Monday, December 23, 2013

War Is Over

Dick Nevard wrote this letter to his dad just a day or so after WWII ended.
No. 12 Inf. Trg. Bn
G.C.I.T.R CA Overseas
May 12th 1945
Dear Dad
Well since last week there has been a little more in the way of ordinary happenings to record. For peace has now been signed and as a result we had two days holidays.
I got a letter from Bill and hear that Bud has come to an agreement with Uncle Arthur and that he and his wife have now moved up onto the farm. I am not really surprised to hear that as Bill had told me that indoor life did not suit Bud's health. Then I kept hearing of his visits to the farm so I had a pretty good idea what it would lead to.
We heard on Monday evening that peace had been declared. That evening the staff sergeant came through the hut and told us that the following day would be a holiday and that we could sleep in til nine o'clock. Next morning we were marched out onto the parade square. After the usual dull ceremony of stand at ease, stand easy had been said enough to please the powers that be, we were given the command to stand easy. Then the padre said a prayer. After that the Colonel gave a speech fitting for the occasion and added that there had been a lot of silly talk about going home very shortly. But he cheered them up by saying that we would not be going home for many months. First over, first back, which is only fair. As for yours truly is having a good time over here and the longer he stays over here the more he will see of England and after all, a fellow has quite a bit of fun in the army.
Tuesday evening some of the soldiers put on an entertainment program for us. They had a radio there and we listened to the King's speech. Then they lit a bonfire over on the hillside. They had a trench mortar firing parachute flares after it got dark which lit up the surrounding scene like day. Various colors sent up at intervals during the program. The program consisted of music and some plays. Some of the men were quite good. Over to one side there were three stacks of grain. The flares were not shot off in that direction but the wind caused the flares to drift in the direction of the stacks. The stack was built so steep that it took several minutes for the boys to climb up. So the fire got too much of a start and they were unable to put it out. All three stacks burnt down. More expense for the Canadian government.
After that we lined up for sandwiches and donuts. We were allowed three pints of beer but I didn't bother going for any.
Lieutenant Shami said I was the best batman he had ever had but there was an excuse for that.. He was drunk!
The next day should have been a holiday too for the evening before, Armstrong gave the Colonel's batman a lacing so we had cause to feel jubilant. Jackson had been throwing out challenges and whatnot to the other batmen for some time. That one hook of his kind of held us back from accepting those challenges.
The following morning Jackson called Armstrong outside to settle matters. They were settled alright. Jackson ended up with two black eyes. He has been more docile since.
If all goes according to plan this time next week I will on my next nine day leave. I bought 300 cigarettes which I will divide up among my relatives.
Well its ten o'clock and guess its time to sign off.
Your loving son

Friday, December 20, 2013

1942 Letter From L.G..

My dad was stationed somewhere in England in the Canadian army when he wrote this letter to Dick Nevard
                                                                              March 15, 1942
Dear Dick: Just a few lines hoping this finds you all in the best of health. I was very glad to hear from you. Hows everyone getting along? You must have had a mild winter. Well we are having some pretty good weather over here at times but it sure gets chilly at nights. Them open fire places ain't much for heat. Do you ever hear much from Bud? I haven't seen anything of him or Phil Fisher? Of course you never know when you are gonna run into someone from home. Most of the boys in the 18th are from Sask., Regina, Indian Head, Cupar, Grenfell. A good bunch of guys.
Well we travel around quite a bit on schemes. Sometimes we move to different billets. We are living in houses right now. We are on the outskirts of a small village. Two picture shows a week, a dance hall, two pubs and canteen. Some place eh? Well I don't bother much about dances. They also have a snooker table so we have a pretty good time but we were out on a scheme yesterday about ten o'clock and a thunder storm came up so it wasn't so good pushing a gun through mud and water to our positions. But we have quite a bit of fun out of them even if it takes a couple of days to get the gun cleaned and equipment. Me and a few of the boys were on the coast for a week. It was quite a change.  I thought Canada was cold but that place was plenty breezy. We were on duty for twenty four hours and then off twenty four.
Have you seen much of Sandy?. I hear from him quite often. Some guy eh?. What do you think of this war? I could hear the bombing the time them battle ships left Brest and every now and then we hear firing in that direction. Welll guess I"ll have to sign off. Hoping to hear from you soon and wishing all the best of luck and health. I guess it'll be pretty well summer by the time this reaches you. Remember me to all.
As ever, a friend,
L.J. Goff

Thursday, December 19, 2013

1942 Letter From Overseas

Bud Nevard had joined the Canadian Army and was stationed somewhere in England at the time he wrote this letter to his cousin, Dick Nevard in 1942.

May 23, 1942

Dear Dick:

Just a few lines to thank you for your letter. How are things going, ok? Everybody up and doing eh? Well so are we . Say , if you want to see flowers etc. you should be here. Everywhere you go is just like a picture card. All colors of the rainbow and it sure is pretty. You'd get a great kick out of it I can't tell you where I am but I have cycled to Windsor Castle and up around London and all around the big shot's places here. There are some great old places too, Churches etc. I went and saw Winchester Cathedral one day a while back but I think you heard of that before now.

This would be a nice place if the weather was dry but it is anything but. Just now it is raining and yesterday it was raining and going by past experience, it will be raining tomorrow. It fact its nearly always raining. You see my point don't you? Although we had some dandy weather for a few days. If I stay in this land very much longer they'll have to carry me off. Boy do my knees ache, all the time hurting. And I've still got the cough that I started with last year when I got here. It was raining that day too .

The boys are getting rather fed up just sitting around and I think that some lad is going to get real sore some day and cut these balloon barrage cables and let the place sink. But I guess we will soon be at them (I hope). that's if the Russians leave any of them. It might not be long before this thing is all over. What I don't know what I'll be doing after the war. Right now we feel more like 6 months rest or something like it. Say a holiday at Patrick or Palm Beach.

What's this I hear about L. Goff being in the army over here? What did he join? And send me Sid North's address will you?

Well I think I'd better quit and go have a shower etc. Bed time so they tell me. Cheerio old duck , best of wishes to all. Your Cousin Bud.

One thing the army sure has improved is my writing, don't you think?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Building Goff's House

Ernest Nevard, Mary Goff, Grace Hobetzeder, Les Goff, Horace Nevard
Ernest and Horace Nevard took on the job of building a new house for Tom  and Mary Goff in 1951 in the village of Lipton. Here are a few details as written in the journal of Bill Nevard.
Dec. 5, 1950 Mrs. Goff and Sandy came down to see Dad on Sunday about building a house for them with cement blocks as they are buying a lot in Lipton.
June 29, 1951 Sandy Goff came in the car and took Dad up to Lipton this morning to put in the footing for Goff's house and brought him back tonight.
July 4, 51: Dad went up to Lipton on the bus this morning and stayed there.
July 13, 51: Dad came home tonight. He has put Goff's cistern in.
Aug. 3, 51: I headed north on my bike this morning. Dad, Uncle Horrie and Les Goff busy working on Goff's house. I didn't stay long but hit out for the farm.
Aug. 4, 51: Roy came through with his car on the way to Lipton so I went with him and bought a few groceries at Jampolsky's store. Very windy but they are working on Goff's house.
Aug. 9, 51: Raining. I had given up the idea of heading back to Lilac Grove when Bud came along in his car on the way to Lipton so I came down with him. Stopped at Fisher's for dinner and after that I went over to Goff's house but no one was there so I went to Jack Goff's for a while. As I was heading up town Dad and Uncle Horrie came along with Sandy and Les Goff in the car. So I left my bike with Fishers and went down to the San with Sandy and Dad as they wanted to get some of our bricks to finish the chimney.
Aug. 16, 51: I went up and saw Bud this morning and he drove me to Lipton in his car. We were going to fix up a lease but Walton was not home. I saw Dad and Uncle Horrie working on Goff's house.
Oct. 4, 51: Dad came home from Lipton on the bus tonight to get his best clothes as he is to be a pall bearer at Sam Wheale's funeral tomorrow.
Oct. 15, 51: Dad went up to Lipton on the bus but came home tonight. He is through at Lipton now.
Nov. 18, 51: Sandy Goff came along tonight to ask Dad to go back to Lipton tomorrow and help them fix up their furnace so Mr. and Mrs. Goff can move into town.
Goffs house complete