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Title: E. Cochrane, Canada to K. Finlay, Co. Down
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileCochrane, Ernest/10
SenderCochrane, Ernest
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationprovost sergeant
Sender Religionunknown
OriginCalgary, Canada
DestinationCo. Down, N.Ireland
RecipientFinlay, Kate
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceT 3504/1/12: Copied by Courtesy of Mr. A.D. Finlay
ArchivePublic Record Office, Northern Ireland
Doc. No.9103147
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by S.K., 21:01:1994.
Word Count1028
TranscriptTo: Katie [Finlay?]
[Wellesdon, Holywood?]
[County Down?]

From: Ernest Cochrane.
N.W.M. [North West Mounted?] Police
N.W.T. [North West Territories?]

March 27th 97 [1897?]

My Very dear Katie
I was more than glad to
get your affectionate letter &
I prized it for you are the
last of all I ever cared much
for, And its a glimpse of good
old times to see your hand
writing. Now I am going
to Tell you, the first thought I
had when I read your letter
How can it be that a Tender
hearted girl, that writes so to
a waif & stray like me, has
not a home of her own & a man
to worship her. It beats me -
I cant understand it at all.
I am truly glad that some
gaiety & change comes into
your life in the way of parties
&c. I have got so used
to Barrack life that I never
think or wish for such
things. When my day's duty
gets done, I dont feel like
doing anything but lie down
& read & then go to bed. My
Constant Companion is a
little brown Retriever dog.
named "the Pig". Dont judge
him by this name. He is a
very sedate little beggar
& I only am all the world
to him. I cant stir but he
is at my heels. I must Tell


you of rather a unpleasant
surprise I got on the 24th
of last month. I had a very
bad character - an Indian
named "Deer Foot" in the
cells here. For 12 years he had
been an outlaw from his
Tribe, Want & a vicious
life left him a wreck & for
the 6 weeks I had him he
did nothing but stay in his
cell. He had tried suicide
a couple of times & he took
a lot of watching. This day
I noticed him weaker than
usual. But the Dr [Doctor?] thought
nothing serious. I spoke
to him sevral [several?] times & he
[sneered?] as he generally was -
sulky. About 4 in the
afternoon I went into his
cell & as he would not answer
I lifted him up on his feet.
I was looking into the face
of a corpse - the man was
dead! Gave me quite a turn
And now I have to make
a confession & I cant help
looking upon it in a
comical light. I have had
a spell of 7 days in Hospital
since I wrote last!! La
Grippe visited the Barracks
& quite a lot of us were
down with it. Of course as
it was a misfortune, I had
to take it to keep up my
reputation! I am all right
now , but it left me weak
for quite a time. My Knee
gives way now & then, but
it will be all right soon.
I am not near as lame as
I was. Now Katie darling
we will bid good bye to the
informities [infirmities?] of Scally &
talk of something else. I am


glad you saw Lily & her
baby. I had to laugh & kept
saying to myself -
Lily with a baby! Do you
know I have no recollection
of her but as a child in
short dresses. Her advice
was good, for what is more
dear to the [mild?] female
than having her own way.
I am sorry she looks thin
& aged. If thats what would
happen to you, take Punch's
advice - Dont!! I have got
to be a woeful "stay at home
bird", tho the Barracks are
almost in a fair sized Town,
I never go out of the gate.
I dont like the people. I was
I was here in /89 [1889?] & had about as
hard & unpleasant 10 months
as I ever spent. It was
liquor prohibition in those
days & the Towns people were
dead against me. But as I
make but few friends this did
not matter. Have you got a recent
photograph? Do like a dear
send me one. The Calgary ladies
range from ugly to hideous. The
one you sent some time ago, I
dont like, its not nice enough
looking. I know you have
not changed from the Ballintoy
days. Oh dear I'd like you here
just for a day, [---?] I'd show
the Calgarians what Irish
girls are like.
One of our men left me a few
weeks ago, & I gave him a
letter of introduction to John
as he was going to Frisco [San Francisco?]
I hope John wont take it as
a liberty. Strange he did not
write Xmas time, for I know
you were his favourite. We
have got a new Commanding


Officer here now & the change
is not relished. All the men
in the Troop are young & they
cant stand severe discipline
& thats what it is now. To an
old man like me it does not
matter. It comes second nature.
And now little woman I like
you far too well to ever have
you disappointed. You must
not think I ever will be in
the old country again. For
there is not the remotest chance
of it and dear you must not
think I am ever downhearted
The "mights of been" which
come into ones head, dont stay
long. I naturally make the
best of everything that turns
up. I have not a bad time
of it & the friendship that I
feel you have for me, is worth
a great deal. I often am very
thankful for the mercies I
enjoy. In any time out here, I
have seen a lot of trial & pain
& misery in the people round
me. And if for a few moments
I feel a little "off Colour" I
just say "how many Thousands
are worse off than yourself"
I know you will write when
you can & the sun shines
when I hear from you.
Remember me to all at home
& Lily & wish love for you
My very dear & only friend
believe me
Yours affectionately
Ernest Cochrane

Rember [Remember?] the Photo!!!

You are to
have no more


headaches, or I
will stop writing
Nothing serious ever
happens me. I want
my letters to give
you pleasure
not pain