Letters from First World War soldiers posted online through U of M project
Jon Hendricks, CTV Winnipeg
Published Thursday, November 6, 2014 5:36PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, November 6, 2014 7:45PM CST
Before email and social media, people wrote letters to communicate with family and friends that were far away. This was especially true during the First World War.
One Manitoba soldier named Fred Baragar was particularly prolific in his writing. He had studied English at the University of Manitoba, and wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages to home, most addressed “from the somewhere."
"He addresses his letters home as being ‘from the somewhere’ because he can't say where they're stationed because everything was censored,” said Tyyne Petrowski from University of Manitoba Archives.
They may have been censored but each one was cherished and carefully preserved by his family and fiancé.
And now the entire collection has been donated to the University of Manitoba archives.
Every letter has been scanned into the computer and they're being released in an online blog that will play out over the next five years.
"It's a good story. Because a lot of the war stories are understandably very sad. People go away and don't come home again. This is kind of a nice counter to that,” said Andrea Martin from University of Manitoba Archives.
Especially because Fred Baragar was actually declared dead at one point.
But his letters kept coming and eventually he came home too.