Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The J.T. Fairall WWI Letters: (7) December 21, 1917

In the seventh letter written, Jack has finally received mail since leaving the U.S.  It took over a month for the mail to get to him at that time.  His satisfaction in receiving mail serves as a reminder for how important it is to all of those in the military overseas to hear from people at home.

John, age 8
Much of his letter focuses on individuals in the family and possibly neighors or friends of the family.  Unfortunately, I do not know who many of the people he references are, so the snippets of information Jack mentions don't tell a clear story since we're missing the other side of the conversations (only letters he sent are available).  However, there are a select few people that I have identified who are family members.  All of the letters he received must have provided him with updates on how people back home were doing.  One person in particular that he mentions is his Uncle Will; he recalled that he had a lot of fun with Will when he was younger (see the photo on right of Jack at a young age).

Jack's days are busy while in training.  He doesn't seem entirely happy with how he's doing, experiencing some difficulty keeping it all together.  Of course, we know based on future letters and his military record, he eventually did figure it out and serve as a reconnaissance pilot.

My Dear Mother

At last I have received some mail.  One from Mrs. Kelly one from Raynor, the one that he mailed to Dayton and 4 from you.  I tell you they made me feel 200% better.  I think that I have read them over at least a dozen times.

Your first letter written 11/4/17 arrived 12/20/17.  One mo. 16 da.  You mention the last Sunday morning breakfast.  I would certainly enjoy another such a one if I could drop in unexpectedly on Xmas morning.  If you remember this will only be the 2 Xmas I have ever been away.

I hope that Emmett* and Mr. Slocomb got together again.  There is a much better chance with an interest in a business than there is managing some other persons.

I am sorry to hear that the baby was sick and surely hope that she is well by now.  She is at the age where she must be watched over very carefully.  I suppose that when her Uncle Jack gets home again she will be quit grown up.  She could talk the last time.  She will be quit accomplished.

The supper that you had with Uncle Will and Aunt J^ and Raynor must have been very pleasant.  I am sure that it lasted 2 hrs.  I would liked to have been there.  Willie was as full of fun as ever or has he gotten over it by now.  Somehow I always enjoyed life more when Willie Raynor and I were together.  I wonder if we will have any of those times over again.  I am sorry that G-ma wasn't home when I left.  If I had known that she would come I would have sent her word.  Tell her to take good care of herself and she will be there when "Johnny comes marching home."  I bought $10,000.00 insurance and sent a signed copy of the application to you which you have received by this time.

Your description of the US club is very interesting.  There will be more than one poor sucker get homesick for such treatment when he gets over on this side especially the infantry men.  They are the boys that have the nasty work.

I haven't receive either the sweater or the box.  They will be along though.  The mail is so heavy that they have to haul it from [censored - maybe Paris?] in trucks a distance of about [censored].  I hope that the fruit cake doesn't go astray as fruit cake are going to be mighty scarce over here.  The tobacco and cigaretts are also needed very much.  I have exactly 4 pcks of 20 cigaretts ea left of the store that I brought along.

My flying is coming along slowly.  I will get it into my head some of these days.  I am in the best of health.  Outside of a little cold in my throat I have been O.K.

I will write to Issy Cath and G-ma in a day or two.  Tell them to write often as my days are all crowed from daylight to dark.  We have a lot to learn besides flying so we are rushed all the time.

If you see anything in the papers send it.  We don't get very much news from the states.  I would enjoy reading the register so you might mail one now and then or better still several together.

With love to all

J.T. Fairall
American Exp. Forces
% B.M.C.

*Emmett's full name is Emmett Mills Howard (b. 6 Apr 1890, d. unknown); he was the husband of John's sister, Bernice Fairall.
^Uncle Will is likely William Henry Kline, Jr., John's maternal uncle (b. 18 Aug 1880, d. unknown); Aunt J. was William's wife Virginia - possibly going by Jennie (maiden name presently unknown).
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1 comment:

  1. With regard to Emmett Mills Howard, his death was 12/25/1959. He was the father of Bernice Fairall Howard (Leach)