A First World War romance

At the end of 1914 and into 1915 Canadian soldiers were training on Salisbury Plain. It was to be expected that romances would spring up between the Canadian men and local girls. One local girl who fell for a Canadian was Dorothy Merritt of Church Street in Market Lavington. Dorothy was born in 1896 and was the daughter of John who led the Market Lavington band for 60 years. Dorothy would have been 18 in 1914, no doubt just the age to fall for the charms of a young Canadian soldier.

We have a copy of this card sent to Dorothy.

Card sent to Dorothy Merritt of Market Lavington by a Canadian soldier

Card sent to Dorothy Merritt of Market Lavington by a Canadian soldier

Clearly this was posted in the UK for it has a British stamp but the postmark is partly unreadable. Interesting that the address is just name, village, county.

"I can't get away this week'

“I can’t get away this week’

It sounds as though romance will need to be deferred for a while. Actually, the tone is hardly romantic and nor was the card which showed a personage at the embarkation camp of Valcartier in Canada.

The card front

The card front

We think this romance was to end very sadly. The same collection of Merritt memorabilia had this photo.

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The back has a caption on it.

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Tim my Canadian
Died of wounds Netley Hospital

It is all so poignant.

What happened to Dorothy? We’d love to know.

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