These beautiful postcards, written by Canadian soldier George Edward Savage and sent from France to his wife, Alice Ada, in Oakville, were found in an antiques shop in Thunder Bay by Oakville resident, Michael Johnson. Intrigued, Johnson researched historical records for Private George Edward Savage and found the soldier had immigrated from Warwickshire, England, and worked as a tanner in Oakville. He and his wife, Alice Ada Biggadike, were married at King’s Norton, Warwickshire, in 1901.
On 5 July 1917, at the age of 37, Savage went to Toronto to enlist with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. It appears this was his second attempt to join, having been rejected on medical grounds on his first try. Savage was eventually sent to France, joining the 15th Battalion Canadian Infantry in the field on 2 June 1918.
While fighting in the 2nd Battle of Arras – a battle that claimed nearly 11,000 Canadian lives – Savage was wounded in early September of 1918. The nature of his wounds is unclear; the records mention poison gas, barbed wire injuries, and gunshot wounds. We do know he died in hospital on 9 November 1918, just two days before the official end of the war on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918. Alice Ada Savage, left a widow, later re-married.