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Friday, May 24, 2024
The Mothers' Protective League was a group of Black women from Windsor who
sent correspondence and care packages to local Black servicemen who were
stationed all over the world. They communicated with soldiers in Canada and the U.S., France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, and even New Guinea and the Philippines. Their care packages helped to brighten the spirits of young service men and women. The following are excerpts from letters sent to the Mothers' Protective League from service personnel abroad. They provide a touching reminder of the era.
A letter from Pte. Eddie R. Pryor to Mrs. Ethel Irene Christian and Winifred Christian (later Shreve), March 28, 1945 from "somewhere in Germany"

"I hear all the news by a roundabout sort of way. We've been having quite a
time. We've been in so many countries we just call it all Europe now.... I wish
I could tell you about all I've seen. If I could, I could send you an interesting letter, but you know the censors.... The weather over here reminds me of Colchester almost."

A letter from Cpl. E. Richards to Mrs. Ethel Irene Christian mailed from Holland, March 7, 1945

"I received your welcome Easter card a few days ago, and I hope each and
every one of you back there in Windsor enjoyed it to the fullest. It's not every
day, a soldier on the front lines gets a chance to write a letter, or know what
day it is, except Xmas or New Years because all the days seem the same, and
seasons' cards of various days bring back memories of our younger days, which
sort of take our minds off the war for a second or so....So you see it's the little things that count as well as the extraordinary big things; they all have their place.... I want to thank you and the little committee for the goodness they are doing, it's certainly a splendid idea, making us laddies feel that we aren't forgot about at home."

Pte. C.L. Thompson, Essex Scottish Regiment, Canadian Army
A letter from Pte. C.L. Thompson to Mrs. Genevieve Allen of the War Mothers' Protective League mailed Nov. 30, 1944.

"I am at present somewhere in Holland along the front lines. Holland itself is very quaint in every respect. Very much like the story books you no doubt have read. Dykes, windmills, and people wearing wooden shoes. Incidentally wooden shoes are very difficult to wear, as I have tried them."

A letter from Pte. Herman Jacobs, who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, to Mrs. Ethel Irene Christian (nee Dunn) mailed May 3, 1945 from "somewhere in Germany."

"The winter around Verdun was beautiful in France, just like a picture in an art gallery. The seasons change very slow over here and Mother Nature shows all her beauty in colour. It was hard and cold but it was all over by the last of January .... Easter Sunday I went to mass in a little French village near our camp. I didn't know what the priest was saying, but I was there."

(Excerpts appear courtesy of Irene Moore.)
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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


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