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George Davey

G. Davey, M.A.C. Class of 1912


Davey, George, Westbourne, Manitoba, Class of ’18 (B.S.A.). Military Service: Corporal, Reg. No. 311946, bombardier, 4th Canadian Divisional Ammunition Column, Attestation Papers. Diary Reference: “Harry [Beaumont] elected President of the Philo. Lit. [Geo.] Davey, Secretary,” 1:13 Jan ’15.

Additional Biographical Information:

Undergraduate, George Davey, 311946, 3rd D.C.A.C., 3rd Section, France.
University of Manitoba, Archives and Special Collections, Managra, v. XI, No. 1 (Nov 1917), 7.

Dear Prof. Jackson:

This is November [1917] and it brings back memories of old days, so I thought it my duty to write a few lines for the College Magazine. I missed November last year and many other months as well, for they were so different from those I had been used to.

November here is much the same as at home, except there are more rainy days. The fields are brown and the woods are bare, though there are just enough evergreens to make them pleasing to the eye.

We miss old Canada. However, I cannot help but feel happy over here, in fact, I now find all sorts of beauties which I refused to appreciate when I first came over. Soldiers, though, have to do a bit of grumbling now and then; this, though, only shows them to be real Canadians. Living amongst them I know how much this grumbling is worth and how much delight is concealed behind it all. In France rain couldn’t depress us nor could grey skies dismay us. One just goes about his work and forgets. If we curse the weather it is usually in a cheerful fashion.

The war is not without its purpose, for it has taught us how deep and strong in our hearts is the love for England and Canada. It has opened our eyes and lightened our understanding that we may see and appreciate Canada as we never did before. I am sure we will be better men. We see many strange and interesting places. These, however, do not comfort the rebellious heart and the longing for the ways of home. I am still hoping though to see this thing through and then to getting home. I am growing old and cynical in the quest, though with the tenacity of the tribe I am still in search of the present unattainable.

I might mention that during the year I have seen quite a number of the boys and these were the happiest hours I spent in France. Spent an afternoon with Scotty Hamilton; he is just the same old boy. Higham I saw several times and I met Houghton, Olive, Hall, Dutton, V. Thompson, Andrews, Muldrew, McPhail, Bradford, N. Young, Nixon, Pearson, Mawhinny and several others. I also spent a couple of evenings with Capt. Dennison; he hasn’t changed a bit. I have also seen Shorty [Archie] Thompson, Waddell, Tait, Savage Bros. [Matthew and William] and Blackhall in this camp. I didn’t know that Lieut. Cunningham and Andy Robertson were in Bramshott when I was there.

I left the war on June 29th, and then after spending a couple of days in a clearing station I was moved to a base hospital. I finally ended up in a hospital at Leeds. Since then I have had a taste of convalescent hospitals and physical training camps, and am now at my reserve. I must say that I have had excellent treatment in the hospitals, and that it was just like a dream to get washed and put into clean clothes and be tucked into nice clean sheets. The best part of it was seeing real, live Canadian girls and hearing their voices after so many months of isolation.

In Leeds I was used the best. The people of that city couldn’t do too much for the wounded boys. I also liked the people in good old Yorkshire and Lancashire.

While on leave I visited Edinburgh and liked that part of the country very much. Saw some excellent farms along the coast. I might say that I hope to see more of this part of the country. I spent a week with Higham’s people and they were very kind to me; in fact, I was one of the family, and I sure appreciated it very much. One forgets that he is so far from home. It puts pep into a fellow and makes him feel that Old England is still worth fighting for. I also spent four days in London, and during that time I saw a good bit of the old city. All these little incidents made one very home sick and it seemed very hard to settle down to the old game again. These great days are all past now; I am now on the last lap, in fact, I can now see visions of France.

I have been hoping to be in England for Xmas, but now chances look very slim. However, one never knows his luck here, so I still may be here.

This letter is reaching an unheard of length, so will close and hope to receive a Managra occasionally just to keep in touch. Wishing you all a Merry Xmas, etc.,

I remain, yours very truly
Bdr. G. Davey, 311946, C.R.A. c/o G.P.O.

University of Manitoba, Archives and Special Collections, Managra, v. XI, No. 2 (Dec. 1917),33-34


Davey, George: Agric ’18; Enlisted 17-1-17; Bdr. [Bombardier] 4th CDAC [Canadian Divisional Ammunition Column]; Cpl. Service in France; Gassed and wounded 5-7-17; Demobilized Toronto 29-5-19.
University of Manitoba, Roll of Honour 1914-1918 (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 1923), 56. (Plate VI)