Title and statement of responsibility area
Loose item from 1886 scrapbook: letter to mother and father (20 April 1886)
General material designation
- Textual record
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Edition statement of responsibility
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
20 April 1886 (Creation)
- Pocock, Roger
Physical description area
2 folded sheets (8 pages) of textual material ; 19.6 x 12.3 cm
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Henry Roger Ashewell Pocock was born November 9, 1865 at Cookham, Berkshire, England. He came to Canada with his father in 1882, and settled in Brockville, Ontario. In 1882 and 1883, he attended the Guelph Agricultural College, and subsequently took a job as a surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Pocock enlisted with the North-West Mounted Police at Fort Osborne in 1884. When the North-West Resistance broke out, Pocock marched with Colonel Irvine's relief force from Regina to Prince Albert in the winter weather, freezing his feet during the trek. As a result of the advanced frostbite to his feet, Pocock had to have several toes amputated, rendering him an invalid constable. He kept a diary/scrapbook for each year he was with the N.W.M.P., and later used the collections to write and publish a series of fictional books based on his experiences, the first successful of which was a biographical work titled "Following the Frontier" (N.Y., 1903) also published as "A Frontiersman" (London, 1903). According to Watters (A Check List of Canadian Literature, 1628-1950), Pocock published at least 15 titles between 1888 and 1931. In 1905, Pocock went on to found "The Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth." He died November 12, 1941.
Scope and content
Letter from Pocock to his mother and father dated 20 April 1886. Pocock writes about how the recovery of his foot has regressed and how the camp doctor had moved on to Fort McLeod. He also describes the spring weather conditions including the ice break-up and prairie fires. Pocock's cigar selling is going well and he records his sales and profits. He has moved into the barracks and is very happy about the move. Pocock is then reading "Life of Christ" by Frederic Farrar. The most popular sport for the troop is curling. He ends the letter by worrying about upcoming payments for a dance and mess expenses and how he had to pay to replace stolen items.
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Restrictions on access
All researchers (including students, faculty, visiting scholars, and members of the general public) must submit a Retrieval Request Form at least 24 hours before their visit to Bruce Peel Special Collections in order to be sure that library materials have been retrieved from storage and are available for their use.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
The letter is a loose item from the 1886 Pocock Scrapbook. Originally found together with several other letters between pages 32-33.