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Mrs Mcewan At Po Box 104 Salmon Arm

 
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Posted 01/11/2022   11:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Anthraquinone to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I have recently come across a four WW2 covers from various members of the Armed forces all addressed to Mrs McEwan PO Box 104 Salmon Arm.

I have not seen these before but an online search shows that PO Box 104 is now associated with Windmill Meats & Imports
.
I thought at first that they were something like the letters to the Knox Gelatine Co. where they were requesting recipes or similar BUT I now have two forces air letters one from a pilot McDonaldle in India dated the 19th of May 1945 and one from someone with a completely different but unreadable name in the Canadian General Hospital in the UK dated October 1944

The other 2 are from AC1 Tennant in Newfoundland dated 1942 and Cpl Kevengh (?) in MPO 1306 in Alberta dated 1945.

Any help in understanding these would be much appreciated.

AQ
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Posted 01/11/2022   12:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A picture would sure help quite a bit!



Peter
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Posted 01/11/2022   4:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Anthraquinone to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Two pic coming up The others are all to the same address



The start of the contents. AS I said above it is the address in Canada that I am looking for info about.


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Edited by Anthraquinone - 01/11/2022 4:21 pm
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Posted 01/11/2022   6:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The four covers most likely originate from Mrs. McEwan's saved correspondence. No special significance from that, I feel.

Showing part of one letter gives a chance at a guess. "Maw" is very familiar usage and she may possibly have been their adoptive mother/foster mother. The place to check if the personnel were from Salmon Arm is census data from around that time. There should be city directories from the period. It would also tell you who was at Box 104 around that time. This info is probably only available online via geneology sites with paywalls.
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Edited by hy-brasil - 01/11/2022 6:09 pm
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Posted 01/11/2022   9:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add j2186 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When I was young, my father had a post office box. (We lived in town that did not have door delivery.) You had to pay a rental fee to use a box. If you didn't have a box, you had to go to the counter to pick up your mail.

They were along a wall in a room in the post office that could be accessed at all hours, even when the post office was closed. You needed a key to access the boxes and they were filled from the rear.

The only significance to the number (104) is that the box would be between boxes 103 and 105.

When Mrs. McEwan stopped paying the rent on a box, it would be rented out to someone else.

Salmon Arm is not a big place, but the box number does not give any useful information.

Jan
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Posted 01/11/2022   9:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
When I was young, my father had a post office box.


I have a Post office Box
Ten years on, and I still get the previous renter's electricity bills.
A simple line through the address, and handed back to postmaster.

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Posted 01/13/2022   5:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting.
Find A Grave lists an Emelia M. Brewster McEwan born 1891 died 1965 who is buried in Salmon Arm.
I hypothesize that her husband was a Robert Percey Messer (1889-1968) whose BC death record (accessed in Family Search, which is free) indicates he was a widower, spouse name Emily Emilia McEwan.
Nothing else came up readily in Family Search.

My guess is she might have been a pen pal to men in the service given the rather disparate squad with whom she was corresponding. Could have been connected by a rather random assignment.

The wonderful Vancouver Public Library (which one ought to visit if ever in Vancouver) has digitized a good long run of "city" directories for British Columbia and the Yukon. For most years, it was one directory it seems of the provinces. So one goes into a directory of a particular year, then goes to "S" to fiind "Salmon Arm" and all(?) the inhabitants therein. I did not find her in 1945 in Salmon Arm, nor Mr. Messer. perhaps they lived in a community outside Salmon Arm and had a PO Box in town.
https://bccd.vpl.ca/index.php/brows...on_Directory




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Posted 01/13/2022   6:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Any help in understanding these would be much appreciated.


AQ

Based on my own research on a single postcard in my own WWII collection, this is my take on your 4 covers if the same things were happening in Canada as they were in the United States during the war.

Mrs. McEwan was a member of a "Mothers" organization, equivalent to The Blue Star Mothers of America. Women formed local groups that would collect nickels and dimes by various fundraising projects in order to send packages and letters to servicemen around the world. They sent them candy, cigarettes, gum, soap, and so forth, as well as just letters from home. The women had regular meetings where they sewed bandages, packaged up parcels, and hand-wrote letters. In return, they received mail from their "boys" in service, from all over the world, that were read aloud at their meetings. These 4 letters are what you are looking at here.

The post office box was the club's box, which made the box accessible to different members of the organization. I would try to research what "Mothers of Canadian Servicemen" type organizations existed in her area.

Mrs. McEwan was part of the Greatest Generation, totally dedicated to fighting the war in any way they could help.

Hope this helps you to understand,

Linus



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Edited by Linus - 01/13/2022 6:32 pm
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Posted 01/13/2022   8:35 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great contribution, thank you Linus
Don
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Posted 01/13/2022   9:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

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Posted 01/14/2022   2:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hounddog Bill to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There's really not enough information to understand exactly what transpired here but there is a very strong possibility it has a religious connection.
I have a rather large collection of WWI letters from several different service men all sent too the same address.
I have one particular letter from a soldier on the front line who was not a active church member before the war but during the war he sent money home to be given to his church so he could be added to the church roll call. This would ensure a memorial service in the event of their death.
The church would also send packages and letters to the soldiers that were on their roll call.
I have another letter that is sent from one mother who had four son in the war to another that had two sons in the war giving the addresses of her four boys.
In the letter she promises to write her two sons with the understanding she would write her sons in return.
It would appear to be be quite the coincidence that the censor of this letter had the same last name as the sender although spelt differently. ( pilot McDonaldle censor L.C McDonald )
However to have four letters addressed too the same person from four different servicemen is not at all surprising.
On a side note does anyone understand what they're implying with the Airmail cachet on the left?

Cheers, Bill



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Posted 01/14/2022   7:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Going Postal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think Linus nailed it. If not a mothers organization, then maybe it was just Mrs. McEwan doing pen pal work with a variety of servicemen so they get the letters from home. Organizations like that are still in effect to some degree within the current US military support structure.

Bill - if you are talking about the air letter contents blurb, I think it's related to the military not wanting anything in the letters that could potentially explode at elevation in a non pressurized aircraft. Even into the 1980s I was on military transports that prohibited things like aerosol shaving cream cans- Barbasol - because lack of cabin pressure at 30,000 feet could supposedly make them explode. I never bothered to test the theory.
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Posted 01/14/2022   8:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I wonder if our Mrs McEwan was in the crowd when then-Princess, now-Queen, Elizabeth visited Salmon Arm just a few years later in 1951?
https://www.saobserver.net/communit...s-elizabeth/
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Posted 01/14/2022   8:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
if you are talking about the air letter contents blurb...

Not so. Forces airletters could be carried in bulk by air without the burden of extra pages, photos, souvenirs, etc. No sending a tank back home part-by-part for free. Regular air letters go at a concessionary/cheap rate for the same reason. The US V-Mail airmail service for its military would be written on similar lettersheets but could be photographed and reduced and sent as microfilm to save even more weight before being photoprinted on arrival and sent in an outer window envelope.
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Posted 01/15/2022   07:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Going Postal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That makes a lot of sense Hy. I remember an episode of MASH where Radar was sending a jeep home piece by piece.
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Posted 01/16/2022   12:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Anthraquinone to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you all very much for the replies.

I really like the idea of a Mother's Union or religious organisation or the Pen Pal theory. My feelings are more towards the Pen Pal idea as I am not sure if they senders would use the "Dear Maw" salutation for a church organisation or even a mothers union particularly in the 1940's when things were a bit more formal.

I know that while many service men got frequent letters from their family some got no letters at all. When these cases were publicised in the the papers etc it usually resulted in a flood of letters to the named individual. This correspondence may have started of in that way and then continued. I can imagine Mrs Ewan saving all the letters she received. Perhaps there are a lot more around but if now found individually would not raise any questions.

As I am in the UK I have to rely on on-line sources for info such as this I have zero chance of getting to a library in Canada.

AQ
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Edited by Anthraquinone - 01/16/2022 12:56 pm
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