Author of Letter: Noah C Draper, 29 yrs old
Dated: Jan 14/17
Mailed from: Chatham, England
Attached to: HMS Pembroke
Profession: Farmer, Temporary Sailor
Rank: Ordinary Seaman
Addressed to: Mrs. N.C. Draper, Keswick, Ont.
Writing instrument: Fountain Pen with Black Ink
Writing Paper: 10" x 6.5" medium weight, semi-rough, folded into booklet form, but with the inside page written across the short width and all the way down the length like foolscap. The pages are not numbered.
People mentioned in this letter:
Ethel* - Noah's wife of 5 yrs, Ethel Isabel Nelson Draper
Mother - Noah's mother, Sarah Sophia Deverell* Draper, widow of David Draper
Percy* - Noah's older brother, lives near Adams, Saskatchewan
Louie* - Sarah Louisa, Noah's sister, 37, married Fred Coventry, Kelowna
Eva* - Eva Amelia Draper Perrault, 40 yrs (Noah's sister, married to Joe)
Ethel* - Noah's sister, Ethel Maud, 35 yrs, married to Will Rigler
Will* - Will Rigler, husband of Ethel Maud, lives at Grand Coulee, Sask.
Mr. Butts - 60 yr old John Butts is Noah & Ethel's lodger/hired man**
Charlie - unknown at this time
- Mildred* aka Midge, 3 yrs old
- James David* aka Jay, 6 months (later called JD)
Places/things mentioned in this letter:
- Keswick - where Noah's family lives (the ones who didn't move west)
- Halifax - historic, protected harbor on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia
- Chatham - Royal Naval Barracks in Chatham, England
- hut - Noah's barracks at HMS Pembroke
- English Church - St George's Church of England, HMS Pembroke
- Presbyterian Church - St Andrew's Presbyterian in Chatham**
Word or Phrase Use:
ect. - Noah spells the abbreviation for the Latin phrase of et cetera as ect whereas modern dictionaries say it should be spelled as etc. because it means "and all the rest" or "and so on and so forth". However, I've noticed that many seniors members of our society, as well as those on the other side of the pond, both in Great Britain and in Europe, spell it as ect. like Noah does.
Noah always spells the following as:
- no apostrophe for contractions - dont, wont, isnt, havent...
- Saturaday vs Saturday
- untill vs until
* Look under the Categories/Labels in the right side column for more posts on this
person/place/thing, or use the search box in the header at the top of this page
** see History Notes below
Chatham England, Jan. 14/17
Mrs. N.C. Draper,
Dear Wife; -
Well Ethel I hope you are all well
as this leaves me at present save
for a cold which is getting better.
We are still at drill & am getting
a little better every day, (there is
room for improvement yet) We
will be in a seaman's class
soon I expect, where we will learn
to tie knots & ect. dont know
hardly what all,
Well I was down to the Presby
terian church this morning
it is about a mile & a half from
the barracks, & when I got back
the dinner was all gone, so I
think I will belong to the English church
after this, it is only 5 minutes walk from
the hut, hope you have received your
anchor before this I think I will be able
to get out next Saturaday after noon if
I can I will get some thing for the kiddies.
Have not got any mail since I left
Halifax & may not get any for two weeks
yet but am looking every day for aletter
I have written to Mother, Percy, Louie, Eva,
Ethel, & Mr. Butts, havent I done well.
I was down town Friday night from
4 30 P.M. untill 7 30 have not been to a show
since I landed but think I will try
to go next week, I am trying to do as I
would have one in my position do, goody boy, Eh.
Well we had snow here one night last
week about 1 inch but it was all gone
by night, we have rain nearly every
other day. Oh say I got my pay a week
ago Friday. 54 Shilling that was from the
time we left Halifax & last Friday I
got 1 weeks pay 7 shilling or $1.68 cents
of our money, will soon be rich Ha Ha.
suppose you have had your pay
before this $38 you get isnt it. never mind
I have about 12 pound yet that I brought
with me have $18. Canadian money yet
will get it changed when I get to London
but do not know when that will be.
I hope you have the money for the
hail insurance before this, dont
forget to tell me all about it. &
wheather that man paid his note
which I left in the Bank for
collection, also that from Will.
Well Ethel I miss my pitcher of
milk have not had a drink since
I left Halifax but tonight is my
night out & I am going to try &
get some, HaHa. I am going out
after tea & think I will go to
Church after supper. I was going
to write to Charlie this after noon
but this is the last of my paper
so will have to write later,
Well I guess this will be all
for this time hoping to hear
from you soon I remain your ever
loving husband. N.C. Draper
This is the same map as the last post showing Rochester Castle on the River Medway, as well as HMS Pembroke where Noah is quartered.
I've added a label near HMS Pembroke to show the location of St George's Church of England which Noah refers to as the English Church.
I've added another label to show the location of the Presbyterian Church, 1 1/2 miles southwest of Noah's location. You can see why there wasn't any food left by the time Noah hoofed it back.