much beer. They get mad drunk and don't know what they are about. There were 3 rows last week but only one fight. It is not at all unusual to hear them fighting now. We don't like it I can tell you. Nor do our neighbours.
The rest of this letter is missing. Written by Emily Nevard (sister to Horace
Emily (front left) and the rest of the Nevards at 36 Straight Road in 1903.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Birthday Greetings From Lexden

Emily Nevard wrote this letter to her brother, Horace, in Canada in 1909.
36 Straight Road
Lexden, Essex
My Dear Brother
I don't know if I owe you a letter or not but I am just writing to say we all wish you many happy returns of your birthday and hope you will have good health and good luck . I hope you are having good weather for the harvest. We have had very stormy, cold and unsettled weather for the last 3 weeks so it has been very bad for the harvest. We are in September now so I hope we shall have fine weather. We managed to have it fine all yesterday and this morning the sun is shining lovely.
Cecil picked the Greengages yesterday. We have more than a half bushel. They are not ripe. If we had left them on the trees we should have lost nearly all as the birds, wasps and flies won't leave them alone.
Mother has been down with Louie for a fortnight. She came home on Monday. I was glad to see her as we have a good lot of work. The stormy weather put me about so I had to work early and late so at the end of last week I felt quite done up. I was so busy I could not go to bed on Friday night. Mother wouldn't have went down only Cecil and I persuaded her to go. And she would have come home before only I wouldn't let her know how busy I was. Cecil was very good to help me all he could. He is going up to London to see Miss Cornish for the weekend tomorrow.
Mother didn't enjoy herself much down at Louie's as the children were troublesome. The boy was much more trouble than he is here. Mother make him mind her when he is with us only Mother didn't tell Louie but she would have been just as happy at home at her work. But don't you say anything about it.
Grandmother was 88 years yesterday. Mother cooked her a bit of fresh fish and I took it down for her dinner. She seemed quite nicely. She had managed to get the dinner ready and sat waiting for Grandfather to come downstairs. He was busy dusting the bedroom.
Laura Payne was married last Monday week just after 8 a:m. Percy and his wife went to Church with them. Percy and the bridegroom went round by Church Lane and Mrs. Payne and Laura went by the street. They furnished their house from Mrs. Bortell's Church Lane and they are living in one of the houses near the loop in Spring Lane where Mr. Ford used to live.
You tell Daisy Mr. Ford had to leave Colonel Corse Scott's in a hurry as he was so often drunk. So they are living in the town and they are still out of work. Harry Lusted is home this week for a holiday. His young lady is with him. Tell Daisy and Mary I will write to them next.
I am so sorry Earn have not been able to go out to work as I fear he will miss the money so much.
You don't know how much I think about you all every day. I do hope you will get enough to carry you through the winter. Tell Daisy I received her letter. Now I must leave off as Cecil is going.
So good bye dear Horrie with love from us all to you and all from your loving sister ...
Emily Nevard

Emily at the gate on 36 Straight Road, Lexden, Essex

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

From Lowestoft to Lipton (letter from Cecil to Horace)

August 1, 1914

My Dear Horace

Thank you very much indeed for the most useful present which you so very kindly sent me. It is indeed most kind of you for I fully understand that ready money in Canada with you on the farm is a great object and I fully appreciate what you have sent me. As we want a dressing table for our spare bed room I shall put a little more money to what you have sent and buy one. Then when you come over (which I hope will be in the near future) you shall sleep in that room and look at your present.

We have such a dear little house, home and garden which I should love you to see and with which Ethel and I are very proud.

Doubtless Emily wrote and told you that Mother came down to stay with us with Louie's little boy for a fortnight and had a good rest. Dear Ethel wouldn't let her do anything while with us. Emily and Louie will be coming down shortly but at present we have Ethel's mother and father with us for 3 weeks. Then we have my new brother and sister in law coming down for a fortnight. We shall be full up.

What do you think of the crises now? I see that Russia and Germany are mobilizing but I pray that there may not be a European war for that would be terrible for every civilized country.

Ethel and I have just had our fortnight's holiday. Part we spent in London with Ethel's people and part at Lexden with Mother, who by the bye, is quite well, as is also Granny and Emily.

Each place I went to I done up their gardens for I am rather keen on it and would just like you to see ours for we have a lawn in the front and back of the house and a flower border all round. Then I have a piece of ground away from the house on which I have green peas, potatoes, beans, cabbage veg. marrow, lettuce, cauliflowers so it keeps me out of mischief.

You must excuse this paper but I am writing in the office. I hope you will get on well with your job and make plenty of dollars and also have a good crop on the farm.

Yes Horrie, I am most glad to say I am very happy. I have never been so happy before for my wife is a model in every respect and really waits on me so much she'll spoil me. She sends her fond love and would so much like to see you and wishes me to thank you very much indeed for your very nice present

With much love to you all I remain your ever affectionate brother, Cecil.
Cecil at left in later years.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Threshing Syndicate

In 1910 the Nevard brothers, Arthur, Ernest and Horace, went into partnership to buy threshing equipment with the Goffs. Tom, Alf and Jack. It was a major expense and was not paid for in cash but over several years of installments.
The engine was a 20 horsepower International Harvester "Famous" portable. The thresher was an Aultman-Taylor 27 inch cylinder with 42 inch wide body which was a good sized machine in those days.
Disaster struck shortly. Prairie fire swept across Alf Goff's farm where the outfit was set up . Nobody was around in time to fight the fire and the separator was a complete loss. They had to buy a second one to finish the harvest putting them even further into debt. They did a little custom threshing for neighbours Jake Martin, Jimmy Gray and Cecil Lewis to help pay the bills. The partnership lasted into the early 1920s when they decided to go their separate ways and purchased their own outfit for each farm.
In the photo you can see my grandfathers Horace Nevard and Tom Goff.

Letter from Cecil Nevard to Emily

Recently married to Ethel, Cecil Nevard was working as a clerk at the district registry of the High Court of Justice and County Court Offices at Lowestoft at the time he wrote this letter to his sister, Emily Nevard.  
15 St. Aubyn's Road
Aug. 27, 1915
My Dear Emily
I was pleased to receive your letter as I was wondering how you were all getting on.
Well Emily dear, as you see we are not at home. I think I told you that Mr. Cornish came down to Sax. on the Saturday and took Ethel home with him for a while. I was intending to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Wakeling at Number 15, St. Aubyn but as there were so many rumours about as to Zeppellin bombardment, which I don't for one minute believe, Mrs. Wakeling could not sleep at night. Fred, her husband, decided to get her away. So she left here with the children by the 5:15 Monday for Bungay. Since then Fred and I have been batching at his place together.
We were getting along so well that I wrote and told Ethel that as she was at home she had better stay another week and at the last moment (although she hates being away from me) her mother persuaded her to stay. Next Saturday, tomorrow, we hope to meet at Sax. Ethel leaves Liverpool st. at 1:00 pm and reaches Sax at 3:37. As I am cycling I hope to be at Louie's at 5:00, then cycle back on Monday morning. Of course if its wet I shall have to train.
You would smile I guess to see me head cook and bottle washer. Well the other day I made a cake and some jam tarts when I had the fire going to cook a joint. All turned out A1.
Last evening I cooked another joint (which we have cold for dinner) and made a rice pudding and a bread pudding.
Fred is on duty at 8:00 so I get up at 7:00, get breakfast, bacon, etc., then do a bit of cleaning up until its time to get to the office, then home to dinner. I have from quarter to twelve til one and Fred has from 12:00 to 1:30.
I've told you all we do and you see we shan't take any harm. Ethel calls herself lots of unkind names because she says her duty is with me but its no use her being here and having bad nerves and can't sleep, is it? One lady has been so upset she has had to be taken away to an asylum.
It has upset everybody and ever so many people have left the town. Mind you, I believe most of it is imagination. For instance, on Wednesday evening all lights had to be put out as Zepps were supposed to be about but we didn't see them. Fred and I went to bed (the best place). Many people walked into the country until it was light.
Certainly not Emily, the 2p for the vegetables was not wasted for Louie had the pleasure of the peas and beans and we've had most of the potatos here as it spares us buying. Fred and I put some money into a box and pay out of that (share alike).
Yes, I think Horrie will be having a great time at Sax for he love to get on the horse.
I heard of the raid on Walthamstowe and you don't get much news in papers as they are not allowed to print it. The report of our submarines sinking ten German warships in the Gulf of Riga is fortunately, quite true and good work.
Well it isn't so dull here as there are still plenty of people about.
Fancy 70 of the national reserve going away. You would naturallly feel very quiet. I'm not surprised to hear about Fred Denton. Fond love to dear Mother , Granny and yourself. From your ever loving brother, Cecil

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1906 Letter From Alice

Grove Farm
Saxmundham, Suffolk
August 8, 1906
My Dear Horrie
I was very pleased to receive your nice letter this morning. I ought to have received it yesterday but the postman made a mistake and took it to Rendham.
I often think about you and what you are doing. You have to go away to work a good bit don't you? I am glad you are living with Mary as I should think it is much nicer for you. I expect little Ernie is pleased to see you. He used to say, "there will be five of us in Canada". I don't suppose he has seen his Uncle Arthur yet.
You will have heard from Mary that your Mother and Cecil have been down with Louie. I think Cecil enjoyed his holiday very well. He kept himself busy most of the time clipping the hedges, chopping sticks, etc. He went back yesterday by the 9:23 train as he had to get to his office by 11 o'clock and your mother went by the five o'clock train. We had a post card from Cecil this morning telling us that they had all arrived home safely. I expect Emily was very pleased to see them home again.
We are rather quiet today but Annie is coming home tonight by the six train and then I reckon we shall be quiet no longer.
Father is gone to the sale at Saxmundham and Willie is just going to town also. I expect they are going to begin harvest tomorrow as the corn is quite fit to cut.
My Aunt and Uncle and cousins from Leiston came here on Monday. Maude and little Elsie came also. There were 14 of us. Elsie is such a good little girl and she was so pleased to go out and see the cats, chickens and so forth.
Nurse Winstanley came here to stay with Louie a fortnight ago. She stayed from the Tuesday til Thursday. She knows we write to each other because she asked Willie and Louie if I had got a young man and if it was anyone whom she knew. They said it was and then she guessed Cecil first and then you.. She quite surprised me because she said "you can give my love to Horrie when you write Alice" and I didn't know that she knew anything about it. I don't think I'll tell you what she said about you for fear that you might become conceited.
I should like to see some of the nice places where you go . I should think it is nice by the lake but I shouldn't care for the adventure which you had on coming back from your row on the lake. I should think you began to wonder where you would spend the night. It was very fortunate that you went to the right house.
It is very dull and turning to rain. Dick and Mother are just going to milk the cows and I mustn't stop to write very much more as I have got to get ready and go to town and then to the station.
Mother and I went to town with butter this morning and it was hot too. Father came and helped us part of the way. We don't get quite so much butter now but we shall have more next week as we had a calf go to the sale this week.
We don't get many eggs now. They are 14 for a shilling.
I haven't forgotten sitting in the armchair before you went away. I felt very much like crying then but I know it is best to be happy if we can and I hope to see you again some day so we will sing "we'll meet tomorrow as we did that night".
Now dear Horrie I must bring my letter to a close and please write soon. I know you don't have much time to write but I do so like getting letters, especially yours.
Hoping this will meet you quite well, with love to all and yourself I remain your ever-loving Alice.
Nurse Winstanley

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Hammer

Have you heard the joke, the guy that brags he still has grandfather's hammer even though he has replaced the head once and the handle twice? Its not quite that way with my great Uncle Ernest Nevard's masonry hammer that he used in his brick laying projects. I recently discovered I had it stored away in the shed.
The same hammer can be seen in this photo from 1954 laying on the cindercrete blocks at the right side of the photo.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Harvest 1947

As seen by Bill Nevard....
Sept. 30// We finished our barley this morning, about 370 bushels. Bud took the separator down to the 25 acres on 13 with his Ford.
After dinner Bud and Uncle Horrie went to haul my bin down to the setting with the big tractor while we loaded up wheat sheaves. They had trouble getting up from the valley along the headland of the 15 acres and the wheels of the tractor got dug down. Finally we had to take the line fence down and go through.
John Fleming came along and borrowed Bud's tractor leaving his own. We threshed some wheat. Roy's first load had 22 bushels. Bud left early to go to Lipton on his Ford and got his wagon back home ready for hauling flax.

October 6// This morning I took the team and rack up to Silver Birches with the intention of threshing but I found that Bud had taken the tractor to pieces to fix up a bearing. He went to our place on the Ford to get an old bearing to put in . Dad and Uncle Horrie came back with him. I stayed there to make a straw fire as it was cold. It took until dinner time to get it fixed and after dinner we threshed we threshed Uncle H's oats and moved down near the big slough to thresh Bud's wheat. He moved one of his new bins down in the pasture with his Ford and we threshed 6 loads of wheat sheaves. The sheaves are about the best we have handled so far.
Bud Nevard and the Ford tractor

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 21 1937

While swathing the fields of Nevardland today I thought about the Nevards that worked this land before me and what they might have been doing about this time of year. So here is a page from Bill Nevard's journal for September 21 , 1937, the driest year of the dirty thirties......

I had intended to go cutting hay on 25 today but found other matters more pressing. Uncle Horrie and Bud tried deepening the drinking water well at the big slough but the water seemed to have given out there. I left the mower at Winstanley Grove and took the water tank down to the big slough. We started digging a new well and trying to deepen the stock well simultaneously. Bud was down in the old well but was not able to get on very good. Dad took a tank of water home. The others went to dinner and I stayed on digging the fresh well. Dad came back for another tank of water and by the time that Bud got back I had dug through the sand and gravel which seemed to be full of water.
I took the tank home and found that the two little pigs had escaped from the sty. We had to leave them out as they run around too fast to catch or drive where you want them. After dinner it rained and came over very smokey.
Towards evening I took Gleam and Barney with the stoneboat and got a barrel of drinking water from the new well which Bud had dug until it had started to cave in. It contained several barrels of water. Pretty dark when  I got back.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Working On The Road

1937 was one of the driest years of the 1930s. Working on road repairs would help to pay the municipal taxes for their farm so many farmers contributed their labour and horses to improve the prairie trails. Here is Bill Nevard's account of two days on the road near their farm.

I took Gleam this morning with Topsy to give her a first taste of road work. I got a barrel of water at the big slough to provide drink for my team and Uncle Horrie's . While loading it up it came on to rain pretty smart, but with grim resolution I kept on my way.
The scene of our operations to be was a sylvan glen close to the far-famed school of Headlands. The participants: William Senft with a goodly crew of noble lads. Uncle Horrie, plowman. W Bordass, J Pahl, E Senft, and D Schmidt, fresnoliers. Cliff Barton and myself sliponians, and Arnold Senft, fill-em-upper.
All being assembled we bent to our task with dynamic energy and unabated fury vieing with the ant and the seven year locust for ruthless industry. My team found road work pretty easy as they were standing still most of the day while I built the grade. Several of the Headlands scholars paid us brief visits when free from their studies.

July 18
Last night it rained pretty hard and I was doubtful about going on the road but I took a chance on it. It was so slippery that my team could hardly keep to their feet on the way there. Most of the fellows were late and Dan Schmidt did not come until after dinner but we managed to get going and finished near the school, moving a mile and a half south to Bill Senft's corner before quitting.
Brian Michelson came to review our handiwork this afternoon. The grade is 150 yards long. A diversion.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

More On The Horses

August 1, 1938

Dick and I digging the new well. We got down to about 9 or 10 feet. We took 40 pails of water out in the morning before starting the operation.

 We had to get up early this morning. Dick rounded up the horses and we put them in the stable. Henry Berner and his son came along ere we had finished breakfast and he vaccinated the horses for the second time. He lost a horse from the disease the day before. He charged 50 cents a horse for the two innoculations making the total cost $1.75 for each horse.

Uncle Horrie and Bud were down here fixing the bull wheel of their binder. Dad and both Uncles went to a meeting at Shawlands with Mr. Fisher and McWean speaking. Arrangements have been made for farmers to get binder repairs and twine up to a certain amount.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer of Encephalomyelitis

Bill Nevard wrote a little about the equine encephalomyelitis virus scare .
July 17 1938

The day being propitious I went to North's this afternoon on Gleam. Embers accompanying us. Met Jack Binnington driven in a car by some unknown gentleman. I saw a colt on Sam Wheale's pasture. Mosquitos worrying Gleam quite a bit. I found Mr. and Mrs. North at home. Sid and Ed having gone to visit Percy Radwell and Ethel being at Quill Lake with Martha. Mr. North is feeling worried about encephalomyelitis which is spreading fast in the North and before I left they had decided that Tom should go to Regina early Monday morning in the car to try and get some vaccine. Mike Kowbel and Henry Berner were going with him. Henry has been innoculating horses against the disease and Jack has had four horses done. Mosquitos very bad on the way home.

July 18

I got up at 3 a:m this morning and walked across Karl Miller's to his West line, then walked North on the road until about half a mile from Headlands school where I met Tom North driving to Regina in his truck with Kowbel and Berner. I gave him $13 to get what vaccine he could for our horses and rode with him back to Miller's, then walked home.

In the afternoon I caught Glory and Gleam and rode to North's again. When I got there Tom had not returned. I stayed to supper and after Tom came back he was unable to get any vaccine but ordered some.

July 20

Dick rode to town with Tom North at night and brought the vaccine home for our horses.

July 21

We got up early this morning and had our eleven horses stabled by sunrise. After we had our breakfast Henry Berner came along in his ancient car with a youthful assistant and innoculated all our horses. They were not much trouble , after which he went on to North's and Kowbel's and did their horses. Jack Binnington has one horse sick now.

In the evening Dick and I drove to Murphy Newton's in the wagon with Topsy and Firelight after the two little pigs, which we got with Mrs. Newton's assistance. Murphy being away haying. We heard from Ernest Senft that Fisher, Michelson, and Peake have each got a sick horse.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lilacs At Winstanley Grove

Yes, lilacs still bloom at Winstanley Grove. The most obvious sign that long ago somebody lived out here in the middle of all this wild land. Possibly planted by Arthur Nevard when he established his log dwelling on the site in the early 1900s. Or maybe by his wife, Margaret Montagu Winstanley who the farm was named after.
Along with a few honeysuckles and carraganna, a cellar hole in the ground and the crumbling concrete remains of the barn foundation, there is not much else to indicate that people lived here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hearts Of Oak

Another artifact from the Nevard trunks. This 1906 Hearts Of Oak Society calendar turned up. Apparently Ernest Nevard belonged to the society. I'd never heard of it and had to look up a little information on it.

The Hearts of Oak Benefit Society was established in 1842 to provide a means for persons to save into a mutual fund that could draw upon and provide financial protection in times of sickness. Criteria for membership were strict, for example around 1900 the Society expected all applicants to be of “good character” and earning a minimum weekly wage of 24 shilling (£1-4s-0d) which excluded the lower paid such as labourers, lower skilled artisans and unskilled workers. Membership therefore tended to comprise of the higher artisans, skilled mechanics, small shopkeepers and those who had newly risen into the growing ranks of the ‘middle classes’.
The Society was named in honour of Britain’s navy whose wooden ships of oak had become renowned for saving the country from invasion. With the passing of the Friendly Societies Act in 1850, the range of services and activities of Benefit societies increased and included maternity (lying-in benefits) and death benefit schemes. Following the 1911 Health Insurance Act, the Hearts of Oak Benefit Society were among the first to provide insurance and financial schemes.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sarah Wagstaff Nevard

My great grandmother, Sarah (Wagstaff) Nevard posing in front of her home at 36 Straight Road, Lexden , Essex, U.K. At age 95 she was still capable of baking bread as evidenced by the two loaves she is holding. Pretty impressive.
This photo accompanied a news story in the local Lexden newspaper at the time. I couldn't find it today so just inserted the original photo.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Two days in Spring 1943

Looking back on Bill Nevard's journals 69 years ago today I see he was busy as usual.
April 18, 1943..........Sunday, and I went to visit Percy Radwell in
the democrat with Gleam and Embers this afternoon. It was my first visit
there in seven years. The grades are still bad in spots but the highway
is getting dry. I found them all home and saw baby John Radwell for the
first time. I asked Percy about hatching eggs but they could not supply
me as they have no roosters. Percy will let us have some Victory seed
oats for 35 cents a bushel. John Senft is getting seed barley and oats
from Percy. Percy cut 15 loads of crested wheat grass hay off 4 acres
last year in 2 cuttings. I heard that Mrs. Thompson's oldest crippled
son died on Thursday.
April 19, 1943
I went to Fisher's this morning to try and get some hatching eggs but Mrs.
Fisher had put her eggs in the basement and thought they would be too
chilled to set. She phoned up Mrs. Goff but their eggs were the same.
Mr. and Mrs. Fisher have not been any too well lately and Tom Goff is
crippled up from being kicked by a horse. Mr. Fisher was hauling water
and putting it down a well. Ernest Senft is now a father. Mrs. Fisher
promised to save some eggs for me. In the afternoon I went on section
25 and got 30 green poles for Dad to make a new hen house with.
Bill Nevard on the right all dressed up in his Sunday best. 1943.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lucky 13th?

Long time readers may recall an earlier mention that Ernest Nevard first set foot on Canadian soil this day (April 13) in 1903. After a long voyage with brother Arthur on the S.S. Lake Manitoba with the rest of the barr-colonists it was probably good to get back on solid ground. A long way from their home in Lexden, Essex, U.K.
The day before , April 12th was Ernest's 25th birthday. A young man setting out on the great homesteading adventure. I only knew him in his later years as he appeared in this photo from 1954 laying the cindercrete blocks for Dad's new barn.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1914 Nevard Wedding

This letter to my grandfather was written in great detail by his sister, Emily,
back in Lexden, Essex. Describing the wedding of their younger brother, Cecil Nevard to Ethel Nellie Cornish.
I was tempted to leave out some of the minute details of the pink helitropes and such
but thought at least one reader might find them of interest.

36 Straight Road Lexden,Essex
April 16, 1914

My Dear Horrie

Now I have some news to tell you I will write . I went up to London last Saturday and saw Cecil married to Ethel. It was a double wedding as her twin sister Alice was married directly after Cecil and Ethel. Of course one service answered for both.
The wedding took place at St. Mark's , Battersea at 1:30 p.m.
Mother went up with Cecil on Friday morning. Miss Dumm, Mrs. Cornish's aunt, went up with me. We met Will at Colchester Station and the 3 of us travelled up together. It was raining fast when we left here but by the time we reached Liverpool St. it had cleared up fine in time for the wedding. When they left in the afternoon the sun was shining bright. It couldn't very well shine on them in the church as the windows are high and the church is rather dull. Not so bright as Lexden church. The Rector of St. Mark's
married them. Our Rector, Mr. Evans promised Cecil he would go up and marry them and he fully intended to but two youngest girl Spurgeons wanted to be married on Saturday. The Rector tried to persuade them to put it off and tried to get another clergyman to take it but could'nt. You see a great many clergy object to marrying anyone on that day as they consider it Lent.
The service was fully choral. The organ played selections before the service during the time the people were assembling in the church.
We drove in style in a motor brougham. There were 6 motors employed for the bride's guests, etc. The service was very nice. The processional hymn was 281, Lead us heavenly father lead us, and the other was 578, O perfect love all human thought transcending.
The bride looked very nice dressed in cream crepe de chene with long trains. The dresses were trimmed with real lace.
They had white tulle veils and wreaths of orange blossom, carried bouquets of white carnations, lilac and white heather.
Ethel's two bridesmaids were dressed in very pale pink, almost flesh color crepe-de-chene and Alice's were in pale helitrope.
They all wore tunics (which is like a coat without sleeves) of cream lace tied around the waist with a girdle or sash. On their heads they wore little round caps of lace with a frill round. The ones that wore pink dresses carried helitrope lilies, and those that wore helitrope carried bouquets of pink carnations.
The reception was held in St. Mark's hall adjoining the church. It is a very large hall. You could put the institute inside it. There was a long table down each side of the hall. On one table the presents were arranged and the other was for refreshments. The large wedding cake stood on a table in the centre of the room. It was 2 tier, a large cake at the bottom and smaller one above, then a
receptable above full of lovely white flowers and smilax trailing down.

Mr. Cornish provided lunch for all the guests who cared to go to the hall before the service. We had ours at the house. The bridal group with Mr. and Mrs. Cornish and the 2 best men had their photo taken with the cake in center of group. There was plenty of nice dainties to eat, champagne,tea, coffee and other drinks. Piano and two violins played lively selections during the afternoon.
The brides and their bridegrooms changed their costumes in dressing rooms at the hall and each left in a motor about 4 p.m.
Cecil and Ethel for Lowestoft home, Alice and Bob, or rather, Mr. and Mrs. Duminel I should say, en route for Bournemouth.
We left the hall about 5 p.m. and returned to Mrs. Cornish's house again. We had supper and left just after 7 p.m.. Mr. Cornish provided a motor brougham for us to drive to Liverpool St.. We had a good view of London along the embankment. We passed St. Thomas' hospital, St. Paul's cathedral, Bank of England, and a lot of other places too numerous to mention. Mother,Miss Dumm and I came home but Will stayed on until Sunday night, being his first visit to London he wanted to see all he possibly could. We left a party of friends at the house.
Louie went to Sax station to see Cecil and Ethel as they were passing through. She took them some butter, eggs, bread and pickles. Cecil has a very nice house and nicely furnished. Mrs. Newton, his landlady, very sorry to part with him...............

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Barn Repair 1944

I call this one "barn repair 1944". My grandfather, Tom Goff on the right
had called in the Nevard brothers, Horace, centre, and Ernest on the left
to come and lend a hand rebuilding his barn. The barn was originally log
construction and after nearly 40 years I guess the logs may have needed
some work. They removed the logs replacing them with double ply lumber.
Maybe money was a little more plentiful that fall from a good crop to
justify this extra expense. In this close up picture I can see the shiny
new nail heads in the boards.
Horace Nevard was pretty handy carpenter while his brother Ernest
was a bricklayer. They had come out from Essex, England some 40 years
earlier to seek their fortune homesteading in Saskatchewan, known at that
time as "District Of Assiniboia, N.W.T."
Tom Goff , brother Alf, and cousin Jack had also come from England, but from Dorset on the south coast about the same time as the Nevards and settled on homesteads about 3 miles apart.
 Maybe it was their shared British heritage that drew them together
but they became friends and neighbours for the rest of their lives. They formed the "Goff/Nevard threshing syndicate" in 1910 and bought their first threshing machine and stationary engine to power it. IH Famous engine
Eight years after this barn  photo was taken Horace's daughter married Tom's son and they became "in-laws" (And my grandfathers)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Passing of Tom Goff

As was often the case, the Nevard and Goff history overlapped sometimes. 51 years ago this week, my grandfather, Tom Goff passed away. The occasion was recorded in Bill Nevard's journal as follows...

March 2: I went to Regina today on the bus. Found it somewhat messy, stepped in a puddle crossing Victoria avenue and wet my foot. I caught the Dewdney west bus to the Grey Nuns hospital. I had never been in this hospital before. I was given a pass card to Tom Goff's room at the desk and walked down a long corridor to the elevator and up to the third floor. Tom being in with three other patients looked so poorly that I hardly recognized him. I talked to him a bit but I could only hear what he said by putting my good ear close to his mouth. . Bill Dodd was there looking after him .

I did not stay long and on leaving the hospital I walked to the Geriatric centre. It took me 50 minutes so I couldn't stay there long either. Uncle Arthur seemed to be pretty good. I walked back to the bus depot with a bit of time to spare. On the bus home I was talking to a Mrs. Clark who used to be Nancy Griffin and has a store in Dysart.

March 3.....I drove to Lipton after dinner and called at Goff's where Mrs. Goff told me that Tom died this morning. Leslie was there and he and Mrs. Goff were going to the Fort to go with Sandy to Regina to make the necessary arrangements. Mrs. Goff would like Dick and I to be there Monday in case we are needed as bearers.

March 6......Mick Jennings took Dick's shift and Ernie Craven took mine so we could have the day off. We arrived at Goff's about 1:15. Lipton Church was filled for the service.

Pat Neil, Reg Waters, Will Wilson, Philip Fisher, Bill Michelson and I were the bearers. Canon Corkhill took the service and Alice Neil played the organ. It was cold at the cemetery and a nasty wind blowing but we didn't have to be there long. We went over to Goff's afterwards. All the Goffs, the Hobetzeders, Mrs. Wheale, Dick and I were there for lunch. After visiting for a while we came home.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Letter From Ernest S. Nevard

Its a rare thing to find a letter from Ernest S. Nevard (Bill's father) but this one from the summer of 1914 turned up recently. Addressed to my grandfather, Horace, who was apparently working in the city of Regina temporarily while brother Ernest looked after the farm.  The "Captain " referred to is the horse in the photo above.

My Dear Brother
Your letter arrived alright and contents noted. Captain hasn't bothered me yet. He should suit the fellow as regards size but he would have quite a time with him as he's not city-broke. I would hate to be driving him myself in town. The crops are not doing too bad but we want rain badly, about 24 hours.
We haven't had a good rain this summer, only a few showers and the ground seems as hard and dry as a bone. Its just starting to rain now and I hope its a soaker but I've given over expecting it as theres been clouds and storms pass over and around us but no rain. I saw Heatherington on election day and told him you had a colt and would send the money up soon. I don't know about the hail insurance. Beckett was here over a month ago and I insured for $7 per acre but I haven't heard from Moose Jaw yet.
Minnie and colt are alright, all doing well. George Goff is working in the freight sheds or was the last time I heard about him. His wife went to Regina the other week.
I can't think of anything to say just now particular so will finish and remain your affectionate brother.

                                                                                                                                      E.S. Nevard
P.S. I finished getting off stones on Wednesday. I guess it was some job. About five acres but I haven't broke any yet as its too hard so I am plowing on the old fallow

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Letter From A Soldier In England

This letter had a lot of miles on it by the time Dick Nevard received it at Camp Shilo, Manitoba. It was mailed from England to Brandon, Manitoba, forwarded on to Vernon, B.C., from there on to Dick's brother, Bill Nevard back on the farm in Sask. Bill sent it on to Camp Shilo Manitoba where Dick was stationed at the time. (June 1943)

                                                                                                                     Bdr. L.J. Goff L6323
                                                                                                                    18th 2nd Cdn. A/T regt.
                                                                                                                    R.C.A. C.A.E.
Hello Dick
I thought, I'd drop a couple of lines to let you know how I'm getting along. I was very glad to hear from you and also surprised to hear you were in the army. I guess its quite a change in one's life but I consider a good experience and adventure. Of course you are no longer your own boss and a guy hasn't much say in the matter, but its just the way you look at it. As for myself, I take em just the way they come. I'm having a pretty good time and have also seen quite a bit of country. A guy meets a lot of people and makes a lot of friends. We have a good bunch of boys in this outfit. Its a Regina battery. A lot from indian Head and Grenfell.
Well Dick, how do you like the army? Do you think you'll be coming over? Nice country this , and London is quite the place and its really big. Other towns seem small after being here. Its been hit plenty but there is still a heck of a lot left. Anything you want there and its plenty hot in spots. I intend to go to Scotland on my next leave but its a bit uncertain at times. We are kept pretty busy. Of course we get out lots, at times have the odd jerry drop a bomb or two, machine gun quite a bit. When you hear the siren, the roar of aircraft, machine guns, ack ack, well you just hit for a hole. Its fun though. I hope to see some action before its all over.
Well Dick, I gotta sign off. Remember me to all, keep writing, and the very best in all your travels.

Les Goff at left in photo