This is War and I Ain’t Kiddin’ A Collection of World War II Letters from Dad
Deep in the bottom of her late mother’s cedar chest, Barbara Gales Macaulay discovered a lifeline to the past: more than 300 letters written by her late father, Richard “Dick” Gales to his wife “Hay” (Hazel) when he was a soldier during World War II. His letters discussed family, the terrible army food, and funny little incidents but they were also filled with love and hope for the future and signed off with his heartfelt signature, “I love you forever, and I ain’t kiddin’.” Dick’s story not only describes the rigidness of army life and the comradery that made it bearable but also the fear of never returning home or feeling normal again.
This Is War and I Ain’t Kiddin’: A Collection of World War II Letters from Dad is Barbara Gales Macaulay’s labour of love. Along with portions of her dad’s letters, Macaulay pieces together this chronology with excerpts from the regimental diary and veterans’ memoirs. It’s not just a biography of her father, but a book that honours the Canadian men and women affected by the war, whether soldiers fighting on the frontlines, “Bomb Girls” employed in factories or families supporting the troops back home.
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