Fonds Ritchie family CB DOC - William J. Ritchie letters

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William J. Ritchie letters

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  • Textual record

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CA MNBM Ritchie family CB DOC

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  • 1880-1933 (Creation)
    Ritchie, William Johnstone

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0.5 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

William Johnstone Ritchie (1880-1933) was a soldier in the South African (Boer) War (1899-1902). He was the son of William Ritchie (1813-1892) of Saint John, New Brunswick, Chief Justice of Canada from 1879 to 1892 and his second wife, Grace Vernon Nicholson, daughter of Thomas L. Nicholson of Saint John. William J. Ritchie received the Queens South Africa Medal, with clasps for Cape May, Paardeberg, Driefontein and Johannesburg. He moved to Vancouver, B.C. where he died.

Source: Graves Papers

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Information about the custody of this record prior to acquisition is incomplete

Scope and content

The fonds consists of typed transcriptions of letters written by Ritchie to his mother while serving in the South Africa (Boer) War. The letters are dated 17 January 1900, 22 February 1900, and 28 February 1900 written from Belmont and Paardeberg Drift, South Africa. Letters describe William Ritchie's experience fighting the Boers in graphic detail and give information about the everyday life of a soldier in the Boer War. The letter dated 22 February vividly describes a charge on the Boers during which he received a superficial wound from shrapnel while under fire from 5 different points. Included in the letters are a few references to letters received from family members in Canada, receiving copies of Saint John newspapers and his comments about city councillors.

Typewritten transcripts of letters (3) W.J. Ritchie to mother re service in South African (Boer) War, Jan-Feb 1900

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Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Sophia Robertson, Saint John, N.B., 1961


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  • English

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