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Blake, Edward Arthur, Miami, Manitoba, Class of ’17 (B.S.A.). Medals/Honours: Military Medal (MM) & Bar. Military Service: Second Lieutenant, Reg. No. 422985, 44th Overseas Bn., R.A.F., Attestation Papers. Diary Reference: “Only two of our men joined – [Lt. Ed. A.] Blake and [W. N.] Forbes. None in University company,” 1:28 May ‘15.
Additional Biographical Information:
A Few Lines from “Teddy” Blake, ’17
[recipient unknown] [Blake’s address: 44th Batt. Reinforcements, Napier Barracks, Shorncliffe, England]
I got your letter yesterday. Thanks awfully. Bob Hughes is just about a quarter of a mile away in the 78th. Jenks is about half a mile off. I saw him last week. He and Betts are in the same trench.
Cogland has not been to the front yet. He is now a sergeant-major in the cavalry brigade. Oscar Kerr is back again in France. He was wounded in the arm and foot. Betts may be leaving for the trenches soon.
We had a taste of the Zeps the other day. 16 of our boys were killed. It is not half as good as a sham fight for excitement, and they did not do much damage here. We lose more in a day by pneumonia. The Zeps must have been fierce in London, but the people just take them as a matter of course.
Somebody collared our blankets a few days ago, and until yesterday (when we commandeered a fresh supply from a notorious tent) we had to be content with coats and newspapers for bedding.
When we first came here, we slept on the bare ground, and sixteen in a small bell tent. This lasted till the very wet weather set in. Then the bottoms of the tents got muddy and the doctor was kept busy, so we put in a couple of days getting ready for winter. Now we are only eight in a tent and have board floors and trenches around them to carry off the surplus H20. Another thing we had to combat was the tendency of both tent and clothes to get up and walk away. Elephants crawled over them and bit you all night and all day. Thorough fumigation and washing fixed the dear little visitors, and we hope sincerely that they don’t come back.
When we get out of Dover or Folkestone, we sure are treated well. People can’t do enough for us. Around the camps, though, conditions are not so good. When I got home for a week-end, I sure had a good time. People would spoil a fellow if he were home for a month.
Well, do please let me know as soon as you can, old fellow, how things are at college this winter. I am sorry that I shall never finish in the old ’17 class, but I suppose that I shall have lots of the old class for company here.
Good bye, from your sincere friend,
University of Manitoba, Archives and Special Collections, The M.A.C. Gazette, 1914-1915, v. IX, No. 2 (Dec. 1916), 25-26.
Undergraduate, E. A. Blake, 422985, Running Section 144th [sic]. Bn.
University of Manitoba, Archives and Special Collections, Managra, v. XI, No. 1 (Nov 1917), 7.
Blake, Edward Arthur: Agric. ’17; Pte. 44th Bn. C.I. [Canadian Infantry]; Transferred to RAF 11-6-18; Sec. Lieut. Service in France; M.M. and bar 23-2-18.
University of Manitoba, Roll of Honour 1914-1918 (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 1923), 46. (Plate III)