More WW1 letters in BC Jargon

We’re again indebted to Alex Code of PoCo Heritage, this time for an addition to our file on wartime letters in Chinook “code talk”…

Today’s example is at the bottom of a local-interest article headlined “Letters from the Front” during World War 1.



This is from the May 24, 1917 Port Coquitlam (BC) Coquitlam Times:

Letters from the Front

…Mr. Tommy Mars has written a letter in Chinook to Mr. C. Kobes, Junction Hotel, describing certain comicalities in the trenches, which makes very interesting reading to the students of Chinook.

Alex adds: “Tommy Mars’ name rings a bell also. He’s definitely related to one of our two mayors, Arthur [1919-1924] and James Mars [1913].” Turns out they were all brothers, so I suppose Tommy was a well-known local figure himself, and thus newsworthy. 

Stay tuned, we’ll be having more WW1 Chinook letters in this space…

Bonus fact:

Alex wondered about the interaction between these Chinook letters and the military censors. That’s a really good question. Maybe the censors found someone who understood Jargon, and learned that no secrets were being given away via Wawa? It says something that these letters kept being allowed to reach their addressees, I reckon…

What do you think?