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Ruby M. Cusack
New Brunswick - Great War Project (NBGWP)

On Friday evening Gram asked me if I would like to spend Saturday with her as the rest of the family had errands to run and other things to do.

When I arrived I found several skeins of yarn piled on the couch, which signaled balls of yarn needed to be prepared as Gram knitted the socks.

These socks made great Christmas presents as warm dry feet were very important.

As Gram knitted she told me about the men who were her friends, who went to the Great War. With a tear rolling down her cheek she spoke so sadly of those who did not come home.

The Provncial Archives of New Brunswick has on their site at the New Brunswick Great War Project (NBGWP) an ongoing program to preserve and illustrate a collection of sources relating to this province’s commitment to the Great War (1914-1919).

One part of the project provides users with 106,000  articles drawn from eight provincial newspapers. Articles, ranging in date from 1914 to 1920, cover a number of important wartime issues. The largest category of clippings details the extent of New Brunswick’s military contribution to the Great War, from recruiting to the publication of personal letters and the twice-daily casualty list. Other categories include charitable fundraising, politics, economic expansion, the role of women and children, obituaries, and the influence of religion.

One can search by surname, community, word of interest, etc.

I did a search for the word “socks” and had over two hundred hits of a most interesting nature. One being from Carleton Observer, Hartland,     1917-01-18 - Letter from Corp. Earl H. Billings A. Co., 58th Batt. B.E.F. France - who thanks Hartland Ladies for Socks as socks are one of the needs of the soldier. The trenches are in a poor state, account of the heavy rain. After standing in water knee deep for 12 hours, a man needs a change and sometimes they are hard to get.

Some other letters:
Saint John Globe, Zealand Station - Fredericton, April 23, 1919.  Pte. Alfred Brewer was discharged after spending four years fighting in the war. After coming home he was chopping wood in the yard of his grandfather’s when the axe slipped and he received a severe cut to his foot which may maim him for life. 

Carleton Observer 1916-11-23, Andover. Saturday evening quite a few young folk enjoyed a social evening in Beveridges hall with the guests of honour being Randolph Jamer who has enlisted for service in the 9th Siege Battery now at Partridge Island and Vernon Erwin, who has enlisted in the 65th Battery, now at Woodstock.

Kings County Record 1915-10-01, Armstrong’s Corner. Mrs. J. W. McNutt, postmistress at Armstrong. P.O. desires to acknowledge the receipt of $1.00 from Amy M. Manning for the Overseas tobacco fund.

Carleton Observer 1919-01-09, Kincardine. On Sunday, Jan 5, in the Melville Church Kincardine, a memorial service was held for Alexander Mackie, who was killed in action in France in September in 1918.The church was attractively decorated with evergreen, flowers and flags.
The service was a simple one, full of earnest feeling and was attended by a large sympathetic gathering. The presence of returned soldiers added special impressiveness to the service. A solo “When the mists have rolled away” was sung by Mrs. Davidson.

Genealogical information is often stumbled upon. A quiet wedding was solemnized on Feb 6, 1917, at the residence of Mrs. W. J. Hall, of this city by Rev. R. P.McKim when William J. Brennan was united in marriage to Miss Clara Winnifred Stockley of England. The groom is a returned soldier. He enlisted in the 12th battalion on the outbreak of the war and went to England with the first Canadian contingent. He was then transferred to the 10th battalion and saw much service in France. He was wounded on two different occasions and finally invalided home. Mr. And Mrs. Brennan are the recipients of the hearty good wishes of a host of friends in St. John.

Pte. George Cusack Died of Wounds- July 19, 1917.
To the long list of St. John men who have given their all in this present conflict is added the name of Pte. George Cusack, oldest son of George and Elizabeth Cusack, 33 Marsh Road.

For each person serving in the Canadian Expeditionary Force there is a service file held by Library and Archives Canada, which documents their time in the service. The 32,952 attestation files are in alphabetical order -Index at: and provide basic information on the person at the time of enlistment, including address and next of kin plus much more.

In years of the past, I spent hours searching reels of microfilm of newspapers to find published obituaries and information on the New Brunswick men and women  who were injured or missing in the Great War. Now much can be found on the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick with the push of a button on the computer while sitting at home.

Obituary of  Pte. George Cusack Died of Wounds- July 19, 1917.