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


  1. I can only imagine the joy and thankfulness that news of peace brought to a war-torn world!

  2. Thats one reason I like these old letters. They give a real time view of how people felt about what was going on around them as history was being made.


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