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July 6, 1916

Dear Mother & Father,

Well I hope you got my other letter. We are pretty busy at present getting things together. As far as we know we leave at the beginning of next week. We are all ready. All we have to do is move out. Rifles and everything are packed.

It is a beautiful night though today has been very hot. I was in for a good swim. Do not be annoyed but I have my hair clipped off. It looks all right and is coming in thick but not bristly. I had to have it cut off as Crisp said if I did he would and I promised but when I saw the mess he was, I almost backed down. Most of the others are getting theirs cut.

I have to wear a hat all the time.

I got my 2nd inoculations yesterday noon and it is more severe than the 1st one. I have to get vaccinated tomorrow or the next day.

Well I hope all things are all right at home.

Mother - if you have my photos yet send me one of each and do not give Emma one I will send it. If you please.

Well I guess I will say goodnight.

Your Loving Son,


P.S. I will express this chair and table Monday. I will telephone soon. Well Goodnight.


This is the first letter that I have access to, but as he mentions above it's obviously not the first letter he sent home. Nevertheless, this is where the story will start. At this point he is still on Canadian soil, presumably at a barracks with the rest of the 93rd Battalion. Military history is somewhat new to me but I expect to learn a lot in the next couple of months about it.

* As per Nathen Moore, this letter was most likely written from Barriefield Camp, which is situated just outside of Kingston.

As you can tell, there isn't anything overly exciting happening at this time, but I find it fascinating the things that he finds noteworthy to write home about before going off to war (getting his hair cut for example). He seems somewhat excited to get going to Europe.

You will see that I have a word enclosed in a []. I have done that because I couldn't properly decipher the text. I hope that people reading it might be able to help in some of these situations. The word that I am struggling with will be added below. In this context I believe it is a name of someone, a friend presumably, but I can't make it out and "Crish" is all I could come up with, which makes no sense.

* After having this posted a couple of readers, Eric Edwards and Nathen Moore, pointed out the word is Crisp, as in Lieutenant Richard Phylis A. Crisp, who was a fellow officer with Vincent in the 93rd.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this. As the letters go on I will get better at the transcribing, writing, blogging, etc. and the website will definitely improve as well. Below I have attached his Officers Declaration Paper which I found on the following site, along with some other information on my Great-Grandfather. The declaration is dated April 6, 1916.

Any suggestions or comments on the blog are welcome! As I said I hope they will improve in the future.

Thank you,

Michael Ritchie


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