dear agnes.|.letters from the home front
dear agnes, letters from a serviceman to his wife

passed by RCAF censor 10SGT. BILL MCGINNIS wrote many more than just 15 letters home to his wife during the five years he spent in the RCAF, but these are all that have survived. There is nothing remarkable about these letters, from a personal or historical perspective. Bill McGinnis was a good man and a decent soldier who served his country in that most glory-free of places -- military bases on the home front. In the letters, he is preoccupied with getting leave and finding space in overcrowded trains, getting his job done on the various air bases to which he is assigned, often at a moment's notice, and finally with obtaining his discharge papers so he can return to his new wife and his interrupted life.

Bill and AgnesTHE LIFE THAT FOLLOWED THE WAR was as unremarkable as his life in the service -- my brother and sister can't remember him ever talking about his time in uniform. There are only the vaguest hints in these letters of the cataclysm going on in Europe and around the world, or of the nascent tension that would shake Canada in years to come. I hope you read these letters with some sense of an ordinary man, caught up in an extraordinary struggle, striving like so many other men and women to maintain the thread of their lives in a difficult time. 

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the letters
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