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Ampersand Lest We Forget

The Wartime Letters of Leslie and Cecil Frost, 1915-1919
Edited by: R.B. Fleming

Edited by :

R.B. Fleming


Wilfrid Laurier University Press - Waterloo ON



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Nov 06, 2019
$27.99 CAD


9in x 6 x 1 in | 735 gr

Page Count:

420 pages
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Diaries, letters and journals
  • Short Description
The letters of brothers Leslie and Cecil Frost during the First World War. Leslie Frost went on to become the premier of Ontario between 1949 and 1961. His government introduced anti-discrimination laws and voting rights for First Nations.
"The Wartime Letters of Leslie and Cecil Frost is a remarkable document of its times and for our times." --David Staines

The Wartime Letters of Leslie and Cecil Frost, 1915–1919 brings to light the correspondence between two officer brothers and their family at home from 1915 to 1919. Despite wartime censorship, Leslie and Cecil wrote frank and forthright letters that show how the young men viewed the war, as well as what they observed both during training and from the trenches in some of the war’s bloodiest battles. The letters also deal with the war’s political context, including conscription and the Union government, as well as social issues such as the emerging role of women, the role of the growing middle class, nativism, and the use of liquor overseas.

R.B. Fleming, the collection’s editor, contends that Leslie Frost’s military experiences and hospitalization affected his policies as premier of Ontario (1949–1961), especially those related to medicare and liquor control laws. Frost’s government was the first to pass laws providing penalties for racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination on private property, creating a movement that led to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The Wartime Letters of Leslie and Cecil Frost, 1915–1919 makes a significant contribution to military history and social history. Fleming places the letters in context and shows the value of their commentary. This book will be of interest to the general reader as well as scholars of military history and social history.

  • 2019 correspondence marks 100th anniversary of the last of letters from the Great War; hardcover first published in 2007. This is first publication of paperback
  • Leslie Frost was premier of Ontario from May 1949 to November 1961; his government was first to pass laws providing penalties for racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination on private property, leading directly to the Ontario Human Rights Code in 1962; his government also introduced voting rights for First Nations
  • numerous centres, schools, buildings named after Leslie Frost in Ontario

  • R.B. Fleming is a lecturer and research associate at the Frost Centre, Trent University. His previous publications include Eldon Connections, an illustrated local history of Eldon Township, Ontario; General Stores of Canada, including the one in which he was raised; and The Railway King of Canada, a biography of Sir William Mackenzie. His articles have appeared in The Beaver as well as academic journals.

    These richly detailed letters by intelligent, perspective observers help us understand how middle-class English Canadians viewed the war, their country, the Empire, and themselves....The letters are evocative, informative, and telling of the kind of place Canada was during the war and of how soldiers copied with training, combat, and, often crushing boredom. For those interested in Frost's political career, the collection offers fresh insight into the formative years and events of his intellectual, ideological, and political development.

    - Serge Durflinger, Histoire Sociale - Social History

    "A wonderful collection of correspondence--frank, perceptive, and witty....This book is a delight for anyone who is interested in the First World War or who simply wants to read an insightful and informed series of letters." - Jonathan Vance, Histoire Sociale - Social History

    "The Wartime Letters of Leslie and Cecil Frost is a remarkable document of its times and for our times. Superbly edited by R.B. Fleming and complemented by maps and and nearly fifty original photographs from the era, the letters capture a young and close-knit family's patriotic commitment to the Allied cause in the Great War, which gives way slowly tot he constant recordings of the deaths of their friends.

    In the two brothers' growing perceptions and insights into the war come the political attitudes that sent them later into the Ontario Conservative Party, which they reshaped along more progressive lines. In this way, the letters form the intellectual basis for forty years of Tory rule in Ontario."

    - David Staines

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