A Castlegar war veteran’s letters to home have been included in an online collection as part of the Canadian Letters and Images Project.
Alfred John Arlthur Killough’s family was living on the Merryfield Fruit Ranch in the Castlegar area before he enlisted in the Canadian Infantry in 1914. He was serving in France at the time of his death on Sept. 4, 1916. Killough is buried in Somme, France.
The Killough collection consist of 19 letters, photographs, a diary of his voyage overseas and other miscellaneous items.
The collection is unique in that it includes letters from Killough’s family sent while he was still in training, giving a glimpse into life on the home front.
The diary from his ocean voyage reveals a bit of his personality and a sense of humour.
Second day out of Halifax — We are enjoying very fair weather so far, and the sea is calm. My breakfast and I did not agree this a.m.: and it left me in a hurry.
Sixth day out of Halifax — I feel fine and dandy now, but I can’t see yet, where the source of enjoyment on an ocean voyage is. Just about now, I would like to be viewing the bush and mountains of B.C. One more ocean voyage will sufficient for me, and that will be the return trip to Canada.
The early letters alternate between accounts from the family farm and Killough during his training. Eventually, the letters come from the front lines. A Jan. 5, 1916 letter talks about spending Christmas in the trenches.
The collection can be found at canadianletters.ca.