Remembrance Day is tomorrow.
Last year, we shared excerpts from letters written home by James (Jr.) Schofield and Daniel Bilson Merry, soldiers in the First World War.
Both served in the fight overseas and survived to return home to Trail.
This year, we are sharing words written by Bernhard William Martin, a 21-year old pilot.
Bernhard Martin was born May 14, 1921 in Golden Prairie, Saskatchewan.
He wrote frequently, and candidly, to his brother Sammy Martin who lived on Maple Street here in Trail.
With jovial exaggerations of Canada as a land “of peace and plenty” — compared to Normandy — and with grand promises to live life as a thriving bachelor, Martin kept the tone of his letters light so as not worry his family.
On his last letter home dated Jan. 25, 1945, Martin wrote, “When I get home, I plan to lead a life that is made up of eating and sleeping for all that I’ve missed these past years.”
He continues, “… after that I shall settle into a studious life. What subject? Heaven only knows but it will be something pertaining to nature that doesn’t leave the good earth!”
He closes his letter acknowledging “I will kid enough for this tonight, but will write again soon. Take care of yourselves, write soon and God bless you. Love, Bern.”
This was his last letter home.
Bernhard Martin was killed in action only eight days later
His plane was shot down on Feb. 2, 1945, carrying out his 15th operation.
Bernhard Martin is buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery in Germany.
Lest we forget.