Between 1916 and 1918, Lance-Corporal George Timmins, a British-born soldier who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, wrote faithfully to his wife, May, and three children back home in Oshawa. Sixty-three letters and four fragments survived.
These letters tell the compelling story of a man who, while helping his fellow Canadians make history at Vimy, Lens, Passchendaele, and Amiens, used letters home to remain a presence in the lives of his wife and children, and who drew strength from his family to appreciate life's simple pleasures, when they were afforded. A quiet heroism and the enduring values of the everyday underpin this ordinary soldier's arresting descriptions of the brotherhood of the trenches and activities behind the lines in Belgium and France.
The letters in Kiss the kids for dad, Don't forget to write, transcribed and annotated by Y.A. Bennett, offer a rare glimpse into the experiences and relationships, at home and abroad, of a Canadian infantryman, and illuminate themes such as identity, authority, gender, and community that have become central to the way we understand our nation's past. It will appeal to anyone interested in Canadian social and military history or how ordinary soldiers experienced and survived the Western Front.