Gardiner, John Edwin. Edited by David E. Smith.
Title LETTERS HOME: THE WARTIME CORRESPONDENCE AND DIARY OF JOHN EDWIN GARDINER RCAF (1919-1942).
Publisher University of Regina / Canadian Plains Research Center, Regina, Saskatchewan, 2004.
Seller ID 20847
197 pp, 8vo (9" H), soft cover. ISBN 088977157X B&w photographs. "John Edwin Gardiner was the eldest son of James 'Jimmy' Gardiner, the most prominent Liberal politician of his day in western Canada. Edwin was called up by the RCAF in November 1 940, received his Wings in October 1941, and travelled to England in early November 1941. On August 18, 1942, on the eve of the Dieppe Raid, Edwin wrote to his father: 'At long last we're going to take part in something big which you will r e a d a l l about in the papers long before you get this letter'. Edwin Gardiner was killed when his plane went down on the following day. James Gardiner, who had lost two brothers in the First World War, had now lost his son to war. His wife , Vi ol et , f ou nd the grief unbearable and took her own life in October 1944, yet another casualty of war. Gardiner kept all of Edwin's letters to the family. He investigated the circumstances of his son's death, visiting the graveyard at St. A ubi n L e C au f o n s eve r al occasions and writing a thorough record of his findings. To the end of his life, he maintained contact with the family of the Canadian pilot who died at the same time as Edwin and with the French family who cared for the ir g rave s. Joh n Ed win Ga rdiner's voice in 'Letters Home' is engaging, humorous, and intelligent. Like so many others of his generation, he exudes confidence and optimism despite the dangers of his situation. Perhaps most striking, a nd m ost t ouchi ng, h owe ver, is th e ge nui ne family affection that pervades these letters." Fine