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Letter From G.F. Morrison, Undated

39 Franklin ave

Saranac Lake


Dear Mr. Eastwood:

I received your letter a few days ago and am only too please to tell you that the last I saw of Vincent was in the Vimy Ridge fight and he was doing the same splendid work that he has always done since joining my Battalion.

His award of the M.C. was never given to any officer for more brilliant and conscientious work.

If I may be permitted to say so he is a son that any man should be extremely proud. I was so pleased to recommend him for his valour.

I should be so pleased to go down and see you but I am not as yet recovered from my operation and came on here from Toronto as soon as I could of to see my wife and small daughter who have a summer home here

I trust that you will excuse pencil but I find I can use it better than a pen at present.

May I thank you for your letter and invitation and at the same time express the sincere wish that Vincent may be returned to you in good health, having won many more decorations. If he is still to go on at his present rate I know this will be the case.

I expect to return to France in a couple of months and when I return to Toronto I should be very pleased indeed to meet you.

Yours sincerely,

GF Morrison



This letter was a gem that I have had at the back of the book of letters, in which I didn't fully understand how important a man wrote it to the 18th Battalion. Lt.-Col. Gordon Fraser Morrison was the Commanding Officer of the 18th Battalion from September 1916 until April 1917, after Vimy Ridge. As he says in his letter, he is at his summer home with his wife and daughter in Saranac Lake, New York. He would have been back in North America following leave that was prescribed to him after having an operation for appendicitis (which is shown within his files). This letter, I would presume, was written somewhere between June 4 and August 4, 1917, which was the date of his initial leave. This then was extended to October 1, 1917, but I believe, from his file, that he never did make it back over to the war.

Thankfully his letter was very easy to read, and contained some very interesting information and great praise for Vincent. Obviously Vincent Eastwood Sr. had sent a letter to Morrison, probably knowing that he had been sent home on medical leave, inviting him over for a chat, and obviously checking up on how his son was doing over in the foreign fields.

All in all I think this is a very interesting letter that shows what a superior officer thought about Vincent and his time in the army. Though it might be a little bit exaggerated because he is talking to the mans father, I think the fact that he wrote such a letter back means that he must have had a generous notion of Vincent from his time in the Battalion.

If you want to see the write up that is on the 18th Battalions War Diary page on Morrison it is here. If you would like to know more about Saranac Lake where Morrison was staying you can see that here. The letter will be posted below as well as the page from Morrison's file talking about his medical leaves.

Lt. Col. Gordon Fraser Morrison Injury Report

As always, thank you for reading and feel free to share and use this as you see fit (give me a bit of credit though please!)

Michael Ritchie


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