Museum
Currently open
Tuesday 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Moreston Heritage Village
Currently closed
Tuesday Closed
Archives
Currently open
Tuesday 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Euphemia Denton with Australian Soldier
by
Grey Roots

A Canadian Nursing Sister

Grey Roots

The story of a woman who finds herself in the middle of the Great War is told at the Grey County Archives. Luella Euphemia Denton volunteered her services as a nurse in the First World War. It is through her letters to a friend and neighbour from Annan, that her story is told. The Lorna Towler Collection contains 21 original letters written to Mrs. Isabella McArthur spanning the course of Miss Denton's service from 1916 through to 1919.

Euphemia Denton at gate 

As with most wartime correspondence many hardships are described in detail. Miss Denton’s first letters are written from her post at the Ontario Military Hospital, Orpington, Kent, England. She later served at various Casualty Clearing Stations in France and Belgium. In a letter dated October 27, 1917 she writes, 

"The guns have kept a terrible roar all night. The earth shakes with the explosions. All day yesterday, it was the same. The fighting is stiff alright and our boys are doing splendidly. Flanders fields are seeing terrible things and we, all of us, are sick, nauseated with the horrible sights. I love my work, the opportunity which I have here. To me it is a sacred place, men everyday giving their lives here. Oh it is cruel. We who have seen will never forget; you who have not seen be thankful."

She also speaks of many events and personages including: the sinking of the H.M.S. Llandovery Castle, William Avery "Billy" Bishop, various bombing raids which she endured, the deaths of Captain David Howes and Nursing Sister Gladys Wake, the declaration of peace, and the Influenza epidemic.

Nursing Sisters from Australia, Canada, South Africa, and Austria 

However, as Miss Denton's service as a Canadian Nursing Sister was lengthy she also speaks of more pleasurable times, including her leave time in London, the Scottish Highlands, and Paris. As well, she writes of the general happenings at the camp which includes her comments on the church services offered, the games played by hospital residents, and even the contents of packages received from the Homeland.

Euphemia Denton with Australian soldier 

The letters of Miss Denton offer a unique view of the events of the First World War. Her letters show the declining progress she makes towards not only homesickness but also her personal views of the war. The correspondence is generally uplifting, in some fashion, as her support for the boys never wavers. Writing to Mrs. McArthur, August 6, 1917, Miss Denton writes,". . . our Tommy is always first. Our splendid Tommys, they are of the best. I would not have missed this experience up here for a great deal."

The letters are also complimented by a selection of snaps, or photographs, taken of Miss Denton and others while serving overseas. In addition, the collection contains postcards from Miss Denton's subsequent travels to the Near East, and newspaper clippings detailing other life achievements such as her acquirement of the Order of the British Empire award.

Miss Denton's Letters

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Helen Denton.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I1.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Helen Denton.
Page 2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Helen Denton.
Page 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I1.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Helen Denton.
Page 4.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I1.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Helen Denton.
Page 5.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Helen Denton.
Page 6.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 1 and 4.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I1.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 2 and 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I1.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to unknown.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to unknown.
Pages 2 and 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 1 and 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. McArthur.
Pages 4 and 6.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2. 

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. McArthur.
Page 5.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 1 and 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 2 and 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 4.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 5.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 6.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 1 and 4.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 2 and 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 5 and 8.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 6 and 7.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I2.

 

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

 

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 1 and 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 4.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 5.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 6 and 8.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 7.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

 

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 1 and 4.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 2 and 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

 

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 4.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 1 and 4.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 2 and 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

 

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 1 and 4.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 2 and 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 5 and 8.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Pages 6 and 7.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I3.

 

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 4.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 5.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 6.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 7.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 8.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 1.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 2.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 3.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 4.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 5.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 6.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

Original Letter from Miss Euphemia Denton to Mrs. Isabella McArthur.
Page 7.
Lorna Towler Collection PF131S1F1I4.

 

Leave a comment

More Stories

100th IPM this week!

The 2013 International Plowing Match, which is being held in Perth County near Mitchell from September 17-21, marks 100 years for the IPM! In honour of this centennial occasion, Grey Roots takes a look back at the four occasions when the IPM was held in Grey County.

Grey Roots