First leave from Petawawa

Percy’s papers are reticent about many details, and his correspondence only imperfectly preserved. A note of anniversaries in a pocket diary says “July 1916: First leave from Petawawa.”

That’s all we know. But let’s pretend that it began Friday July 21. We can be sure that he went to Joliette. And we can infer that something significant happened during this leave, because from this point forward, cryptic abbreviations appear in the correspondence that did survive.

post card August 1916 verso snip

ILYH (which Percy helpfully amplifies the second time he writes it): I Love You Heaps.

And more significant,

YH MW: Your Husband. My Wife.

Perhaps it was the effect of all those casualty lists, and the sense that time was short. However they came to it, Percy and Janie now had an understanding, and if not a formal one, an engagement of hearts.

Copyright 2016. See “More about this project.”

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