W-MCP6-1.448 TO THOMAS BAKER MCQUESTEN from his friend Dr. Norman Leslie
Sep 28 1914
To: Whitehern, Hamilton, Ontario
From: Canadian Pacific Railway Ocean Services, R.M.S. Virginian
Your letter to hand: bless you. Now I am happy. I am in the transport being comfortable its food, would meet even your taste. Little Ty[?] is my mate & good scout. I saw Frank Morrison marching with his men into his transport; a small man but a hero nevertheless. Valcartier is a good camp, but it became to me & others a [miniature?] inferno towards the end. My position is medical officer on the medical side of no. II General Hospital, a very good place indeed. My chief is Dr. Rudolf a very good man he is head of its medical side. A judicious [man] and would not hurt for publicity when I got back. Practically speaking, for the work I want to do [in] medicine, I could not get better. Such is luck.1
I hear you are becoming a high man in the council & have read your august voice in the paper re & [about?] the Hospital. I intend to write you in detail concerning my trip which will become most fascinating & hard I think. The boat will sail any time. This letter will be sent later. My address is no. II General Hospital. C.A. [??]. CI So God bless you & keep you. Goodbye ([?]See the people now & then)
Your friend Norman Leslie
1 This is the first (in the Whitehern archive) of the letters from Dr. Norman Leslie (1883-1947) to his friend Thomas Baker McQuesten about his war service in WWI from 1914 to 1918. Dr. Norman Leslie was a good friend of Tom's and after the war they used to spend time together on a Sat. afternoon at the Hamilton Club or at the Thistle Club. Likely through Tom's recommendation, Leslie became a Niagara Falls Bridge Commissioner on July 22, 1941 until January 9, 1947 (Seibel, Bridges Over the Niagara Gorge p.231, list of Commissioners.
Rev. Calvin McQuesten mentions Dr. Norman Leslie as applying to be a Commissioner and as having received the position, in the Selections from his Diary: Box 14-018.
A Spectator article dated July 13, 1938 states: "Dr. N.V. Leslie fills in vacancy in Hydro body. Prominent Hamilton physician and war veteran to succeed John Newlands."
Mel Smith in W-MCP7-1.129 dated 1947/3/26, mentions Leslie in failing health: "I have heard nothing further since I left Toronto as to the health of our friend Dr. Leslie, and I trust he is quite himself again. This also applies to many others of his type that we know in Hamilton." The phrase "of his type" may be referring to a "shellshock" condition that Leslie may have sufferred after the war.
The Leslie letters begin on the ship going over to England and continue through Leslie's service there and as surgeon in France in the trenches, which he describes graphically. For the full chronological list see: