31 Jan 41.
Had a very good day & night. Was up yesterday twice for periods of two hours. Still very weak on my pins, and my hole system seems to be out of gear.
You see the weather is so blinkin awful at this time of the year, that I hardly have a chance to open my windows and get fresh air – Lately I have also been coughing in the morning, and that’s bad, cause it tires me right out for the day.
Nothing new here, except that the Ginnies are loosing their Empire fast, serves them right.
Hope you two are well this winter and taking things easy.
February out to see me ready to go on home.
Anxious to be with you all
Lots of love
Jan. 30. 1941
You know this man.
This is my morning luxury. I have not been allowed to shave myself as yet.
Fortunately I have a very barber here who used to work at the Royal York in Toronto.
This snap was taken by one of the sisters.
She taught it would be good record for the hospital log. Had a good night. Just had breakfeast, porage, egg, sausage, toast, tea. What more could you wish for. I have now left my fluid diet of nothing. I now weigh 175 lbs from my 209 when I got here.
Here comes nursie
A big kiss
29 Jan 41
Your letter of dec 14 reached me to-day, a few days after your’s of dec 28, 30th.
This afternoon, I had a great visitor, Colonel Ham. Gault D.S.O. Former Commander of the P.P.C.L.I (that’s the Princess Pats) of 1914-18, with him came Sir Harry Brittain the English author who has just finished his famous book Come The Three Corners — Sir Harry brought me his book, his autographed picture also autographed book with a great compliment to a great Fr. Can. soldier now sick; I tell you it’s quite comforting even in these days, of pains & aches, to think that the Army has been so kind to me. There must be something to your old man after all?
I’ll bring this book home and keep it preciously -
I was up thrice to-day for short periods. I am awfully weak yet, and can’t seem to be getting stronger.
They say it’ll come with time. I do hope so.
Will try & bring home some souvenirs if they allow me to go to London later on.
Keep well darling
A big kiss
28 Jan. 41
My friend Mr. Wilcox of Burberry’s Ltd has just left. Mrs. W. received your letter and was enchanted to hear from you. What nice people they are. To show you – I had bought 2 pairs field boots at a cost of $75.00 and a pair of breeches $30.00 – On knowing that I was not to have any usage of these purchases Mr Wilcox came down, so I’d get credit, and he’d put them back in stock. I wore one pair of boots twice only and same for breeches.
It’s saving me $105.00, not bad eh. — Mr W. is getting two broaches made gold & silver for you & Junie, with my Reg’t crest. I bet they’ll be nice.
Well Ma I walked about 40 steps to-day and was up thrice. But I am inclined to be a bit discouraged on my slow progress.
That weakness in my left side is still here. My Dr. tells me it will disappear in time. I sometimes doubt it.
Colonel Flynn is very sick right now, but thinks there is nothing wrong with his heart. They have’nt told him yet what was wrong as he’s too weak for the crushing news.
They told me the morning I got here. They figured I was a strong brute, and I sure showed them that I was, with six attacks.
I see on to-days paper Jack O’Ryan told the Committee a mouth full yesterday, enclosed clipping that’s the spirit – I want to meet him when I go home.
Temperature here is very bad, but in bed I don’t mind it. Can you picture me in hospital all winter. It’s a brake for me that this bad luck came while I was in service, it is saving thousands of dollars and a future at that. My tea just came.
So, nough said.
Take care of yourself. I hope you are getting lots of mail from me cause I am writing enough.
Lots of love darling
27 Jan. 41.
Dearest Ma & Junie
Extra good news; yesterday I walked about forty steps, of course accompanied b two nurses. It is extraordinary how the strength in my legs has gone altogether.
They say it’ll take two months before I can navigate for myself -
Had a surplus of visitors yesterday. Of course Bing Price never lets go a Sunday without calling, and the boys from my Battalion and my school were all here.
When I get better I plan to go around and see them all before going home.
This morning cleaning time. Now 8:30 am. You are fast asleep & may be dreaming.
Lots of love honey
A big kiss
Monday. Jan 24
Dear Mrs Blais
Thank you so much for your very nice letter which I received two days ago.
I can only tell you, that after reading it, I felt very pleased that I had made the jacket for you.
Yes! I can quite imagine what an anxious time you have been going through.
It was indeed a shock to us, when we found your husband had been taken to hospital the previous day. My hubby went straight to the hospital & was allowed to see the Colonel for just a few minutes. Since then he has not missed a week going to see him – he was not allowed to stay long at first, but lately the visits have been much longer, and today he has been to see him again. He is ever so much better, has been up several times, and seems quite his old cheerful self.
It must have been dreadful for you, all those miles away, and I expect you would have given anything to have popped over and seen him
I expect it will mean that you will not have to wait till the end of the war now before you have him home again, and although we are very glad for your sake, we are very sorry for ourselves.
He will have to look after himself & take things easy, and all will be well, altho for anyone as active as he is, this will not be easy.
We all hope this year will see the end of this dreadful war, although I’m afraid things are going to get much worse, before that happens.
The people here are simply marvellous, especially as is nearly always the case, it is the poorer classes that are suffering most. When one sees the results of some of the bombing, one wonders how they can stick it.
Well I must close now. Thank you once more for writing so nicely.
Yrs. V. Sincerely
23 Jan 41.
Your letters of dec 28 & 30 finally arrived to-day. Was I glad to hear from you and know that you were all well home.
I guess all my mail to you must have been lost as I asked you lots of questions in my letters, and you sure answer none of them. Specially regarding bringing some souvenirs of England home.
I shant bring much as everything is sky high here now.
I am feeling quite good although my cough of days yonder has come back to me and has my Dr worried.
Ever since last spring when I was up at the Naval Hosp. I believe I was left with a chronic bronchial tube or something, as I have had colds at least half a dozen times since; and the damp weather here gets me down at once.
Is your Am. status fixed or pending what is it.
I’ll have to know by April as I planned to go home on a six months visa for Easter so let me know as soon as possible.
I don’t anticipate any trouble from the Army on my arrival in Quebec.
Either I am boarded out and pensionned off or a six months furlong with pay & allowances etc.
But the first part as mentioned above, is the best.
Shurer for future.
As if war should be short, I’d be out with small pension, instead of heavy one right now.
Anyhow I am not worrying about that right now, as the OC here, at 15th Gen, says I can’t do a thing for a one year period, maybe never (He is just a cheerful guy)
I’ll wait & see
Got a letter from the Counsellor to-day Henry Goldstein.
Lots of love
23 Jan 41
Darling Ma & Junie;
Just got up about one hour ago, to listen to the news; about the Italians getting another licking at Tobrouk.
By the way, a good friend of mine has had wonderful success there, what a pity I took sick, maybe I could have been along too, knocking h out of Ginnies.
This last defeat takes one spoke out off the Axis wheel.
Christmas mail is now started arriving from everyone but you. I just can’t understand it. My barber just arrived for my morning shave, not allowed to do it myself yet.
Was up twice yesterday. 1 hour 15m all told.
1 hour & half to-day.
A big kiss
Dearest Ma & Junie;
Just got up a few minutes ago; have had my breakfeast, now had the morning news on, and having a pipe of tobacco. Brig Price came in last night, to try & see Percy F. but no go. Percy had a very bad turn yesterday, and is very low now. I wish when you receive this letter you’d write a nice letter to Mrs Percy Flynn The Citadel Quebec. (with a please forward) you know, they’ll see that she gets it.
Now for some work.
The morning scrubber (nurse) is now coming in with the linen and what have you.
This is the hight of laziness both in bed, back rub, shave, etc. I guess I won’t know how to attend to myself after this long stretch.
Just received two presents from Can & U.S. Suzie Steidel sent me a table Dunhill lighter, and somebody without a name sent me a box of Colgate product from Toronto, must be Ed. Jr.
They say a big mail is in. I am anxious to see if I’ll get some mail from you all.
Lots of love
20 Jan 1941
Wrote you once to-day, but had some news for you.
My old Colonel Flynn has just been brought in the Hospital with a serious heart attack, (Coronis Thrombosis) to you.
He may have a bit harder time than I had. You know, he is past 50+ and that will count a lot with such a sickness. What bad luck for the Regiment two of us seniors out of the way.
Emile Poirier will now command. I am sorry for Flynn but glad for old man Poirier.
Feel pretty good.
A big kiss
In buying clothes for you how do you measure
Just heard the inauguration speech, it was wonderful. Heard it at 6.00 pm 12 noon at home.
I bet it went it at home. All radios in England I bet were turned on
My dear Ma & Junie;
As I told you in my last letter I was down with cold, well, it did’nt last long as they broke it right away, with a furious sweat, and two days more on my back, I feel very good to-day. And now think that my heart pain has left me for good.
Am keeping my fingers crossed.
Hope you & Junie are keeping fit this winter one cripple in the family is enough.
I am anxious to see what my Dr will say to-day, but I presume I’ll have to stay in bed for this week; it’s madning as I had been up every day up to last Friday.
As yet no mail from you. I am told mail arrived a few days ago, waiting.
Lots of love
#15 Canadian Gen’l Hospital
Hope that at this hour you have received my cable of good wishes on your birthday. It’s the best I can do at this time, but will do better later on. Well baby, of all things I am down with a cold this morning, of all places to get a cold in hospital. Not serious, as I am well covered up, and nursie just fixed my quite snuggly and, of course, I can’t get up for a couple days now. We are having quite an epidemic of flu, & what have you right now. So for a couple of days I am keeping the door of my room closed tight. Dr Rykert is taking one more Electro Cardiac reading at 10 30 this morning on a/c of a slight re-occurance to my left side during the night. I think it was the cold cause I feel pretty darn good this morning, cold & all.
A friend of mine Dr Ogilvie has taken three snaps of me last week that I am enclosing. I still look big, but have about 4 shirts on me and a bed jacket.
The profile one is jolly good, will get the film and you can get one enlarged at home.
Notice the Churchill’s cigar & few hairs.
And gray (or white ones at that).
My orderly has just been in to fix me with my daily body duty, and tells me we are in the midst of a frightful blizzard. So had the window opened for a minute and boy you’d think you were in Quebec, already 4 inches of snow has come down.
What a church this place is. Holy communion this a.m. & now morning prayers.
So long Ma
Keep well doll
Lots of love
17 Jan. 41.
Well I was up on the chair twice yesterday; 15 minutes in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon. Got away with it fine. Felt a bit tired, but slept one hour before supper -
I can now stand on my thin legs, and took four steps yesterday. My weight is now down to 180 lbs from 209 when I took sick.
Since I am not getting any mail from you, you must be all sick, or there’s no more boats left carrying mail.
Hope you got my cable of yesterday. Happy birthday to you darling, and tell you now, will be home on your next one.
The weather has turned cold again, but manage to keep warm in here -
Do write, or cable, etc.
Lots of love
Believe it or not, I was out of bed yesterday for 10 minutes, on a rolling chair, boy I was so weak my legs could not support me.
Two orderlies carried me in – Got pretty groggy after a few minutes but stuck it out –
It’s now 3.30 pm. Tea time and then up for 15 minutes to-day –
The Dr is increasing it 5 min. a day for this week. I will not be allowed to walk till Feb 1st. The tissues of my heart have now completely healed and they expect me to be good as new within a few months.
My Brigadier of Gen. Staff was in yesterday. He thinks I’ll be able to carry on in the spring, but my Dr says no, so I’ll wait and see what happen.
The pain in my left side has now disappeared altogether and the X rays show the heart pump completely cleared.
This must be all greek to you but what an heart expert I am turning out to be.
The weather has now set a complete summer sault. It’s like summer out to-day. I have been having two of my windows opened since lunch time. Hate to close them now.
What’s new home. Is all the family alright.
Do write once in a while – still no mail from you since Nov. 26 last.
Keep well, Miss you much too much.
Lots of love
#15 Can. Gen. Hosp England
10 Jan. 41.
The specialist has just finished an “Electro Cardiac” reading of my condition, and just told me the result. I am to start sitting up in a rolling chair Monday or Tuesday next. A few minutes a day, then after a few weeks I am to be allowed to walk a big every day, till my strength is back. He claims this will take about one month.
I am very glad of this inspection, as I was getting a bit in the dump for the last few days; however quite satisfied now.
Still no mail from you.
Lots of love
#15 Can. Gen’l Hospital
9. Jan. 41
Dearest Ma & Junie,
We English must have our tea, so tea time, 4.00 pm. A cup of tea and some “sugarless” crackers. Been sitting in bed all afternoon, talking to some of my pals, may be a bit too much, as I am now getting a bit groggy –
Will carry on with this letter in the morning.
9.30 pm Just getting ready to go to bed. Feeling alright, although right now few jerries are going over some where, hope they don’t bother us to-night. Nothing new.
Lots of love
A big kiss
“Daily memo” #9
A letter a day
Welcome! This site posts the Second World War letters of Brigadier Edmond Blais to his wife Laurette. One letter will be posted every day, in chronological order. The letters begin with then-Major Blais' Atlantic crossing in December, 1939.
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