The Earl Campbell Story - A special story: Earl's Black Sweater
In the fall of 1917 Earl asks his mother to send him one of the comforts that reminds him of home- his 'dutch-belted black sweater'. His request continues over a number of letters starting in September of 1917 until finally 6 months later on March 9, 1918 the coveted sweater arrives in a box. The importance of the sweater becomes apparent as in a letter dated May 13, 1919 Earl writes: I'll never forget that foot-ball match I played at Kettleby in July 1916. My Black sweater was like a rag that had been in a river for a year. The very same black sweater that he requested is sent to him.
Sep 25, 1917
, Belgium letter to Pauline – reference to Mother sending his black sweater.
"I wish Mother would send me my sweater the Dutch Belter one. That is if the war keep on for this winter. There won't be many Fritzies left next spring. Be a good girl and write soon. And tell the rest to. Have not heard from Mother for 6 months, ha,ha. Au Revoir, Bro Earl.
Did Merelda get the post card I sent her the one with the five brave soldiers on ha-ha."
Oct 9, 1917
letter to Merelda
"Dear Merelda, p.2 … It will be looking like fall in Canada now. The mornings over here are quite chilly and towards night it starts and get cold. It makes me think of the mornings I use to go hunting at home. I will be glad when I get my Black Sweater to wear over here."
Oct 25, 1917
, letter to Sister Merelda,
p.2 Earl asks again about Mother sending him his Black sweater.
Has Mother sent me my dutch-belter sweater yet. And the main thing some doe. (money). I expect to get 10 days leave this winter and I will need it up in Scotland & Ireland where I intend to go. I have not received the box you packed me yet. The one with the jar of honey in. And the gum Alex Walker sent me. I might have it by to-morrow night tho. Merelda, I'll have to close now the candle spilt allover my pad. And I am talking backwards. So take care of yourself. Hope all are well will write girls soon. Your Bro. Earl'
Oct 29, 1917
... once again Earl asks his Mother for his black sweater
Have you sent my black sweater yet. It will be a dandy one for this winter. I missed it last winter for it was very cold over here at times. I guess this war will hang on this winter allright. But I don't see how the Germans can stand it. Our bombarding is something awful. I would not want to be on the other side of it. Fritzie side.
Nov 8, 1917
, letter to Pauline
Has Mother sent my black sweater yet? I will bring it back with me all right.
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