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

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dick Joins The Army

This was the first letter Bill Nevard wrote to his brother, Dick after he left to join the army in January of 1943. This copy is heavily edited to hopefully fit the attention span of today's average reader.

Headlands P.O. Sask.
Jan. 30, 1943
Dear Dick
We got your letter last night so now that we have your address we can write to you and let you know what is going on back home. Glad to hear that you made the grade alright and I hope you will be happy in your new surroundings and will find some congenial companions to make army life more pleasant.
When the train pulled out with you on Tuesday the smoke or steam from the engine blew in between the train and the town so that I could hardly see the train and I don't suppose you could see much of Lipton either as you took your departure. I didn't hang around town long after you'd gone. I got the coal oil at Cohen's, hitched up the team, drove around to Jampolsky's for the groceries and then headed home. I didn't find it so cold going home as I expected. I came along quite a bit faster than usual. We went down to the well, watered the cattle and got inside in time for Fibber Mcgee and Molly.
Next morning I woke up in the dark and heard a strange noise. It sounded like a train whistle. Then I heard further noises. I thought it might be Raspberry calving so I got up and lit the lamp. It was 6:45 am. Dad got up , lit the heater and we went out to the stable but it was a false alarm. I guess maybe it was a train whistle I heard. It was sixty below zero when we first went out.
It was too cold to do anything with the horses so I went and cut a load of wood on our north line just west of the gate into Uncle Horrie's. On Thursday it was little warmer and I got a jag of hay and one of oat straw. Friday night I walked to the Post Office. I think it was the first time I've walked there since the Leslie's moved away. The walking wasn't too bad. It was a cold night, moonlight coming home. John Fleming wasn't home when I got there. Jack Binnington and Leonard Wheale were both at the post office.
It was cold and windy on Monday so I went and cut a little dry wood for Uncle Arthur on his North line. On Wednesday I got two more loads of wood home which makes twenty loads in the yard.
On Friday I borrowed your skis for the trip to the post office as the fresh snow has made walking none too good. We got your second letter alright and Mother got letters from Aunt May and Aunt Flo. Aunt May spoke of you visiting them in your uniform.
I guess some of us will be going to Lipton next week to post this letter. I am thinking of writing to Bud now that we know the government definitely intends to keep you. I hear that Edwin and Victor Senft have to go up for training.
We are getting along alright although Mother is bothered with a cold. Dad is listening to the game between Regina and Flin Flon. Previously he was listening to the game between Toronto and Boston won by Boston. Syl Apps was unfortunate enough to break his leg in the second period.
Well Dick , thats all I can tell you for now but I hope to write to you pretty regularly and hope you will find the going not too tough.
So long and best of luck from your brother
E. W. Nevard

E.W. (Bill) Nevard at back left, Dick Nevard at right.