Letter To A Soldier

A) A soldiers wife.

Dear husband,

It has been months since you were enlisted, I’ve been worried sick thinking back to the minimal training you were given of four months, its just not enough. I know that for our financial needs, enlisting seemed to be the best option and out of the 30,000 volunteers, all women were denied for being weak and frail. Us women have been back home taking on many different roles, and although I’m not there with you aiding the injured, I am here working in a factory for your ammunitions.

Prime Minister Borden, as you may know signed the War Measures Act in 1914, this allowed the government to among many other things censor our mail and intervene the economy to control things like transportation, trade and agricultural production and manufacturing. The government even went as far as to imprison or deport someone accused of being an “enemy alien”, they were seen as a threat to the government.

In 1918 I’m sure you remember that the war was costing Canada around 2.5 million daily, which is why we were encouraged to buy victory bonds to cash in after the war was over for a profit. The most cruel effort to save money were the taxes and rations, having meatless Fridays and fuel – less Sundays as well as using less household needs such as butter and sugar. And by 1917 we had to start paying an income tax which was around 1-15 percent of a families income, there was also the corporate tax, charging businesses about 4 percent of their revenues, but lots of people felt that this was too low.

With the amount of propaganda, I cant be sure what is true and what is not. Many allied casualties have been minimized and enemy deaths were exaggerated. Magazine articles and political speeches and posters all spread these horrible lies, encouraging more young and naïve to enlist the dangerous war. The really upsetting part is how little the women have been able to help, some of us taking jobs as nurses or teachers but most of us slammed behind the dark doors of industries for clothing and food and artillery.

In my opinion, the government should have been happy with the 30 000 volunteers they received, when they were only supposed to offer 25 000 originally to the war efforts, I think the government should have stopped distributing propaganda to enlist just about anyone who was physically able and male. The war has caused hardships on families especially, children losing their fathers, wives losing husbands and mother and fathers losing sons. Canada should have done more to stay out of the war, maybe support with munition and other supplies, maybe even financial necessities, but we are a colony and we are allies and ultimately we are expected to do whatever we can to help.

Sincerely, your wife.

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