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Title: E. Cochrane, Canada to K. Finlay, Co. Down
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileCochrane, Ernest/40
SenderCochrane, Ernest
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationprovost sergeant
Sender Religionunknown
OriginCalgary, Canada
DestinationCo. Down, N.Ireland
RecipientFinlay, Kate
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceT 3504/1/11: Copied by Courtesy of Mr. A.D. Finlay.
ArchivePublic Record Office, Northern Ireland
Doc. No.9103146
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by S.K., 21:01:1994.
Word Count1012
TranscriptTo: Katie [Finlay?]
[Wellesdon, Holywood?]
[County Down?]

From: Ernest Cochrane

N.W.T. [North West Territories?]

Xmas day 96 [1896?]

My dear Katie
You must think me very
ungrateful in not answering
your more than kind letter: but
listen to the following
I was brought to Hospital
the day before your letter came
with a broken Knee & my side
injured. I lay there over 3
months & when I got out could
only hobble round. Thus I was
transferred to this Troop. It
seems the Troops had gone to the
bad owing to a careless officer
A Sergt. [Sergeant?] & some constables got
imprisonment & a lot transferred
1 & [or?] 2 others were sent up
to straighten things out. The
Commissioner before sending
me, sent for me & paid me
the compliment of Telling
me, that he believed I would
imprison my own brother if I
had one!! So much for being
a crank! Its hard up here
as the men resent a stranger
being sent, but I will pull
through all right. This place
is about 400 miles west of
Regina. I was stationed here
for 10 months in 1889. And I
see a great change in the
place. The Town larger & new
barracks built My Knee is nearly
all right now & I hope I

will be free from accidents for
a while. I am Provost Sergeant
here. I have much better quarters
than in Regina. When in
Hospital reading your letter
was a great comfort & I used
to have a look at it two or
three times a day. Thank you
very much for the enclosures
No, you have not increased my
Sorrow. Time is a wonderful
healer: but I often think of her. Isabell, my sister
I am a long way off the
Stevensons now and dear Knows
when I will see them again
They gave up hope of saving
my leg for about 6 weeks &
were going to discharge me
as "unfit for service" but I
pulled through & re-enlisted
for another 3 years. If I had
not you to think of & your letter
to read during that Time, I dont
Know what I would have done
So you see little woman how much
good you can do. Oh I forgot
to tell you how I got hurt, I
was on my usual patrol at
10p.m. on an awful dark night.
The wooden side walls were
being repaired & I pitched into
a hole. It was raining hard
& I lay stunned for a while
before I was found & carried
away. Is it not merciful that
I am all alone in this world:
for if I had anyone careing [caring?] for
me or dependant on me, it
would come hard on them all
these accidents. But as any
Forage Cup covers all my family
I managed to come through all
right. I hope "Lily" is having
a happy married life. Give my
love to her when you write. I
have been so busy here I could
not get down town to buy a Xmas

card. You will have to take my wishes
instead. I am on duty every day
Sunday, week days & holidays
from 6.15 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. I am
writing this in the Guard Room
& tho' I am surrounded by [crying?]
humanity I feel in the spirit
of writing a Xmas letter. You
are the only one I have written
to, so feel proud if you can!!
When I left Regina my leg was
so painful that I could not
pack my kit & I was astonished
at the help I got. I left the
Barracks just at day light,
every Sergt. [Sergeant?] turned up, as well as
the men & gave me a parting
cheer. It came like a surprise
on me & tears began to come
but the big collar of my fur coat
hid my face & no one saw
This is big Cattle Country &
between Cattle thieves & the
Indians I am busy. So busy
that this is the 30th & this letter
not finished yet. The Barracks
are at the end of the Town
& the [larder?] is quite a large
place. But it will see little
of me for when my day's duty
is through, I feel more like
turning into my cot, than
walking out.
We have a good library here
& a comfortable reading room
supplied with all the English
& American, Illustrated papers
& Magazines. The place is
a Paradise to some quarters I
have been in, since I joined
this Force. You will get this
long after the New Year, but
believe me Katie I will be
wishing you a bright happy
one. I burn all letters, as I
dont want strangers to
see anything only intended

for me. I did not make a
note of John's address, Will
you send it & I will write to
him. My correspondence is
very limited, with the exception
of "official" and of that I have
my full share. Reports, Returns
of Prisoners, Clothing, property
& food give me as much
writing as I can well do.
And I have the name of
being "painfully particular"!
I hope the boys are doing
well. Give my Kind wishes
to your father & mother & to them
Its well your friend did not
call on me at Regina. A
nice old party he would have
seen, laid out on an Hospital
Cot. Do you Know I cant help
laughing when I think of all
the little accidents that have
happened in the last 2 years
The Guard Room here is right
along side a favourite walk
of the Calgary people & from the
windows I can see the throng.
Their sisters, & their cousins,
& their Aunts are not only
plain looking - but they range
from ugly to hideous!!!
Dont think I am getting
frivilous [frivolous?] - but I would give
a good deal for the sight of a
pretty woman.
I wont be so long writing to you
again, but you see I had an
excuse. With the best of all
good wishes Yours Very Sincerely
Ernest Cochrane