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Title: Ernest Cochrane, Canada, to Katie [Finlay?] [Ireland?]
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileCochrane, Ernest/30
SenderCochrane, Ernest
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationprovost sergeant
Sender Religionunknown
OriginCalgary, Canada
DestinationCo. Down, N.Ireland
RecipientFinlay, Kate
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceT3504/1/18: Copied by Courtesy of Mr A.D. Finlay.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, N. Ireland.
Doc. No.9407284
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 19:07:1994.
Word Count954
TranscriptFrom: Ernest Cochrane

To: Katie [Finlay?]
[Wellesdon, Holywood, Co Down?],

Calgary N.W.T [North West Territories?] Canada June 2nd 98 [1898?]

The Pig
is at my
feet as I write & staring at me in a very

My dear Katie
I have to thank you for two
kind letters, one from Meuton & one
from Paris. The good news that
you are on the way to recovery
is just splendid: and the
barracks & everything looks
much brighter round here.
Now that you have the long
summer before you & with
good care of you will lay in a
stock of health for next winter
Indeed, indeed my dear Katie
I cant [can't?] tell you how happy I
am that you are getting well:
and long may it be so, is my
earnest prayer. I hope you
have told John of the good news
for he was anxious about you.
I must write to him some of
these days. The enclosure you sent
in your letter from Meuton is very
nice & very true. It was thoughtful
of you to copy it for me: but
when are you not? I hope
your visits will be pleasant
ones and that you will come home
to your Holywood friends bright
& happy. Things are going on
just the same here. 13 hours
a day duty & out at night when
a racket is on, which I am
glad to say is not often. You
Will think I am getting very
lazy when I tell you I am
nearly always in bed & asleep
at 8 o clock!! The "nasty people"
as you call them are still to the
fore, I had 18 new ones last
month, amongst them an
unfortunate lunatic, who gave
a lot of trouble and anxiety. He had
a rooted objection to the writer
of this letter: but I was the only
one [who?] could manage him. He
got away from an escort
& after his capture I had an
interview with him & things
were put on a satisfactory
footing! Your going over the
Rockies is the only chance I
will ever have of seeing you,
so I hope your ship may soon
come in. But to tell you the
truth I believe I would be
nervous at meeting you.
You see the dear old past is so
long, it almost seems
as if it never had been. And my
life & surrroundings so different
that I think I would feel shaky
at any of it coming back to
me. All the same I think
I could manage a hearty
welcome. As for the "Pig"
I will certainly bring him to
the train, if such good fortune
comes: But I had better tell you,
he is not an admirer of your sex.
I forget if I told you we had
a matron here for two months
tho' [though?] young, good looking & inclined
to make much of "Pig": he would
have nothing of her: & I regret
to say was unnecessarily rude,
by barking etc. An amusing
thing happened last summer
I was for the first & last time
detailed to show a party of ladies,
strangers from the east, round
the barracks. Pig never leaves
my heel, but on this occasion
would not come with me & sulked
the rest of the day!!! I expect
he thinks I am getting to [too?] old
& that he is the proper one to be
with me. And he may not be far
wrong! That was a nice letter you
got: but I knew all the good
that was said of you in it, long,
long, ago. Yes, like you, the old
Ballintoy days are not forgotten
And it seems hard to understand
you They were so broken up
The Reaper & the world have
scattered us all wide apart.
But we have to bow to a
greater "Will" than our own
And if one can see his is best
Then the peace comes. I am
directing this to Willesden &
you will get it when you come
home. I had to write for my
heart was very full of happiness
at your recovery & some one had
to know. I never had a
confidant in this force my
life & thoughts are my own &
no one here knows anything
about me. Your letters are a
great comfort & help to me &
I am more thankful than
word can imply. The meeting
with you three girls has done
me more good than you can
dream of. For good pure women
have an influence even on the
worst of us: and looking back
brings us a ray of purity into this
life of mine, that is more
than nice. And you are the
one that is left, kinder & good &
friendly just as you always
were. No wonder I prize hearing
from you & no wonder I feel
better in every way. The grass
on the prairie is nice & green
now but the pitiless sun
will soon leave it brown again
& all will be parched & gloomy
looking till the "Snow flies"
again I had to laugh at your
idea of comfort. Why little
woman 13 years of this place
has given me a hide no water
bottle could have any effect on
But thanks all the same. I am
taking the best of care of myself.
And allow me to remind you
to do the same. Dont [don't?] have your
friends worrying for [months?] as
they have been. Well dear heart.
May this find you stronger &
stronger every day. Just like
your old laughing self. And
with heart felt affection for
you believe me, my dear Katie
Ever your faithful friend
Ernest Cochrane

I hope your Mother is better Kind
regards to her & all at home.