November 8, 2013

Letters from a teen soldier

Hold the Oxo! A Teenage Soldier Writes Home
by Marion Fargey Brooker

Seventeen-year-old Canadian Jim Fargey was one of among 20,000 underage soldiers who went off to war in 1915. His letters home were carefully saved by his mother and excerpts are presented here by the author, who was Jim Fargey’s niece. 

Jim often thinks about home, harvests, livestock, and the socks he regularly receives in the mail. He rarely mentions the fighting. But in between the letters, Brooker puts the war in historical context, describing the weapons, the battles, and life in the trenches.

Most affecting are the letters of sympathy to Fargey’s mother, written by a nurse, a chaplain, and a comrade. It's a fitting remembrance of one soldier’s sacrifice. 

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