Letters from the war
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Audio recording of Dr. Stephen Davies' February 2002 presentation to the Nanaimo Historical Society about the Canadian Letters and Images Project. Davies, a history professor and director of the project at Malaspina University-College, introduces the project and explains how through the digitization and the creation of an online archive of Canadian war letters and other related materials, important records are now accessible to all Canadians. In his presentation, Davies reads from several letters in the collection, and he particularly focuses on how war correspondence maintained relationships between soldiers at the battlefront and loved ones on the homefront. To demonstrate this, Davies shares details about the experience during the First World War of two Canadian couples: Alice and Arthur Leighton from Nanaimo, and Murray Dennis and Margaret Munro of Stratford, Ontario. Davies talks about how letters were censored, and how many soldiers writing home often adopted a stoic, or even humorous tone. He reflects on the particularly poignant letters between fathers and children, and also speaks to how condolence letters can show how Canadians dealt with loss.