Lawrence Pridham’s last letter written in Canada to his Uncle Will, sent from the newly created Canp Borden.
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116 Bn Borden
Dear Old Unk Bill,
Excuse my frivolous commencement but on the eve of adventure we always feel more or less paly.
I am surely grateful for the pcl [parcel], it could not have been better for a solider on route. Everything was just what I needed and the watch I shall take great pride in as I had no timepiece and because of its sender, the only way I can express my thanks and feelings is to say that they are from a soldier leaving for better or worse, and he is always touched by gifts of those that are near to him.
Well its a shame that the papers print so much news sometimes you never want to believe them till after the actual happening. The last orders now is for Tuesday on a account of the 147 going away and leaving things in a mess which up to now has put us back just 24 hours. Now as for going away without seeing Toronto is not a very safe bet, as the men are very riled over the idea and everything is being done to go to Toronto; so don’t call it a fact till we have gone past. If we go through Toronto I shall be disappointed if I do not see you all.
I received Grandma’s letter and felt awful bad at not being able to go, and I have asked Mary to write to her so I’m afraid of her breaking down and I want you to thank her for me in just the same way as if you had received the gift your self and know my feelings and yours towards Grandma are the same. To tell the truth, I was going right through Toronto and to Weston to see you all but the sudden warning and the very short last leave left me in a quandary as my first duty was home. And it took me longer to go home than the Bn as they would not stop at my station and I had to go to Bolton and wait for the late train to take me home.
I would also have enjoyed marching down Yonge street with the Bn.
I will write Grandma after we get started and tell her all about our trip.
Well I have just received pretty good and definite news in the last minute while writing that we are leaving about 3:30 Tuesday and will be in North Toronto about 2 hours or more later. That’s from Col Mitchell and if you see him, don’t tell him I told you as it is given to me in confidence.
The camp is all topsy turvey, all the big tents are down, are we eat outside, the men have been working all day cleaning up and packing tents off to the Ordnance Stores.
Well I’m pretty tired tonight 9:00pm after the day’s busyness. We also had to strap up our new harness. It sure is some load when you get all your junk packed on your back.
You remember Ray [or Roy] Evans, well his brother Horace came back as a recruit when we returned from our last leave and he is in our company so I will have to look after him. The last time I saw him was 4 years ago in Wpg [Winnipeg]. You will of course excuse my writing as I can boast of better when on a table.
Well I’m almost lost for words and I’m yawning quite capaciously.
I hope that the train passes Tottenham so I can get one last look at the dear ones, I know Mary feels it terribly.
Yes, confound the Blinkety Blank was war every time I think of those rotten Germans taking me from my home. I hate them worse and would like to practice Bayonet fighting on 1/2 doz or more to relieve myself.
Well I must write a few letters to my sweetheart and tell her that I am not going till Tuesday, so that she won’t disappoint me when we pass.
Give my regards to all my friends with love to Weston and 226 hoping that I may see you all before we go.
I am yours very sincerely
PS – Please accept once more my sincere thanks and appreciation of a solider’s parting gift.
- 27 September 1916 (Base Borden)
- 30 September 1916 (Tottenham)
- 07 October 1916 (Base Borden)
- 14 January 1917 (London)
- 15 February 1917 (France)
- 27 March 1917 (France)
- 5 July 1917 (France)
- 23 September 1917 (France)
- 31 January 1918 (France)
- 1 February 1918 (most likely from France)
- 21 April 1918 (France)
- 11 July 1918 (France)