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Title: Ernest Cochrane, Calgary to Katie Finlay, Holywood.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileCochrane, Ernest/44
SenderCochrane, Ernest
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationprovost sergeant
Sender Religionunknown
OriginCalgary, Canada
DestinationCo. Down, N.Ireland
RecipientFinlay, Kate
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceT 3504/1/13: Copied by Courtesy of Mr. A. D. Finlay.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9103157
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by B.W. 22:12:1993
Word Count1367
TranscriptFrom: Ernest Cochrane
The Barracks
N. W. T. [North West Territories?]
Sept 6th 97 [1897?]

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

My very dear Katie
You dont know, & I dont
think ever will know, how much
I prize your letters: and what
good they do one. Its a red letter
day for one when one comes & its
read, and read till it gets worn
out: and when I burn its (for I
never keep any of them) it like
parting from an old friend.
You see dear, you are the only
link left of any life that was.
My surroundings, the knocking
about I have had these last
number of years have greatly
changed me: But I do love to
think of the old times & now
the old times are all gone. I
think you are too wise a little
body to be very elated over this
for the thoughts of a waif like
me have not a very high value.
My nature is not a fretful one,
but I am fretting a little over
you being so ill & weak. Oh if
I only could do anything to
help you. Why should it be that
one as nice & dainty & loveable
as you, has to suffer & the useless
sort get nearly off free. Its not
the way I would have things
The smile nearly broke into a
laugh when you mentioned about
nurses in our Hospitals. You
little simpleton, we have none.

there is a constable to keep the
place clean, but the patients
look after themselves. I am
in splendid health. My knee
nearly all right. No chance of
lameness. But its doubtful if I ever
will be able to mount a horse
again. I can walk all right
but my knee grip is, I fear, gone
Well do you know I dont mind
much. Katie the truth must be
told, I have got callous. I take
all that comes, be it what it may.
My officers know this. Of disappointments
I know next to nothing.
Fellows want to get transferred
to other posts & fret over it. I go
where they send one - all places
are the same. I think this feeling
dont care, is merciful & I thank
The Giver. Now dear Katie dont
mistake what I have written &
think I am not happy. I am
far, far more so than I deserve
I have good quarters and food, the
work tho' [though?] hard suits me & the
girl I think the best & nicest
in all this world, writes to me
& says she is my friend. You
are more than good to me & Oh
you dont know darling how you
help me. There is not a week
I believe passes, that I dont
think of our time in Ballintoy
They were [immense?] & that concert.
I will never forget it.
You are a puzzle to me Katie
Indeed I think you were always
a little so. In your life you have
had lots of men fond of you &
the business is not stopped. And
yet you wont pick one. I know
your influence over a man, would
be a good one, I know you would
love & train your children right,
I know you have nice tastes,
are good & pure, & would make

a home cheerful & inspite of all
this you seem to float round with
no fixed hope. Oh I wish I could
have the fixing of your future
Now there's that S. [South?] Africa [African?] chap.
That mans in love with you-
but what am I saying. You
know this far better than I do. And
as you read this, are laughing
at old Scally. But I do wish
I could think you really settled
& felt sure you were happy. It
would be nice. You are the only
one I ever think of: and I cant
help being anxious about you
God spare them to you for many
a year, but dearest, your parents
are not getting younger & when
His good time to call them comes -
what then, of this I have often
thought. I hope you know its only
for love of you that I am writing
this. You wont, think me impertinent
& wish I would mind my own
business. I have know you
long and liked you. You are her sister
& enough I could never do for
you or yours. Some day I will be
getting a letter telling me your
heart is anchored at last & then
wont I be content. I would like
to see you so much. Just for
once & then come back to my
life here & finish it. I'd like to
go over to Holywood & watch you
come out of the house & follow,
if I could unseen, for a whole
day & then come right back
here. I dont know how it is,
but I dont think I'd come to meet
& talk to you, I fear you would be
disappointed in me & I very
much fear I would take you in
my arms & kiss you & you
certainly would not like that.
Dont think I am what is
popularly know as off my "nut"


But I just write as I feel.
I am sorry for poor lily - it
must have been a sad blow
to her. You dont seem to be much
struck [Weshart?]. Poor fellow
I do pity those in poor health. Give
my love to Archie. He seems to
fond & to take care of you, & in
my estimation he is away up in
"G". I believe I have a soft side
to my nature yet & anyone who
would do my only old & cherished
friend a good turn, would get
the remnants of my kind
feelings. I got the paper & the
Guide Book & have read them
both. Do you know you are very
thoughtful about me & its a very
delightful feeling for me to
have. for what anyone can see
in the Brown & Gray Provost Sergt. [Sergeant?]
puzzles me quite a lot. The
Pig is well & just as faithful as
ever. never leaves me night of
day. when we are in my room
together he never takes his eyes
off my movements. I have never
beaten him yet. not even a
slap. and he knows this &
imposes upon me quite a lot.
Dear heart, I will never be away
from these "nasty people". I must
stay for my living - yes or to
the end or till I am too old
for work & thus ----- ------
But these things dont bother
me. Its you is the trouble! So
this. Now look here about this
photo. I dont want any of your
nonsense, a commodity you used
to have quite a lot of. You
were always good looking ( & you
know it ) you can turn the
S/ [South?] African chap & one from every
other colony, round you finger
but you wont me. I want the
photo & I am going to get it

just think of me out here. A
Barrack my home, not a real
Chum but a faithful dog. Having
a sincere affection for you &
always hoping & wishing for
your future happiness. Can
you refuse me. I hope by the
time this gets to you. Health &
strength will be your portion
Take good care of yourself in
the coming winter. You will be
going out a lot in the evenings
& see you wrap up well & dont
if you feel sick be fighting against
it. Go right to be [bed?] and be nursed.
God knows you are worth it
Our winter will soon be here
& I rather like the thought
of course one can get too much
of such a nice thing as snow!
I wish I could thank you enough
for your letters & I wish you
really did know how I love
to get others. But never write a
line if you dont feel like it.
never let a single amusement
be put aside to write to me.
But just when you can. God bless
you dear, dear Katie
Ever your most affect. [affectionate?] friend
Ernest Cochrane.