Archive Finding Aids

Here are detailed file-by-file descriptions of the contents of specific fonds and/or links to scanned documents.

Vimy Memorial Poster
Vimy Memorial poster: The Torch, Be Yours to Hold it High!

First World War letters at Glenbow

Read and see original First World War letters written by Western Canadians who served overseas during the Great War, and those who stayed behind.

Choose from the following, and take the links to the letters:

Sidney and Isabelle Brook

Sidney signed up in June 1916 and trained at Sarcee Army Camp in Calgary before serving overseas, where he was wounded on the front lines of France. He left behind his wife Isabelle, then pregnant, to take care of the farm and four young children.

Scanned Document Sidney's letters
Scanned Document Isabelle's letters

Raymond and Aubrey Bell

Brothers Raymond and Aubrey Bell both served overseas during the Great War but only one returned. Aubrey was reported missing in action in June of 1917, and subsequently declared dead, while survivor Raymond returned home and took over the family farm.

Scanned Document Raymond's and Aubrey's letters

Harold McGill

Dr. Harold McGill served with the 5th Canadian Field Ambulance on the front lines of France. He corresponded with Nurse Emma Griffis of Calgary, who was soon stationed at a military hospital in England. Their correspondence began with friendship and progressed to love and their 1917 overseas war wedding.

Scanned Document Harold McGill's letters

George Lamb

George Lamb joined the Canadian Expedition Force in 1916, soon after becoming engaged. He served in France with the Motor Machine Gun Brigade. He was killed in action in March 1918 and never returned home to his family or fiancee Cassie.

Scanned Document George Lamb's letters

Theodora Paynter

Theodora Paynter, a Manitoba nurse, served at the No.4 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station in France. She corresponded with several soldiers she had "patched up", after they returned to the front lines. After the war she married William McKay, another of her wartime patients.

Scanned Document Letters to Theodora Paynter

Thomas Tweed

Thomas Tweed signed up in 1916 and served overseas as a Captain in the 50th Battalion CEF, leaving behind his young family. He was killed on a French battlefield and buried by a comrade in August 1918.

Scanned Document Thomas Tweed's letters

Alne and Willie Cameron

Brothers Alne and Willie Cameron served in the First World War and wrote regular letters to their sister Bella in London, England. Both survived the war and then took up new lives in the Canadian west.

Scanned Document Alne's and Willie's letters

Murray McQueen

Murray McQueen enlisted in April 1916 and wanted to get to the front lines as soon as he could. He was wounded at the Somme, later gassed by the Germans, and finally killed in action on September 30, 1918.

Scanned Document Murray McQueen's letters

Jessie Brecken

As a young married couple, Paul and Jessie Brecken settled in Calgary before the war. When her husband enlisted, Jessie moved back to her parents' home in Toronto. She carefully numbered her letters to Paul, so that he would know when the mail failed to survive the Atlantic crossing.

Scanned Document Jessie Brecken's letters

Harry Howell

Harrry Howell, a Calgary sign maker, enlisted in November of 1914 and served in France with the 4th Canadian Field Ambulance. He used his artistic talent to document the daily life of the men serving with him in a series of sketches.

Scanned Document Harry Howell's sketches

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