Youbou’s Price brothers stayed close to home with newsletter

During World War II, monthly copies of Youbou’s company owned newsletter were sent to everyone who was serving in Canada’s Armed Forces

Doug Price (L)

Doug Price (L)

During World War II, monthly copies of Youbou’s company owned newsletter, the  Industrial Timber Mill Bulletin, were sent to everyone who was serving in Canada’s Armed Forces (whether overseas or at home) and who had previously worked at the ITM mill. To the servicemen and women who looked forward to reading it each month, the bits and pieces of hometown news brought them each “a little piece of home” amid the chaos of war. (The monthly bulletin continued to be sent to all employees of the company mill just as it had been since June 1944). The following information was gleaned from issues of the bulletins.

Youbou’s four Price brothers were among the many men who were employed at the Youbou mill prior to being sent overseas with Canadian Armed Forces during WWII. Sons of Alex and Emma Price, the family moved to Youbou during the 1930s. Brothers Hugh and Don (twins) served in the air force, Doug in the army and Basil served in the navy. The family was lucky in that the sons all returned home at war’s end, although Doug sustained shrapnel injuries. The property that now includes Price Road in Youbou was named after the Price family who lived there for many years. Youbou resident Val Price, daughter of Doug and Betty Price, is the family’s last connection to Youbou.

ITM Bulletin June 1944

“Nearly everyone (in Youbou) will remember Doug Price who, at the time of his enlistment, was a sizerman at the Industrial Timber Mill in Youbou. Word has been received that he is slowly recovering from serious wounds received (from shrapnel) in action in Italy on February 5,1944. He sustained injuries to both legs and one arm and has received treatment in three different hospitals in Italy. He is, at present, making fair progress in an Italian convalescent home (hospital). He expresses a keen desire to get back to his regiment as soon as possible according to information received from his mother.” (Doug was later sent to Holland where, at war’s end, he was among the contingent of Canadians who “freed the Dutch” said daughter Val Price recently.)

ITM Bulletin November 1944:

“Doug Price has written to us (the Bulletin) from somewhere in Italy -— the exact location was always censored — where he is attached to a maintenance division in the Canadian Army Mechanical Transport. He writes ‘I help to keep nine jeeps and 20 motorcycles rolling and it’s a swell (good) job as I have a three-ton truck to myself and a driver; good tools to work with and also 110-volt power from the battery charging truck, so I’m pretty comfortable when things are quiet. I have a bed in the truck but haven’t been able to sleep in it for some time (now), as it’s more comfortable in a slit trench except when the boxcars come over now and again.’” (Small, rickety, noisy and unheated, the infamous boxcars were used during WWI and WWIIto transport troops to and from the front.)

“We are not (based) in the front lines, so we go in to work on heavy artillery and the 88s and there are the planes at night. That’s the only time the enemy can use the air (to fly).  It’s to hot for him (the enemy) up there in the daytime.”

Doug writes that he thought he may not recognize “the old burg” (Youbou) when he gets back home with its new Snack Bar, movie theatre and other improvements. “I sure am looking forward to (returning) there and believe me, I’ll have seen enough of the outside world to last me for a while.”

Just before going to press (for the November 1944 issue) the ITM Bulletin received a letter from LAC Hugh Price, RCAF, who is stationed in India and who says “I sure appreciate receiving the Bulletin, more than you would ever know, since we are so far from home. It’s good to read about good old Youbou and the people there where I spent five very happy years. Our trip here was successful and interesting. The longest flight was nine hours 45 minutes with nothing to do but sleep and play cards. I have seen the world at (age) 26 and wouldn’t have missed it for anything. There are two very bad diseases prevalent here, dysentery and malaria. Either one of which can be caught very easily if you don’t watch yourself. Several of our boys are suffering from both of them.

“I am writing this letter in a mud hut, of simple construction, on top if a hill. It is at least cool in here. I have a lot of Christmas cards to send so I think I should say goodbye to you and ask you to give everyone in Youbou my best regards and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.”

In November (1944) Basil Price, RCN, visited Youbou after being granted 38-days shore leave from his ship which was being completely refitted in an Eastern port (in the Maritimes) following 12-months constant duty in the Atlantic patrol service.

Like his brothers, he loved receiving Youbou’s ITM Bulletin each month.