Monday, April 28, 2014

Art and Writing

Bill Nevard was pretty handy at writing and drawing . Given a lead pencil and any old piece of paper he could (and did) produce some interesting art work. Like this one from April 16 1942.
Bill's journal entries from that time.........
April 15 We finished wood sawing today. Finished at Silver Birches before dinner and cut Uncle Arthur's in the afternoon.
April 16: Pig killing today. Uncle Horrie came and helped. John Senft called in dinner time.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Long Letter From Lexden 1911

An edited version of a long news letter from Emily Nevard to her sister in law, Mary Nevard, in Canada

                                                                                                    36 Straight Road
                                                                                                    Lexden, Essex

The 3 Nevard brothers had been in Canada over 7 years at the time this letter was written to Ernest's wife, Mary , by his sister, Emily , still back in Lexden, Essex, England.

Dear Mary: We were very pleased to hear you received the parcel alright. I don't mind the trouble of making things and sending them off if you get them. We had rather a business to get it off as we are always so busy.
We always have plenty of work , you see there are 12 of them in family at Hill House. Mr. and Mrs. Husnard, 4 children and 6 servants (2 nurses, housekeeper, cook, housemaid and parlourmaid). Then they are often having visitors so we have plenty to do. Then there are 5 of us to wash and cook for .
Mother is very pleased to hear you spent Xmas day altogether. You were really a jollier party than we were only we were more fortunate than you as we were able to go to Church.
The Parish tea was held on Friday the sixth of January. Cecil and I went. The entertainment was very good. I sat at Miss Colvin's table. She packed me a bonbon box full of things to bring home for Horrie. Ham sandwiches, jam pastries, sausage rolls, currant cake and bonbons.
It was a very wet day so I rode down in the tram car but it cleared off nice in time for us to come home. There were plenty of people.
I don't know if I told you that Mrs. and the Misses Colvins live next door to Mr. Griffin in the Warren Lane at the house where Captain Daniell formerly lived. Lance Stonehouse drive them in his brougham when they are out at night. Also to Lexden Church and back on Sundays. In the summer they drive in their pony trap.
Mrs. O'Grady did not have a table at the Parish tea so she decided to have a party on her own account and invited all the Mothers she knew. Mother, Mrs. Clayden and Aunt Annie and Aunt Vera received invitations and they enjoyed themselves very much.
Uncle Fred has been ill in bed for some time since before Xmas and he doesn't get better. Cecil is doing his work at the hall in the meantime. The Rector has invited the choir and Sunday school teachers to supper and a musical evening Thursday.
Uncle Jim is married but he is not at all well. Charlie died of consumption. A fortnight before he died the disease went to his brain. He was at his father's for 3 weeks. He told Aunt Annie he didn't wonder at people committing suicide if they suffered as he did. He said it felt as if the top of his head was being lifted off. He couldn't get any rest night or day until his father got a bottle of medicine from the Chemist to send him to sleep.
Fred Mann's son, young Jack, who has been in the army was out asked last Sunday and is to be married. They are going to live in the Colne Road.

Thursday Evening: Dear Mary, Cecil has been out to see Uncle Fred this afternoon. He found him very ill in bed. The doctor says he has had influenza and kept about at his work. Now it has settled in his leg. His leg is very much swollen and very painful so he can not get much rest. Cecil says he looks very thin and remind him so much of Father. They live just opposite Stanway Hall now
I have been thinking of paying Louie a weekend visit for some time but I don't know when I shall be able to go as it is hard work for me to get away. Mother get so tired by the time we have finished up the work.
We were very pleased to see the photo of the threshing outfit but we would like to have a clearer view where we could see who they are. I hope one day they will be rich enough to have a real good photo taken.

Grandmother is always very pleased to hear all the letters read. She always tell me to send our very best love to all. Isn't it wonderful how she live so long. It is very dull for her to sit by herself all day, especially washing days but we generally finish on Tuesday night. Horrie amuses her a good bit. It is quite amusing to hear him talk to her. He talk to her so old sometimes. Now I must leave off as I am going to start ironing. Thank Ernie very much for his letter. Now I must say goodbye with love to you all from us all.
From your loving sister, Emily Nevard.

Friday, April 4, 2014

On The Road

An edited account of Dick Nevard's trip from B.C. to 14th Field Dressing Station, Wainright , Alberta.

Dear Bill:  Yes, I have arrived safely in Wainwright on May 30th (1944) and found your letter waiting for me. So Bud is back in England now! I wonder if he will be sent back to Canada soon?
Now I'll continue my journey. I think I got as far as Prince George in my last letter. We left P.G. on the 19th. It was dusty but I enjoyed it. Passed through Quesnel in the afternoon and followed the Fraser River. Crossed it at Prince George. I built kind of a shelter out of short straight saplings for the night.
The 19th and 20th we were passing through the famous Cariboo district which tourists like to travel along in peace time. The road curves and twists about in many directions so one is seeing an ever changing scene. It was interesting to hear the various comments the different fellows made. The boys from Ontario liked the mountain sides partly covered with evergreens with the river flowing past. That was lovely. The rest of it was no good in their estimation. I saw a groundhog. It looks like a gopher only bigger, about the size of a cat.
The second night I built a shelter and shingled it with cedar branches. It served the purpose for it kept the snow and rain off all but the top part of my blanket. Some of the fellows got soaked in the middle of the night and had to get up and collect wood to light a fire and dry their blankets. I never heard any of it but heard later that the air was warm from their language.
The 21st was a cooler day. The country side began to flatten out somewhat as we passed into the Kootenay. Sage brush country although it was still mountainous. There was a river running along the valley with willow and poplar trees growing along the banks. We went into the Indian village of Ashcroft to gas up. Then we went into a bull pasture to camp for the night. We set up the canvas tarp covering from the truck and 15 or 20 of us slept under that.
When we arose the next morning it was raining hard. I helped wash the pots at the field kitchen at meal times that day. We had dinner at Kamloops exhibition grounds. It rained most of the day but the tarps over the trucks kept us dry. We camped that night at Salmon Arm where we were in barracks. It rained most of the next day but we had a good time waving at the residents who lived along the roadside. (especially the girls)
At night we put the vehicles in Revelstoke park while we slept in the arena.
The 24th we traveled the longest distance covering 121 miles that day. We went around the big bend and when we nearly around we came upon a wrecker which had gone over the side into the Columbia River the day before. At the time we reached the scene it was being hauled up by another wrecker.
That night we slept in the back of the truck. The following night we got back to the CPR line again and camped at Golden. There was a dance in the Legion building that night. I guess the residents, musicians and girls were quite tired because that was the third night in a row they had been entertaining soldiers.
May 26th we had dinner just outside Field. All that morning we were gradually climbing until at dinner time we were up to the snow line. It looked rather odd to see green leaves coming out on the poplar trees and snow nearby. We could see a coal mine in a mountain side. We went through the Kicking Horse Pass and could look down into the canyon. As we neared Banff in the afternoon we could see mountain goats on the cliffs and crags, and elk down on the green slopes. We slept in the camp grounds at Banff that night where they have those tables with roofs over them. I slept on a table and rolled off during the night but did not hurt myself. In the evening I walked up town going without supper in camp in order to get more time to see Banff. I went to see the famous gardens that Edward North had sent me a picture of . Only a few flowers in bloom. There was a foot of snow there just a week before. Still the layout of the gardens and waterfalls was well worth seeing. I visited the fish ponds and saw fish in all stages of development. And Bow Falls and Banff Hotel.
The next morning we left the Rockies behind and entered the foothill country where Wilf Carter wrote some of his songs about. We drove through part of Calgary which looked quite pretty with green lawns and trees. The lilacs were in bloom. We camped about six miles outside Calgary that night much to the displeasure of some of the fellows. But they were pleased after supper when two or three trucks drove them down to Calgary. I did not go myself. Well at any rate it seemed more like home. The atmosphere seemed different somehow.
Well cheerio Bill
Your loving brother Dick.