Monday, February 11, 2019

Across The Atlantic in 1944

A letter from Dick Nevard to his brother Bill in August of 1944.
                                                                                                               Private Nevard, R. A.
                                                                                                               Canadian Army Overseas           
Dear Bill:
Well the unexpected has happened and I'm on the high seas bound for the land of your birth I guess. I think from now on I'll give up trying  to predict the future. That stiff medical at Debert never materialized. I guess that 2 or 3 weeks before you get the letter you and dad will get a telegram to say that I have arrived overseas safely.
I expected to be quarantined on the sheep for a week or two because Lambier broke out with measles yesterday. But we have heard nothing so I guess nothing will be done.
Next day. Lambier's measles turned out to be something else so don't worry. I won't catch measles.
Our beds are 3 tiers high. They are of canvas stretched across an iron frame and I find them comfortable. The berth we are was reserved for corporals but when the corporals arrived they turned out to be privates. So in that manner we got better beds than some of the officers.
We only get two meals a day but they are pretty fair meals. We can buy chocolate bars and oranges quite cheap here on  board ship. Oranges are 7 for 25 cents so we have nothing to kick about. We wear life preservers as a safety measure although there is no danger.
Well I have landed overseas and am quite ok. I had no sea-sickness. I am in a camp but not allowed to say where. We were told that we would get no leaves so there are no prospects of seeing our relations in England for a while. I will write to Aunt Louie and tell her I am in the land of your birth.
The countryside was pretty and I admired everything. We would wave to men standing near the tracks and they would give us the thumbs up.
I got a five dollar bill changed into English money and got a one pound note and a florin and a penny. We have quite a time talking about and figuring out the English money. Lambier I think is good at but I think he got kind of annoyed because the boys kept coming over to him this afternoon when he wanted to sleep and asked him how much was such and such an amount until he got sick of it. Still I don't think it will take long to get used to once one forgets about Canadian money.
I was not going to send a telegram but then they said that letters get there just as fast sometimes so I thought I would write instead. The quickest way is by airgraph but I couldn't get any forms.
I sent my iron home because the current is different over here and so it would not be any use.
I think I'll like it over here because I will feel I am doing my part in a more necessary spot than back in the army in Canada.
The meals are good and they are better prepared than most camps that I have been in Canada. We had mutton and what do you think? We had peanut butter and that is something I have never had in Canada. I hear that we can buy chocolate bars, two at a time for 3 penny which is as cheap as in Canada.
Well everything is alright so don't worry. My letter will not be so long as usual because in the interests of security we must not mention anything about what we are doing. Just our personal life.
I wrote about six letters on the voyage so I am well up with my correspondence. I just have to finish them off and post them.
                                                                                                         Your loving brother, Dick

He did get to visit the English relatives eventually.


  1. It's a blessing you have these letters. I hope you have younger family members who are interested in such things. I don't and it makes me sad to see the lack of interest..

  2. Yes, they are a real treasure. I might have a few family members interested at present. Might be more as time passes. I figure if they are preserved here on the internet they will be around for future generations long after the letters have disappeared.

  3. Thanks Ralph, Penny was very pleased to read this. She will keep a copy. Bob

    1. Thats great Bob. I will try to get a few more transcribed. There are stacks of letters.


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