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Title: Ernest Cochrane, Calgary to Katie Finlay, Holywood.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileCochrane, Ernest/8
SenderCochrane, Ernest
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationprovost sergeant
Sender Religionunknown
OriginCalgary, Canada
DestinationCo. Down, N.Ireland
RecipientFinlay, Kate
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceD 3504/1/15: Copied by Courtesy of Mr. A. D. Finlay
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Doc. No.9103160
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by B.W. 22:12:1993
Word Count1397
TranscriptTo: Katie Finlay
[County Down?],

From: Ernest Cochrane,
The Barracks,
N. W. T. [North Weat Territories?],
Jan 24th 98 [1898?]

My dear, dear Katie
I have just got your letter &
before I answer the contents, I will
tell you, that I got a very kind
letter from John telling me of the
sad news of Lily & about your being
ordered to the south of France. Poor
chap he was cut up & speaking
of you said, "it will break my
heart if anything happens her". He
spoke of the trials & troubles that have
fallen to your father & Mother & said
that with all the sad news he had,
he had spent the "meanest xmas"
that ever came into his life.
Needless to say I answered it at
once. Then your brother Bob was
so good in writing to me & saying
my Xmas [Christmas?] card had arrived all right
and of course I answered him as
well. Just fancy me getting so
many letters. And now for your
own dear letter, that I was so glad
to get. When I heard about your illness
it made me feel very down hearted &
I got restless & dissatisfied. and the
prisoners I fear found me extra
strict & stern. I have been thinking
of you night a long: & if hopes & wishes
could get you round again, well
dear heart there would not be a
stronger girl in the world. Your
letter has cheered me, but I am
afraid you are not strong enough
to write so much. I have been

all right since I wrote. Of course
winter is on us & comfort is not
the order of the day. There is no fire
in my bedroom & I go to bed cold &
have to break my washing water
in the morning with an iron boot
jack. Over half an inch of ice, during
the night. But it agrees with me,
& I sleep sound & wake up hungry.
I am so glad you seem to have
faith in the new treatment, but poor
little woman how you must suffer
Oh I do wish I could take the illness
from you & leave you well & happy
Invalides [invalids?] they say are to be [petted?]
& not contradicted; but I may as well
tell you right off that I am not going
to call myself "a darling fellow" or
anything like one either. I'm a
nice old figure head to sail under
a name like that. Why dear I
am known from one end of these
Territories ot the other, as the strictest
Provost every [ever?] was in the force
since it was started: and as for
appearance __ with a hatchet & a piece
of mahogany you could make a
more pleasing face. All will tell you
here that I am a man who seldom gives
his friendship & if you knew me for
years you would never really know
me well. Now the above is the first
case of mutiny against your
Highness' commands & here's the second
I am going to send this right off.
Now that I know you are in the
land of the living, do you think
I could wait to send an answer;
more particulary as you are weak
& want amusement & brightening
up. Not that I flatter myself my letters
are of much account, but you seem
to like to get them & there is nothing
dear Katie, I would not do to smooth
your path. God bless you little woman.
Now I am going to speak seriously
to you, you have far too good an opinion

of me & think too highly of me in
every way. I am very very far from being a good man
and tho [though?] I try & live straight & do my duty.
I am about as full of faults
as they make them. Do you know
when I read in your letters of praise
for me, I feel shy & ashamed. For I
know I don't deserve it; and I think
far too highly of you to let you be
decieved [deceived?] if I can help it. Mutiny
the third: allow me to tell you that
I was not thinking of anyone
else, when I wrote that I thought of
you as "nice & dainty & loveable". You
are all that & more in my eyes.
& thinking this of you, for you are
all that is left me in the way of
real friendship, has kept me straight
for many a long day. As I could not
bear to do anything that would
make you ashamed of me. Poor
dear Josie, when am I not thinking
of the Ballintoy days. Well its good for
a man to have a time like that
in his life. It leavens [livens?] the rest of
his dull days. What a break up of
poor wishart's home. Its all too sad.
He should never have married. I
don't think half the people in this
world think of the grave responsibility
that rests on those who marry. And
another thing I feel sure of, we
are not half thankful enough for
health & strength when we have them.
This life of my (sic) these last 12 years
has shown me the many sides there
are to human life, in this little
world of ours : and it often starts me
thinking in a way my comrades
would not give me credit for
You ask me Katie not to fret about
you. My dear I cant [can't?] help it.
I do like you.
You have been a lot to my life.
I have got pleasure & good from your
letters. You in your loving kindness
have saved me from being a very

lonely man. The stranger in a strange
land "with a long & sad looking back
does not seem bad when I know I
have your loving sympathy & good
wishes. In years after we may learn
the "all for the best" lesson: but
when trouble is pulling at one's heart
strings, the fretting has come.
Yes I would do anything to keep you
strong. And that's just where the trial
comes. I can do nothing.
I want to cheer you if I can, I
think I could if I was with you
what talks we would have?
Oh my knee is right, I knocked
it out the day before Xmas [Christmas?], but
that happens often and one gets
used to anything in this world.
I spent my Xmas [Christmas?] about 40 miles
from here Had a very quiet time
It was when I came back
I found John's letter waiting for
me. I dont [don't?] exactly know where the
endurance comes from: but it took
a lot to do me. Yet I cannot
complain. As I am, with all behind
& little for the future, hard life is
the best of all. Don't think dear I
am not happy. Many a one is far worse
of [off?]: and far more deserving of the
good things than I am.
Its just grand to hear that those
who ought to know think your
throat is better. Tell that
specialist that he wants to stretch
himself & do his best.
90 [& 9?] would be about the number
I should say!!! Well dear it puzzles
me still, that I am writing to
Katie Finlay. but we must get
you well first & look over
the above mentioned number!
You dear wee thing you are kind
to wish to see me again: but
there is no use in thinking of
the impossible. The "Pig" is just
at present staring me out of

countenance, as he generally does
when I am indoors. He is just
the same. I am his all. Honestly I
think you & he have got between you
all my affection. And I leave you
to guess who has the biggest share
I hope you wont tire of this long
letter: but hearing from you has
started me. Well dearest Katie
I pray god that when this reaches
you, health restored may be & that you
have many & many a healthful &
happy year before you.
Give my kindest regards to your
father & mother & with my love
believe me
Ever your friend
Ernest Cochrane

If you write to me, till you are
feeling stronger, there is going to
be trouble! You will hear from me
soon again!