A love letter 1917

The Great War of 1914 to 1918 was called the "War To End All Wars". Rather a naive concept. More than a war between nations, it was a war between what was and what was to be. The old world was dying and the new world was yet to be born. People of all classes, cultures and nations saw it as a great cleansing fire that would lead to a better world. This post is about a Christmas letter sent to Gladys Jones in 1917 from her sweetheart, who was in the trenches.

This little journal page was for a group called Journal52 and the prompt for the week was love letters.

His name was Gerald and he returned from the war a year later.During the war he met many Canadians.  Impressed by their stories of a new  and promising land, he decided he wanted to start a new life in Canada. He promised to retrn and marry Gladys as soon as he had a job. Months later news reached Gladys through his family that he had committed suicide. Gerald was an artist, a tender kind hearted man. All wounds and pain are not visible.

Gladys married Bert Smith in 1925. They adopted me in 1945. I am forever indebted to this man i never knew. Who knows what my life might have been life without this kind and loving couple.

Bert Smith 1925, engagement photo

the letter. 
it is hard to read, we are not used to this kind of script!

this is the reverse side of the letter.  it would have had to go through censors to make sure there were no references to location or secret codes or to insure  enemy would not know where they were.



  1. Monica, that stopped me in my tracks. Poor Gerald, who knows what he had seen and endured during his time in the trenches. Your poor Mum, who had to rebuild her life when Gerald committed suicide, and thank goodness she met and married Bert. I'm quite sure you brought much happiness to them both. What a beautiful tribute to all 3 people.


  2. Wonderful page and a beautiful story.

  3. What a bittersweet and touching story. So sad for your mom -- and poor Gerald. The work took its toll in so many ways. Loved this. Your page is beautiful.

  4. WOW Monica! What a wonderful tribute to you family.

  5. Beautiful page and the story behind it is so touching. What a fantastic way to tell that story.

  6. Monica, I realize I'm late getting here to see this, but you did a marvelous job with this prompt. Very touching story because it affected SO many people. I suspect Gerald had PTSD, which was unknown in those days. I feel for your mother and the pain she must have felt. You are SO much better because of these wonderful people who adopted you, though. And just think, you are also an artist!

  7. Wow, Monica! What a great story and post! Wow!


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