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Remembering the First World War – Archives Blog

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At Home and Away: Remembering the First World War through records at the Archives of Manitoba

Visit this blog for regular posts about records at the Archives of Manitoba that date from the time of the First World War. Visit the Archives of Manitoba to see the records in person.

April 2016 Posts:

25 April 2016

One Manitoba Soldier: George Battershill arrives in England

From April 2016 to April 2017, this blog will feature the First World War letters of one Manitoba soldier, George Battershill, of East Kildonan. Most of the letters were written to his mother or to his father.

George Battershill arrived in Liverpool, England on the SS Olympic on 11 April 1916. He was sent to training camp at Bordon Camp and was there for several weeks. (Bordon Camp was located southwest of London, in Hampshire.) At the end of April he visited London, on leave from the camp. George’s family immigrated to Canada from England in 1888, so many of the places George visited would have been familiar to his parents.

Four letters are featured this week – two written at Bordon Camp and two while George was on leave in London. The first London letter is dated only as “1916,” but references to plans for the week suggest that it was written on the same visit as the second London letter.

letter with 4 pages

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Archives of Manitoba, Battershill family fonds, Letter from George Battershill,
April 18, 1916,
#524-527, P7471/2.

letter with 2 pages

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Archives of Manitoba, Battershill family fonds, Letter from George Battershill,
dated 1916,
#542-543, P7471/2.

letter with 2 pages

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Archives of Manitoba, Battershill family fonds, Letter from George Battershill,
April 30, 1916, #528-529,
P7471/2.

Search Tip: Search the Battershill family fonds in Keystone for more information. All of the George Battershill letters have been digitized and can be read from the database (if you canít wait for the weekly installments!).

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20 April 2016

One Manitoba Soldier: The letters of George Battershill

For almost two years, the Archives has been posting weekly blogs about records in our holdings from the time of the First World War. The blogs have been about personal records (like letters, diaries and photographs), government records and records of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

For the next year, most of our blog posts will be focussed on the letters of one Manitoba soldier, Private George Battershill from East Kildonan. The Archives collection of Battershill family records includes more than one hundred letters written by George to his mother, Caroline and his father, John, Sr. and to some of his siblings. George’s letters home to his family began in March 1916 and continued until April 1917. He died on 17 April 1917, after being wounded at the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9.

We hope it will be of interest for readers to follow George’s letters week by week for the year and to experience, through these letters, a glimpse of what the war was like for one young man, exactly one hundred years ago.

This week’s letters include 2 letters and one postcard all sent home while George was travelling through Canada, on his way to board a ship for Europe. George left Winnipeg by train, likely in March 1916, and then sailed from Halifax on the SS Olympic (sister ship to the SS Titanic) on 1 April 1916.

letter with 3 pages

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Archives of Manitoba, Battershill family fonds,
Letter from George Battershill,
[not dated,
likely March, 1916],
#515-517, P7471/2.

letter with 3 pages

enlarge (3 images)

Archives of Manitoba, Battershill family fonds,
Letter from George Battershill,
April 1, 1916,
#512-514, P7471/2.

front of postcard “Steady Brook Falls, Newfoundland” with illustration of waterfall

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Archives of Manitoba, Battershill family fonds,
Postcard from George Battershill,
postmarked April 13, 1916,
#518, P7471/2.

Search Tip: Search the Battershill family fonds in Keystone for more information. All of the George Battershill letters have been digitized and can be read from the database (if you can’t wait for the weekly installments!).

Feedback (0)

E-mail us at archiveswebmaster@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post. Your comments may be included on this page.

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