The Wartime Letters of Leslie and Cecil Frost

ECW Press (2007)

The Wartime Letters of Leslie and Cecil Frost, 1915–1919 brings to light the correspondence between two officer brothers and their family at home from 1915 to 1919. Despite wartime censorship, Leslie and Cecil wrote frank and forthright letters that show how the young men viewed the war, as well as what they observed both during training and from the trenches in some of the war’s bloodiest battles. The letters also deal with the war’s political context, including conscription and the Union government, as well as social issues such as the emerging role of women, the role of the growing middle class, nativism, and the use of liquor overseas.

R.B. Fleming, the collection’s editor, contends that Leslie Frost’s military experiences and hospitalization affected his policies as premier of Ontario (1949–1961), especially those related to medicare and liquor control laws. Frost’s government was the first to pass laws providing penalties for racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination on private property, creating a movement that led to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The Wartime Letters of Leslie and Cecil Frost, 1915–1919 makes a significant contribution to military history and social history. Fleming places the letters in context and shows the value of their commentary. This book will be of interest to the general reader as well as scholars of military history and social history.

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