We’re a bit late in our Letter of the Past for November, which should have been posted on November 2. However, we have a special treat for our readers to make up for it.
Today we encounter a letter from Alwyn Bramley-Moore to his daughter Dorothy. Bramley-Moore was born in England, but by the time of the Great War he was an Edmontonian, having homesteaded and even been elected to the Provincial Parliament of Alberta (now called the Legislative Assembly)!
Despite his obvious education and regard, he joined the army in 1914 as a Private, not as an officer. More importantly for us, his copious letters home to his beloved children survived and were published by the Historical Society of Alberta in an edited form by Edmonton historian Ken Tingley, to whom we are indebted.
26 Russel Square
I have just got one more day to stay here and then we are off to our camp in Essex where we will drill until we are fit to send off against the Germans. We will live in what they call “huts,” but they must be large ones as 30 of us sleep in each hut. I have done a lot of marching but not much drilling yet.
You can write to this address now:
179 No. 4 Company
179 is my regimental number. I suppose it is starting to get cold with you. Tell your Mother that I want to know as soon as she starts getting the “separation allowance,” and if there is any delay I can fix things up. The Government pays a “little” something for all of you children except Alfred; he is supposed to be big enough to get along without me!
I hope you children are able to play games without quarreling. I got Eva to post off four books to Alfred and William. You should try to get somebody to read “Before Adam” aloud, as it is a story which I am sure you would all enjoy.
I heard that Laura was 5th in her class, and I thought she stayed behind when the others were moved up. I shall expect you all to be very clever and learned when I got back. I haven’t seen or heard of Mr. Johnson. It is too far to go where they are camped, tho’ I believe some of them are over in Europe.
With love to all
From your affectionate father
Rather than discussing Mr. Bramley-Moore in detail, we instead happily direct you to our YouTube channel, where we will shortly be airing our original film, Give My Regard to the Ducks: The Wartime Letters of Alwyn Bramley-Moore.
‘Ducks’ was filmed on location at Fort Edmonton Park in 2009 with the help of a Communities Initiative Program grant. Explore the topic at Fort Edmonton Park in the summertime to meet with our interpreter portraying a soldier (pictured), or book our outreach program Lest We Forget.
More information about Fort Edmonton Park and our public & pre-booked Great War programming may be found on our website.