17th Lancashire Fusiliers B.E.F.

Dear Mother

Don’t get alarmed if you have heard from the War Office that I have been wounded again. I have been hit but not bad, only in the fleshy part of the right shoulder, I shall soon be out of the hospital again.

I was in the great fight & it was glamorous in a way will tell you all about it when I get back.

Give my love to all, I can’t write much, but don’t worry all will be well. God is good & I trust he will bring me through alright.

Your loving

Source: Lester Barbour fonds, 1.02.001 Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL


April 2nd/18

Dear Sibbie:-

It is with regret that we hear of the death of your dear Brother Lester, I can imagine how you felt when the sad news reached you. We heard it but we thought perhaps there might be some mistake somewhere, we could not believe it was your poor Brother. Lill came over too after tea to tell us poor Lill cried it made me cry too Sibbie, as I said I never met him but my heart ached for him, it made us all feel sad. We would all like to be near you at this present time, Mother says she would give anything to see you. We all feel for you Sibbie we are not forgetting you, we are with you in your trouble. How long will this War last God alone know when we look back and see how many broken hearts, how many vacant chairs, how many innocent lives destroyed this war have caused. We ask ourselves how can God let such things go on. Sometime we’ll understand. It remind me of the hymn which says.

Not now but in the better land coming years
            It may be in the better land,
We’ll read the meaning of our tears,
            And then sometime we’ll understand.

God knows the way he holds the hey,
            He guides us with unnerving hand,
Sometime with tearless eyes we’ll see,
            Yes there, up there, we’ll understand.

There seems to be such a gloom over everything. It is true we do not know what a day is going to bring forth do we. If this war was only over how nice it would be I only wish your poor brother had lived to see it over.

Write me Sibbie as soon as you are able to do so and let us know how you are, as we cannot hear from you the same as if we were living near you. All we can do is to look to God who is able to bind up the broken heart. He alone can help us!

All join with me in sending their heart felt sympathy to you and your poor mother in the hour of your bereavement.

Good night Sibbie

Source: Lester Barbour fonds, 1.03.003 Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL


Mar 4th [1918]

Dear Mother,

I forgot to mention about the dream I had the night before I got your letter telling me about your dream. I may say that I dreamt that I too was home, and was in khaki, but it was all dirty, and I wanted to put on my civilian clothes. So you went and got my brown clothes for me to put on, and when I got it, it was all dusty, and you told me not to let Wilhelmina know it, as she had charge of the clothes. I thought that I was upstairs and as I looked down stairs, behold I saw people and they were all dressed up, and they were spreading the tables with so much nice stuff, and flowers and everything that you could think of, and I said to myself, surely gracious this is not for me, there must be a wedding going on, but at the time you came along, and you said, this is all for you my son, and I was so glad that I awoke, and that very same day I had a letter from you telling me about your dream. Is it not strange that we should dream such dreams.

Good night
Dear mother
Sweet dreams
Your loving son

I suppose all the young folk are enjoying themselves at teas.

[along the left side]
I had a letter from Will today. I see that he has got to England O.K. Tell Uncle Jim that he is pretty well and that he says that he hasn’t heard from home since he reached England.

Source: Lester Barbour fonds, 1.03.003 Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL

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