On a cold Saturday in France a few days before Christmas, Leslie George Currell wrote a letter home to his sister, Gertrude, on Bertmount Ave. in Toronto. It was a cold winter in 1917, the frost on the trees an inch thick, the ground coated with snow.

“I can hardly realize that Tuesday is Xmas,” wrote the 24-year-old private in the Canadian Expeditionary Force fighting in World War I. “We were just talking about it today, the ground was white with snow but still it did not seem like the time of year it is. I presume you are all busy getting ready for it, tonight. I would like to be home for the day.”

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