Letter from Ernest Tansley to his brother Albert



Letter from Ernest Tansley to his brother Albert


Settling into new location after arriving safely in Canada. Catches up with family news and talks a little of his activities. Comments on lack of blackout compared to home and writes of hospitable local people. Mentions arrival of snow and how well the locals manage to drive in the conditions. Concludes by saying he would have a lot to tell him when they met next.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter and envelope


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[censor sticker] EXAMINER 6896 [postmark] [postage stamp]

[deleted] H.M.S. CHASSE MARIE. [/deleted]
[deleted] TRAWLER BASE [/deleted] 43 Hanover Place
[deleted] PORTSMOUTH [/deleted] [indecipherable word] S [missing letters]
[underlined] ENGLAND [/underlined] London W. [missing letters]

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[censor sticker] P.C.90 OPENED BY

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[canadian ymca logo] “And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One (Dickens Christmas Carols)

No2. WING. No31. P.D.

Dec. 11th. 1941.

[underlined] Dear Albert. [/underlined]

Sorry I havn’t [sic] written before but as you know it takes quite a few days to settle down in a new place, and you can probably guess how new and interesting everything is here. I sent a cable to Rene and have had a reply. Its great to know you can still maintain fairly speedy contact with the folks at home.

I guess it relieved her immensely too to know I had arrived safely here, although there is no need for people to worry about me, I am like the bad penny always turning up. Anyway there is no need for further concern, about my welfare, as I am now in a safe place far from all danger.

I joined for a bit of excitement and instead of that get transplanted thousands of miles away from all trouble and strife, into

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a land of peace and abundance; join the R.A.F. and dodge the war. Well how are you keeping, still keeping the sea lanes clear; you are doing a real job of work.

How is Dolly and Mr. & Mrs Shaw, I hope they are all well. We had a fairly rough crossing; I did not mind that though, but the conditions on the ship were awful; troops sleeping in every nook and cranny; I slept in the lifebelt racks, for preference; I had some fresh air anyway. Still one soon forgets those things, an I am accommodating myself to the new conditions here now. Seemed strange going back to the same old place for embarkation. They would not let me get away to see the chaps there; but just as we were casting off, I caught sight of Gunner Main, and we managed to exchange a few words of greeting.

It seems strange after nearly two years of blackout to come here and see everything so brilliantly lit, gaily decorated shops, cluttered with things we have not seen for many, many months. Its a grand country and the people are very hospitable -

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we get numerous invitations to spend the evenings with the local people - but it is not like home, and being with the folks who are near and dear to me.

It does not seem fair that I should have all these opportunities, to enjoy myself, while all you people at home live in such dull and dreary surrounding’s, with nothing to look forward to, living from day to day; I wonder when it will all be over, when we can live sane happy lives again.

The snow has commenced to fall here, not much at the moment, just a mere couple of feet deep, with four or five feet drifts; but it will come down in earnest very shortly.

Its a marvel how they drive their cars on these roads, if it was England they would put them by for the winter. I shall not be here much longer, in fact long before, you get this I shall be in the States, basking in the sunshine. I am afraid I shall be here very much longer than I anticipated, still I may be home for Xmas 1942, that’s if I last the course, which seems to be a

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pretty tough job out here.

I have not told you much about the place, but shall have such a lot to tell you when next I see you won’t I?

Well take care of yourself Albert and the very best of luck. Fondest wishes [underlined] Ernie. [/underlined]



E H Tansley, “Letter from Ernest Tansley to his brother Albert ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 24, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/28497.

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