Edward Wilmerton "Slim" Jones



Nov 1, 1896

Born at Orange, New Jersey, USA 

On the June 7, 1900 USA Census, his birth date was given as November 1897.  The 1896 date is taken from his Attestation Papers and on his WW2 Draft Registration Card that he filed.


Oct 16, 1917

Attested into the Railway Construction & Forestry Depot at Brockville Ontario 

Ø      Number 2161232

Ø      Next of kin given as Edward P Jones (father) of 8 Whittlesey Ave, East Orange New Jersey, USA

Ø      Previous occupation given as Clerk

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England 

It is noted that “Not finally approved for RFC, Varicose veins”.


Nov 27, 1917

Embarked the RMS Metagama at Halifax Nova Scotia as part of the 5th Draft, Canadian Forestry Corps



Dec 14, 1917

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to the CFCD (Canadian Forestry Corps Depot) at Sunningdale and assigned to #2 Company


Dec 24, 1917

He wrote a letter to his girlfriend, Margaretta Campfield, in Newark New Jersey, on Christmas Eve.  Part of that letter reads: 

“Christmas Eve – 5000 miles from home – nothing but a dirty, thick army sock to hang up – no Christmas tree – strange girls – hell of a world isn’t it”


Jan 13, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part: 

“I hope to have another chance at the Flying Corps soon but don’t tell Mother as she’ll only worry until they have either accepted or refused me.  Perhaps if I fail that, I shall transfer to the infantry provided my varicose veins won’t exclude me.”


Feb 14, 1918

In a letter written to his girlfriend he writes in part:

“Well I haven’t much news to impart except that if I don’t soon get out of this camp I’m going on a rip roarin drunk or something similar.  Really, I’m fed up with it.  Have tried for a month to transfer to infantry and here I am, still in the “Sawdust Fusiliers”.


Mar 3, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part:

“Well so its mine for the infantry.  I was one of 19 volunteers last Friday and we are leaving the “Sawdust Fusiliers” for the 8th Canadian Reserves tomorrow.  I’m going to have a good stiff time ahead of me as the training is very intensive and I am somewhat doubtful whether I’ll be able to stand it.”


Mar 17, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part: 

“Your comments on the “Slackers” and “Draft Dodgers” at home are just about right.  But in the long run, they’ll be the only ones to suffer, so I wouldn’t get so worked up about it.”


Apr 6, 1918

Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford and assigned to “H” Company


Apr 26, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part: 

“We are terribly busy here and it is a cinch that we’ll be “over there” before many moons.  Honestly Margaretta this is the first opportunity I’ve had to write in ten days – not even a letter to Mother until tonight.  We are on the go from 5.30 am till 9.00 pm and by that time I’m ready to turn in, I’ll tell you.”


Apr 29, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part:

“I can’t write anymore tonight Margaretta, as I am stealing time from my “cleaning up” to send this little note and unless I want to get cb’d – “confined to barracks” for a week or so, I must get on the job and shine up.”


May 14, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part:

“Jakaloo!  Yes, that long delayed package arrived today, in good shape, and everything was there – kit, flashlight, cold cream, cigarettes, newsline, Anolas thread, everything.  Needless to say the crackers were seized upon by all hands and the entire box was polished off in no time.  You see, it’s part of the comradeship in the army to share everything in the line of eats with your mates.  So for that part of the package, there are about six of us indebted to you.”


May 19, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part: 

“I’ve had occasion to think very nicely of you these past few days as I smashed two fingers a bit making a jab with a bayonet at a bundle of faggots (dummies used for bayonet practice) and missing and your adhesive tape was just the jake proposition.  And the scissors cut the tape and some skin and the smokes helped too.  I use that little kit very very often and believe me the whole box was jake-a-bon.”


Jun 10, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part: 

“About your doing war work – if you possibly could become a nurse Margaretta, do it.  It’s the most wonderful calling in the war and believe me, after our nurses, we men come a poor second.  You’d probably be able to satisfy all your hankering for adventures etc at the nursing game and gee – I know you’d make a dandy nurse.”


Jun 30, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part:

“Yes I did write George (brother) asking him to enlist with the Americans of course.  I do hope my letter will have some affect as there isn’t a thing in the world to prevent his joining up.  If he can’t get in our army, well then its up to him whether he cares to join the Canadians.  Believe me Margaretta there’s going to be a distinction between the fellows that went and the ones that stayed home and I don’t want my brother to be on the wrong side of the fence.”


Jul 30, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part: 

“We’re already for draft now but there are no indications of our leaving in the near future.  I do hope we go across soon as I’m rather fed up here especially as another leave is six months distant. 

Enjoyed my second leave heaps I’ll tell you.  I can’t write about it so I’ll just have to save it along with heaps of other things to tell you personally.”


Aug 17, 1918

Transferred to 21st Battalion


Aug 18, 1918

Arrived at CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) at Havre and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Aug 23, 1918

Arrived at CC Rein C (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp)


Aug 25, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part:

“We’ve sort of been on a constant move since leaving Blighty and at present we’re at the 2nd Divisional Wing, Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp, British Exp Forces, France.  Mighty definite that, isn’t it?

……….Speaking of places to sleep, I do wish you could see our chateau.  One of those old French mud and straw barns, minus most of the sides and roof but not withstanding that, a very comfortable home considering.  The floor was fairly well studded with stones but we dug those up and now have nice soft comfortable dirt on which to rest our carcasses. 

The French woman living in the house to which our barn is attached calls me “Slam”.  I guess that’s French for Slim.” 

It appears that the nickname “Slim” stuck with him when he joined the 21st Battalion, however he did sign his Christmas Card in 1918 as “Skinnie Jones”.  On April 6, 1919, his medical report records him as being 6’1” and weighing in at 116 lbs.


Aug 28, 1918

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field and assigned to “B” Company 

On this date, the 21st Battalion was involved in heavy fighting at Telegraph Hill, so Pte Jones joined the rear details at Achicourt and would have waited there for the Battalion to come out of the front lines. 

From the book “Ordinary Heroes” by Stephen J Nichol, he was employed as both a Scout and an Interpreter.


Sep 7, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part:

“Have seen some strange sights in this country.  These ruined towns, dead Fritzes, smelly dugouts etc, are enough to give one the creeps.  Guess I’ll get accustomed to it though, after ten years or so over here.”


Oct 21, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part:

“Could we get a piano to play those songs on?  I’ll say so and we have a chap in the scouts that can play some more ragtime.  It’s funny to hear the piano thumping away in some old tumble down house, all wrecked from shell fire.”


Nov 14, 1918

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part: 

“As you see, we are in Belgium now having fought our way out of France.  The past week has been just a succession of triumphant marches as the opposition was practically nil.  I can’t describe the scenes of those days Margaretta but can you imagine how you’d feel after being really a prisoner for four years and then to wake up one morning and watch the troops that made you free again march thru your village.  Would you cry, weep, dance for joy?  Well they did everything they could do.  Gee it sure was a wonderful week.”


Nov 20, 1918          Posted a Xmas Card home



Feb 16, 1919

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part: 

“No I don’t think Germany will cause any more trouble other than a heap of internal strife which is really the natural conclusion to such an upheaval as the German nation has had.

Say Margaretta I want you to promise to have all the latest pieces at home won’t you and have all the new dances tucked away to teach me.”


Mar 28, 1919

In a letter to his girlfriend he writes in part: 

“And so you were thinking of taking an apartment and would have asked me to dinner.  Thanks awfully – sort of unconventional I know but I like that sort of thing more or less, fact of the matter is I might have insisted on staying overnight – now I ask you – what would you have done I ask you?

Margaretta, if you haven’t already done so you must read that book “The Garden Without Walls” by Coningsby Dawson.  You’ll pardon me for suggesting it I hope – its perfectly alright you know and so well written.  I haven’t suggested everyone reading it though, fact is you are the only young lady of my acquaintance to whom I have dared to suggest such thing.  So don’t condemn me too severely when you’ve read, will you?” 

Researcher’s note:  this book is available as a free download from the Internet Archive


Apr 3, 1919

Embarked the Western Australia at Havre


Disembarked in England and proceeded to Witley


Apr 4, 1919

TOS “P” Wing CCC (Canadian Concentration Camp) Witley, for processing pending return to Canada


May 13, 1919

Embarked the RMS Caronia at Liverpool



May 23, 1919

Disembarked at Halifax Nova Scotia and proceeded by train to Kingston Ontario


May 24, 1919

Discharged from the CEF at Kingston Ontario 

Ø      War Service Badge Class “A” issued, number 279829

Ø      Proposed residence on discharge – 8 Whittlesey Ave, East Orange New Jersey, USA


Oct 9, 1922

The British War Medal and Victory Medal were sent to him at 138 South Munn Ave, East Orange New Jersey, USA


In 1941 he registered for the United States draft for WW2 as a transient, living in New York City and employed by The Texas Company at 2806 Chrysler Bldg, New York City


He is reported as having died at Patterson NY while enroute to Canada in November of 1959 

The letters that are quoted above are held in the Princess of Wales' Own Regiment Museum in Kingston Ontario 

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