Dear Sadie – Love, Lives & Remembrance from Ontario’s First World War - Page Banner

Photograph of Harry
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Portrait of Harry Mason in military
uniform, [ca. 1914-1917]
Black and white print
Sadie Arbuckle fonds
Reference Code: F 848
Archives of Ontario, I0050214

In July of 1915, a young man named Harry Mason enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, following the call to arms heard across the country. In less than two years, his brief military career would take him across Canada, through Europe, and expose him to the horrors of “the first modern war,” World War I.

Through all of this, his love for his sweetheart, Sadie Arbuckle, was constant. He wrote to her frequently, sometimes daily, and she responded just as faithfully. They each worked hard to pass on their experiences, but also to protect the other from the worst of it all. Their correspondence gives a detailed account of life for those at war and for those waiting for news back in Ontario. It also tells a love story.

These form a part of the Sadie Arbuckle fonds (F 848) at the Archives of Ontario, and, remarkably, the collection includes both Harry’s and Sadie’s letters. This exhibit offers a detailed look at these records, and demonstrates what love, life and remembrance meant for two young Ontarians whose lives were changed forever by the Great War.

Group of soldiers standing at attention,[ca. 1918]
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Group of soldiers standing at attention,[ca. 1918]
Unknown photographer. Canadian Expeditionary Force albums
Reference Code: C 224-0-0-11-43
Archives of Ontario, I0004878