The Earl Campbell Story - Life in King during the war
Throughout his letter writing Earl made many references to life in King Township. It was a way of him feeling connected to his family and King including references to Col. Pellatt's and Walter Rolling
Oct 24, 1916
"Has Arch finished ploughing yet. It will be busy shining his traps up getting them in good working order. There is a large deer farm about half a mile from Camp, just like the deer Col Pellatt has.
Nov 19, 1916
Earl writes from Witley Camp
, Surrey, England to his 14 year old sister Floss:
"I was glad to hear from you. It is the first letter you wrote to me since I came over. I was just thinking of going over and see how you were. I will keep the Honour Roll you sent me in my picket all the time. I think it is great. I guess you are not laying behind the stove after all. Kinghorn School should be proud for what it has done."
Jan 4, 1917
, p. 4 Earl writes:
"You must have had a wild time that night of anniversary at Laskay. That Crooks is some guy allright. I wonder who he is after you or Annie. Vic and Ike are a good team for Pauline and Floss. They will soon be as bad as you are for getting fellows. I hear Chubby has bought Al Wells farm. I wonder who he is going to get as a chicken"
Jan 14, 1917
, p.3 from Somewhere in France Earl ponders on what is happening at home:
"I suppose Dad and Arch will be hunting these days. Or are they to busy feeding the cattle. Some of these days I am going to load the rifle and take a walk up the line looking for game."
Apr 13, 1917
, p.2 Somewhere in France:
"So the Bakers are moving away, by gosh it will be lonesome for me when I get back. I'll have no place to go at nights, ha-ha. And I am darn sure I will not to near Old Blake's. I hope that shell shocked old house of Burn's is there when I get back. I'll get Jean to help me to make a new one of it. I could love it quite well because I am use to them kind here."
Jun 16, 1917, p.2
"So conscription is in Canada now. Well we need men allright. But I think it will be soon be won, which we are all looking for".
Jul 2, 1917
p.3 "Are you real sure that Burns are building a new house."
, Belgium, letter to Mother
"I am feeling fine working on the track every day. We are having great weather. Suppose Dad & Arch will be at the haying now. Is it a good crop this year. I wish I was home to help to draw it in. Supose you heard of Harold Boys being wounded in the arm. It is not bad. He is with us here so you see he did not have to go to the Hospital."
Jul 24, 1917
, No. 6. C.C. France
" How is Harold getting along. Has he been out home lately. He knows the place well where I was wounded" "How is Dad & Arch getting along with the harvest. How many load of hay had we this year."
Jul 26, 1917
, Can. Base, France
Jul 28, 1917
"How are you and Dad getting along harvesting? Are the crops good. Did you have much fall wheat? How are things down around Finch's way. You have started to take a short cut home from League that way so I hear. I don't know tho. Did L.Scott chase you away from his place. And I guess Tom Lawson has a fierce dog, eh. When you and Harold get out together I guess you make things fly. The French girls are tre-bon over here. But them Belgies are no bon."
, No.7, Canadian Gen. Hospital, France
Aug 1, 1917
p.2 " I wrote Arch the other day. Did he get it. I wonder if he will be ready to go hunting with me when I get back. Supose you will be behind the trip rope again by now. Floss will be watching the hens from going in the barn from up that Black Cherry tree behind the barn. Is Buster very big now, He was only the size of a kitten when I saw him last week. You & Floss better keep away from Aurora when you don't know how to behave yourselves. News flys through the wind over here."
, No.7, Canadian Gen Hospital, France
Aug 15, 1917
How is Harold feeling now. He told me he was going to join Caromga Army or Uncle Sams But I guess he is a wise head now. Arch is the wise one, hope he keeps that way. How is Colin's little baby. I forget if it is a boy or girl. I must write to him some of these days. I owe Ella a souviner also. Did Merle get hers. I sent a bunch of them home some time ago. And told you to send one on to Merle. Did you get the, one for Merelda, Pauline & Floss & Merle. Has Ruth come home yet. The Sisters here are nearly all from Winnipeg and Brandon.
, Canadian Base, France
"Dear Arch, you all will be getting lots of mail from me now. I write home quite often I know. Jim Gillis will be cursing I bet. I am still at the Base. There are quite a number of the 2nd C.R.T. here waiting to be sent up the line again. Talk was going around here last night that we were to go into a Infantry draft. But I think it is all Bull. They won't get this lad into it. Anyway I am not fit couldn't carry a pack ha-ha. I hear that No. 1 Construction is down where we are. So I will see Old Wallie & Paddy, Sid and them when I get back. It seems like two years since I left them Kelly is still here. He is going up the line next week. He said yesterday whenever I write home again to tell Dad he wish he was back at King playing cards in Armstrong's Hotel. He is Corp now. But never wears the stripes. He says he has'nt time to put the stripes up. Supose you will be done with the harvest. There are great crops around here. But the heavy rain has ruined al lot of it.
p.3 "Carney is in England yet. Best place for him to. Well Arch, how is the Finch family or did Hiram buy you back again."
Aug 25, 1917
"Dear Pauline …How are you getting along with the potato bugs. No bon of a job, eh. Floss will be busy with the apples to help you. So she pass the exam allright, well done for her. She must had got down to business this last year. I was'nt there to do her work for her I see. Homework I mean. How is Arch getting along haying does he make hay while the sunshines or does he set down in the shad and smoke while it shines. Dad will be wishing the bees would swarm oftener while it is haying time. We have had it awful windy these last two days. Sometimes the wind will take your steel helmet off. Have you been down to the Exhibition this year: I thot I would be home to go to it this year. But I'll make it next year anyway. Well Pauline I will close for this time. I wrote to Merelda not long ago. Write soon. With love to all. Your Bro Earl
Aug 27, 1917
, Belgium, B.Coy, 2nd C.R.T. B.E.F written from a dugout.
"Dear Merelda ...
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p.2 Have you been to the Exhibition yet? I guess it will not amount to much this year. I wrote to Miss Nelson And also wrote to Harold addressing his to Nelson's place. I have not written to May yet. I have forgotten her address. I have not heard from her since I 've been sounded. I should write to Bertha Ireland, But by gosh I have so many to write to of more importants. She will have to waite for a day or two. Tell Mother that chewing baccy was jake. Only thing it did not last very long. And that camphor is the stuff to knock them head over heels. I got rid of the brutes while in Hospital. But have plenty now tho. I think I'll make a desert some of these nights with them, ha-ha. Call it Pork & Beans. I am glad that the King football team is Champions again. I hear Arch is a whirl wind at it now. Guess Susie Kerr learns him a few good pointers at it. Well I will close now. Wishing all the best of healty. Your loving Bro. Earl."
"p.s. What time did you make the 100 yds in . at Walton's picnic. Did Mother get the Cushion I sent he from the Base."