Fonds SCA211-GA190 - H. Stanley Smart fonds.

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H. Stanley Smart fonds.

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Physical description

12.5 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Harold Stanley Smart was a Lance Sergeant in the 2nd Canadian Survey Regiment, No. 2 Canadian Artillery Reinforcement Unit, stationed in England during World War II. Born in Grassie, Ontario, to Frank and Edith (McLeod) Smart, Stanley had a fraternal twin brother Stuart, older siblings Murray and Kathleen, and younger siblings Norman and Helen. He joined the army ca. April 29, 1942, as a Gunner in the 1st Canadian Survey Regiment. He was later promoted to the rank of Lance Bombardier and transferred to the 2nd Survey Regiment, and eventually became a Lance Sergeant. He spent most of his time during the war in England, but also did tours of duty and spent time on leave in France, Belgium, and Holland. After the war, Stanley worked for McKinnon Brothers in St. Catharines, Ontario, which became a division of General Motors. On October 7, 1950, he married Helen Josephine Scammell and they had two children: David Stuart and Marie Helen.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the correspondence of H. Stanley Smart to his family in Grassie, Ontario, written while he was stationed in England during World War II. Includes letters, airgraph letters, postcards, a telegram, and a roll of honour. The correspondence covers Smart's time in Europe from the first letter after his arrival in England (dated December 20, 1942) to the last letter before he sailed back to Canada (dated December 19, 1945), and describes his daily activities, training, social outings, leaves, health, and general news about the war.

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The extent is measured in linear metres of shelf space occupied by the fonds.

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Donated in 2008.


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General note

The correspondence describes Smart’s daily activities, training, social outings, leaves, health, and general news about the war. He writes frequently about the food at the camp and the availability and quality of items such as cigarettes, chocolate, shaving soap, socks, stationary, and other personal items; he requests various items to be sent from home. He describes the countryside, the training he receives at camp, and various aspects of his duties, and comments frequently on his health and finances.
He also writes about his social life, including outings to town, dates with women, movies, night clubs, and restaurants, as well as dances and dinners at the army camp. Smart shares with his mother his thoughts and feelings about girlfriends at home and the women he dates in Europe. He becomes particularly close with a woman from Salisbury named Elise who is engaged to another Canadian; they spend much time together and remain friends after she is married and has a child. Descriptions of his travels to places such as London and Edinburgh while on furlough are also significant.
Smart also responds to news from home and comments on the activities of family and friends in the Grassie community. He inquires about the farm work at home (much of which appears to be done by his sister) and describes farming practices he sees in England. He also comments from time to time on the role of women in the army and in society, Christianity in the army, and the general progress of and reasons behind the war.

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Arranged and described, and finding aid created by Anita Streicher (2009).

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