100 Years Ago: How to Address Letters to Soldiers

The Intelligencer August 30, 1915 (page 2)

“Many Letters to Soldiers Mis-Sent. ‘Address the letters to the soldiers carefully,’ writes an officer of the Canadian Postal Corps, at Shorncliffe ‘as over 300 ‘blind’ letters come to my hands for tracing every day. It is very difficult, and delay is caused when the units and the regimental numbers are not given. The addresses on some of the letters would make you laugh, others make you tear your hair. Some I must trace by the least clue, such as the Canadian post mark of a certain town. A French name would of course first be traced through the corps where Frenchmen predominate. …

If people would take the care and trouble to write the Battalion or Battery, it would save us endless trouble. Numerous letters come, though carefully stating the soldiers’ name, number, platoon, company and contingent but not a sign of the Battalion to which he belongs. One might just as well address a letter to Pte. B. Jones, No. 4562 Canadians.

I wish the newspapers would be kind enough to call attention to this so as to give the friends and relatives of soldiers the hint to be sure to put the Battalion or Battery on the envelopes. Few letters would then go astray.’ “