Letters from WWI: The Teddy Bear

November 2nd, 2012

Lieutenant Lawrence Browning Rogers, aged 37, travelled to the front lines of World War One as a medic in the Fifth Canadian Mounted Rifles in 1915. He left behind his wife, May, his ten-year-old daughter, Aileen, and his seven-year-old son, Howard. The family exchanged hundreds of letters, many of which were kept by their descendents. This is one of them.

Aileen's teddy, sent to Lawrence at the front

Aileen’s teddy, sent to Lawrence at the front

Sept. 25, 1916

Dear May

I am awfully glad you decided to go to town for the winter and feel sure you will not regret it. First, there will not be so much to worry about, only the cooking for yourselves. Second you will be nearer to family should anything go wrong.  Thirdly you will be much nearer to your friends and will not get out of touch with civilization and last but not least, the kiddies will have a chance to go to school…

The weather here is very nice but for a while it was terrible, cold and wet and lots of mud. For two days we had to sleep out in the rain and mud and the consequence of that is most of us have colds and are full of rheumatism.

Tell Aileen I still have the Teddy Bear and will try to hang on to it for her. It is dirty and his hind legs are kind of loose but he is still with me.

Good night dear. Love to all. Hope you are all well.

Yours lovingly,


The Rogers family’s story is preserved in the picture book A Bear in War. For more information, including more letters, visit www.abearinwar.com.  

Posted in A Bear in War