Author of Letter: Noah C Draper, 29 yrs old
Dated: Dec. 9 1916
Mailed from: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Attached to: HMCS Niobe
Profession: Farmer, Temporary Sailor
Rank: Ordinary Seaman
Addressed to: Mrs. N.C. Draper, Keswick, Ont.
Writing instrument: Fountain Pen with Black Ink
Writing Paper: Smooth paper, 8 1/2" x 11" with letterhead from St. Mary's Army and Navy Club, No 6, Barrington Street, Halifax, Canada
People (friends and family) mentioned in this letter:
- 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
- Niobe - HMCS Niobe - a Depot ship stationed in Halifax
- he mentions they used bowls for their tea/coffee
- **mess duty
- ring off - came into use with the telephone
* 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 Genealogy Notes below
Halifax, Canada, Dec. 9 1916
Mrs. N. C. Draper,
Dear Ethel; -
Well we have not got away yet and
I heard to day we were apt to be here a
month so thot I would write & tell
you as I would like to hear how you
are geting along,
I am on mess for tomorrow so had
to peal potatoes tonight before I could
leave the ship. there is two out of
each table of 18 men we have to
peal potatoes prepare vegetables get
the meat from the store house, set
the table put the food on the plates
the tea or cofee in the bowls, and
wash the dishes dont you wish you
could catch me at it. ha ha.
We were out for a 1/2 mile run today
and part of the men were playing
foot ball but I had to work just
then so did not get out.
Here in this club they give paper and
envelopes free to us and thy just passed
a big basket of apples around they are
Well I guess I will have to ring
off for this time as the boys are
ready to go. When you write
adress your letter to His Majesties
Battle Ship. Niobe. Halifax N. S.
One of the men who came from
Toronto with me was discharged
to day for a week heart.
Well Ethel kiss the babies for me
and tell Mildred to be a good girl
untill Dady gets back. Good bye
for this time. Love from your Hubby.
As for the setting, my guess is that it was onboard one of the Royal Navy ships when they put three Canadians on the same detail, hence the caption, "ON THE JOB, HMT "CANADA".
I'm puzzled by the HMT because it should read HMS. Or is it some standing navy term that I'm not aware of? Please enlighten me--as well as the rest of us.
Found out from Noah's grandson, John Draper, that HMT stands for Hired Military Transport and was used for ships involved in troop movements.
According to www.greatships.net, SS Canada was a passenger service on the White Star-Dominion Line carrying passengers between Canada and Boston. "In August 1914, while in Canada, she was taken over and used to transport troops to England. Upon her arrival there, she was used as an accommodation ship for German prisoners for the rest of the year. From 1915 until the end of World War 1, she was used as a transport ship."