Fonds 2013-43 - Miles family correspondence

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00156 2013-43


Miles family correspondence


  • 1916-2012 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

4 cm of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

William Thomas Miles was born on September 19, 1899 in Scarborough, Ontario. At the age of 10, he and his family moved to Belleville, Ontario. He was one of eight boys and three girls. At 16 he enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force. He survived the war to become a machinist. He stayed in the Belleville area for a time, then went to the Canadian West to bring in the wheat harvest, then went to Ottawa to train as a machinist. He went to Detroit, Michigan and found permanent work with Timken Roller Bearings. He participated in sit down strikes in the 1930s. He married Jean Hay in 1935. In 1941, Jean gave birth to twin boys, Thomas and Jerry. Jerry was stillborn but Tom survived. William Jay was born in 1948. The family lived in Michigan until Jean's death in 1978. Will Miles died on January 16, 1969.

Archival history

Donated by Bill and Tom Miles, sons of Will Miles, July 2013.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of 48 letters written during World War I, transcriptions of the letters, 1 CD and a book titled 'Just a Few Lines: A Memoir of William Thomas Miles from the Great War, 1916-1919'. The book is written by Thomas N. Miles and William J. Miles, Will Miles' sons and is based on this collection of letters. 47 of the letters are from Will Miles to his mother and 1 is from his cousin Maud to Will Miles. The letters are written between Sept. 30, 1916 and Feb. 18, 1919. Most of the letters are sent from France with a few of them sent from England, Barriefield Camp and Bramshott Camp. The letters discuss Will Miles' day to day life being a soldier during WWI, Flanders mud, lice, hunger and poison gas, meeting girls, complaining of the the food he eats, people being injured or sick, himself being injured, the weather, thanks for receiving parcels, running into old friends and looking forward to coming home in 1918.

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Entered by Nicholas VanExan, June 22, 2015.


  • English



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