Earl made several references during his time overseas to the war being over and the boys returning to Canada. As the years dragged on you can sense Earl's desperation and desire for the war to end. The excitement that accompanied the young naïve Earl soon disappeared as he was facing the tragedies of the war.
Quotes and Letters
Oct 25, 1916, p.1
"Well Mother you don't need to worry about Harold or me. Harold's wound is allright again. He is playing up sick. So as to keep away from France. I think it is about time he is starting some of that work. Maybe he will be home for Christmas. But don't look for me home this Christmas. I will have to go to France before I get home."
In his November 19, 1916 p.1 letter to his sister Pauline he writes
"I wish I was home burning brush piles up in the bush with you. But I will do my bit before I think of going home. Fritzie's men will have to go some to be me."
Dec 19, 1916 Earl writes
" Peace is all the talk over here. And I don't care how soon it comes some of our lads have been wounded already in France."
Apr 7, 1917, Somewhere in France
"It is raining and hailing so I stay in and write a few letters. I am away behind in writing. This is Good Friday and still the war goes on as ever." …"If the war is over before next fall Clarence & Luke are going North with the King hunters."…" I have a 56 Franc bet with C. Bowley about when this war will end. I don't know if I will win or not."
Oct 29, 1917 letter to Mother refers to war being over.
"My Dear Mother,... p. 2 Our bombarding is something awful. I would not want to be on the other side of it. Fritzie side. Had a letter from Jean Burns the other night. She said Jim & Wib were marked A.1. Poor chaps I wonder if they will ever get over this far. Let us hope not any way. I had a bet with Clarence Bowhey about when this war would end. He bet me last Spring that it would be over by the 1st of Nov. this year. I bet him it would'nt. So you see I have only two more days to wait for my fifty Francs. I was wishing all summer that I would lose it tho"
Dec 17, 1917 Rest Camp, France letter to Pauline writing about when he thought the war would be over.
I feel allright except my nerves are gone. I will try for my discharge next spring, ha-ha. I guess I'll get it allright. I think this war will be over by the 1st of July 1918. I don't see how it can last any longer. The Americans will give them something some of these times.
Jul 2, 1918 letter to Merelda from Earl
p.3 "I smell a rough time in France soon again. The Yanks are going to end it by this fall. Hope so anyway because there is no one feed up on this more than I am."
Dec 3, 1918, R.R. No. 1 King letter to Earl from Annie Sturdy. Mentions Hazel not sure who Earl married.
"Dear Earl: I received your letter of Nov. 5 a few days ago. It was written just about a wk before the armistice was signed. My that is surely the greatest news the world has ever had. You seemed to know you had your job nearly finished too, eh? Well, we didn't here. I bet you would hardly be able to control yourself. By the way how did you sleep when the noise had ceased? We have just heard Harry Bovair is expected home anyday now. I wonder if he'd rather be here or over there 'now'. They say that hear and Art met in Eng. Art was drafter you know."
… Annie S.
Dec 4, 1918 letter to Merelda from Earl. Reference on p. 3 to war being over.
p.3 ... "Pauline was saying the night they heard the War was over. The guys with their legs chopped off were climbing the telephone poles in Toronto. Lucky the live wires hang high in the air or they might try skinning the cat on them. I'll not forget the day in this country when all the Guns ceased that noise of theirs. I turned umpteen hand springs in the air before I hit the earth. That's something all can't do, ha-ha. Well this is the 6th move I'll make sure I'll finish the letter this time. I have not started for home yet. But the time is soon now. I see by the English papers that some of the Canucks are on the way for home. Gosh I wish they would hurry up and put me on a boat for that good old Country called Canada."