Framed black and white photograph showing members of the St. Thomas Masonic Lodge, No. 44, including Archie Anderson and Fred Wegg (brother of Kate Wegg Anderson). Photograph taken by J.H. Hopkins, St. Thomas.
Series consists of correspondence of Robert Marshall Anderson and Donald Hume Anderson with various soldiers from the St. Thomas area who served during the Boer War/South African War (1899-1902), the First World War (1914-1918), and the Second World War (1939-1945).
Much of the Boer War/South African War-era correspondence is between Robert Marshall Anderson and his brothers Archie and Duncan, both of whom served in the conflict, Duncan as a physician in the medical corps, Archie in the infantry. In addition, Robert Marshall Anderson corresponded with some of his employees serving as soldiers in South Africa.
The First World War correspondence features letters to and from an employee of the Anderson Department Store, Warren Andrews, who served with distinction and returned to St. Thomas at war's end with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Correspondents include Robert Marshall Anderson and Anderson Department Store employees E.G. Cooper, Ruby Copeman and Donald McCallum.
Much of the Second World War correspondence consists of letters written to Donald Hume Anderson by Anderson Department Store employees injured while serving as soldiers during the Second World War expressing thanks for care packages sent to them during periods of convalescence. Correspondents include Corporal Carlyle R. Taylor, [Petty Officer?] W. Jack Taylor, Sergeant Thomas W. Hanna, Sergeant E.J. (Ted) Higginbottom, Corporal A.W. Shaw, Private F.E. Lapp, and Doug Keith. Includes stationery and envelopes bearing various military insignia. Series also includes correspondence dated 1945-1946 between Donald Hume Anderson, in his capacity as an officer of the St. Thomas-Elgin Rehabilitation Committee, and various individuals and agencies including the Canadian Department of Veterans Affairs.
Series includes the following files:
Correspondence of Private P.H. Stacey, 1900. C5 Sh5 B1 F1
Correspondence of Duncan Anderson, 1900-1901. C5 Sh5 B1 F2
Correspondence of Archie Anderson, 1899-1900. C5 Sh5 B1 F3
Correspondence of Archie Anderson, 1899-1900. C5 Sh5 B1 F4
Correspondence - Anderson Department Store staff to W.A. Andrews, 1916. C5 Sh5 B1 F5
Correspondence - E.G. Cooper to W.A. Andrews, 1917. C5 Sh5 B1 F6
Correspondence - Donald McCallum to W.A. Andrews, 1917. C5 Sh5 B1 F7
File contains letter from Archie Anderson to Kate Wegg and Robert Marshall Anderson from the Boer War, dated Wednesday January 17, 1900
Archie describes his experiences at Camp Belmont, a military camp in South Africa; he mentions both pleasures (sports, including football, cricket, and rugby) and hardships (being worked from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
Includes an anecdote about a soldier on guard duty who shoots himself in the foot
Archie speculates about when and where the regiment will be stationed next; he has heard rumours that the troops will move towards Bloemfontein, a city in central South Africa, which would be taken over by the British forces two months later
File contains letter from Archie Anderson to his brother Robert Marshall Anderson, from the Boer War, dated May 9th, 1900.
Contents of letter is mostly personal in nature; discusses Archie's bout of illness, the return of a bank draft that had been sent to him, the welfare of people at home, and Archie's feelings about South Africa (he says the people are kind to him, but he will be happy to "get out of the country where they... have such signs as 'soldiers and dogs not admitted.'")
File contains letter from Archie Anderson to Kate Wegg and Robert Marshall Anderson, from the Boer War, dated December 14th, 1899
letter sent from 'Camp Belmont,' a military camp in South Africa where Archie is stationed
Archie reveals that the letter has been written by moonlight, thus the script is often difficult to decipher
Mentions his excitement about receiving their first letters, his tireless work on outpost and guarding duty, and his terrible thirst (says that the Boers have poisoned their water supply, and consequently, the troops have not bathed or drank for five days)
File contains letter written during the Boer War, from Archie Anderson to Kate Wegg and Robert Marshall Anderson, from London, England, dated July 2nd, 1900
Following his time in South Africa, Archie was stationed in England
He discusses: the weather (cold, foggy, rainy); the likelihood of being deployed to South Africa again (very little, speculates that the war is almost over); and his opinions on the war (felt that it was wrong that his regiment was sent into Cape Town with only "bully beef" [corned beef] rations to eat)
Archie also mentions that he has read in the newspaper that Percy Ermatinger, another St. Thomas native who served in the Boer War, has been reported missing in South Africa
File contains letter written by Archie Anderson to Kate Wegg and Robert Marshall Anderson during the Boer War, dated May 28th, 1900
Following his time in South Africa, Archie was stationed in England; this letter was posted from Clacton-on-Sea, a seaside resort in Essex
At this point, Archie is growing restless of what he calls a "lazy" life-style, filling in time at the crowded beach in Clacton; he is tired of the rainy weather in England, and ready to return to Canada
File contains letter from Archie Anderson to Kate Wegg and Robert Marshall Anderson, written during the Boer War, dated August 14, 1900
Following his time in South Africa, Archie was stationed in England; this letter was posted from the Isle of Man
His doctor seems to have recommended that Archie take a brief leave of absence from the army, so he spends this time at the popular summer resorts on the Isle, which he prefers to Clacton
Archie mentions that the war keeps "dragging along"
Also says: "China is the all absorbing question here now." (Talking about the Boxer Rebellion [1899-1901] occurring in China? Or the hotly debated issue of the use of Chinese indentured labour in South Africa?)
File contains letter from Archie Anderson to Kate Wegg and Robert Marshall Anderson, written during the Boer War, dated June 19th, 1900
Following his time in South Africa, Archie was stationed in England, this letter was posted from London
At this point, Archie has been in London for a week, and has taken up residence just down the street from Buckingham palace (he writes: "I was very fortunate indeed in getting such a good place as this. It is quite a change for me to have a bedroom to myself.")
Letter mostly describes the sites of London that Archie has visited: Guild Hall, St. Paul's Cathedral, Madame Trussauds Wax Museum, etc.
Archie states that he will not be sent home to Canada until the end of the war; however, he speculates that he will not be sent back to South Africa