Peterborough during the First World War 1914 - 1918.

Peterborough, Ontario during the First World War 1914 - 1918.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Letter to Examiner

Credit: Farmerettes, 1916. City of Toronto Archives
                                                                                                                                         June 1st 1916
                                                              Voice of the People
To the Editor of the Examiner

Dear Sir:

The other day while we were riding on the southbound street car going to the Henry Hope Co., where we offered our services as munitions workers, an altercation arose between the motorman and us. After giving our husband and sons to the army, we feel that there are many more men in Peterborough that should don the khaki. A suggestion was made to the men on the car that they change their suits to khaki, and let women who are willing, take their places. Whereupon the motorman became indignant, and in the course of several remarks (none of which should be termed loyal) he said he would rather fight for the Germans than the allies. We told him that he should express such sentiments to Chief Thompson, and not us. He threatened to throw us out the window.

We have sons in the trenches, and others on the way there. We would consider our men poor specimens of manhood if they didn’t fight for the right in this war. We are willing and able to work in places of men that they might do their share. Women are taking places of men in the old land, why not here?

Men with anti-British sentiments should be interned, and those who are not in khaki should get a hustle on and “don” it. We wouldn’t respond any man who is a slacker.

Thanking you Sir,
Mrs. Wm. Smith
Mrs. John McGee,
421 Chambers Street.

Credit: City of Toronto Archives, 2012

[I love this document. It speaks to conscription, first wave feminism, masculinity, and the historical beginnings  of terrible customer service on Peterborough Transit]

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