Hymie Yuffe enlisted with the Winnipeg Light Infantry in February 1943.
Hymie Yuffe attended public school in Winnipeg and after graduating he worked in a wholesale jewelry firm until February 1943 when he enlisted with the Winnipeg Light Infantry.
After completing his basic training, Hymie was stationed in Forest, Ontario until July 1943 when his unit was sent overseas where they were attached to the Royal Canadian Regiment in England. Shortly afterwards he was transferred to North Africa in September 1943, and then sent to Italy to serve in the Italian Campaign.
He fought in the Battle of the Sangro River and was reported killed in action on December 9, 1943. He is buried in the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery in Ortona.
Surviving letters from Hymie Yuffe to his family
7 Aug 1943
I guess its about time I wrote another letter. I'm sorry for not writing sooner but I just can't get the urge to write. We always get something to do. I hope everybody is feeling fine because I'm in the pink. I haven't received a letter yet but I'm patiently waiting.
We start training again on Monday. Morris if possible send me gum we can't buy that or chocolates and boy I sure feel like chewing a good bar. Well Pearl did you have a nice time at the beach and did your Aunt enjoy herself? By the way did you get a letter from Lil she has my address.
I'm sorry I never wrote you mine but I just forgot about it. I really don't expect a letter for a while on account of that. Please tell Mama she can send me some pastry because it only takes about 14 days to get here. I'm not taking any weekends but am saving my money for my 9 day leave. I haven't got much to write because I can't write everything it will only be marked out by the censor. I still have about 12 more letters to write but I don't feel in the mood.
I'll write you about 3 times a week so I won't have to use air mail. We can send the airgraph or ordinary mail. The airgraph cost 6 cents Canadian money and ordinary mail goes free. I can send a cable for 60 cents Canadian money. So if there is anything special to write I'll send a cable. I'll also send a cable every 4 weeks if possible. I mean if we can send cables. Here is a little note to Ma. (Ed. Hymie wrote his note in Yiddish which appears next) Pearl so long for now and please tell Mama what I want.
All my love
Ed. Note: "Airgraph" was introduced in 1930 by Kodak as a means of reducing the weight of bulk mail. Instead of mailing original written letters, the letters were photographed and then sent as negatives on rolls of microfilm. The images were then reprinted once the film reached its destination.
7 Aug 1943
To my dear parents,
I hope that you are well when you receive my letter. I am alright. I don't have anything to write – I have written to Pearl to tell her what I need. I wrote her to tell you what I want. I also hope that you received my cable. I am alright and feel that you should not worry about me. I had a very good trip over and I came to Scotland.
From there I travelled by train to my camp. I will write three times a week. I hope that you are fine. I will end my letter. We get the best food that one could get and can even find a way to send my shirts for pressing. Nu, what more can we ask for? I will end my letter and hope to hear from you. I hope you are fine,
Your loving son,
Translation courtesy Jeff Eichler.
14 Aug 1943
Dear Freda and Murray,
Please excuse me for not writing you folks before this but I guess I haven’t any excuse. Well I suppose you already know I’m overseas. This letter was just interrupted by a letter from Lil. She told me Mama was visiting you when she wrote this letter. I hope she is having a nice time. Freda I was going to visit you on my furlough but I only got 10 days including travelling time so I didn’t have much time between writing this letter and watching a card game. I’m having a nice time.
Well kids I had a nice trip over on the boat. You can now brag that your kid brother is overseas. We’re in a place where Hitler wouldn’t bother wasting his planes and men on it. I can’t tell you where we got off the boat or even the name of the boat. Everything is censored I think. Write and tell me if it is. Tell mama I wrote a few letters in Jewish but I guess she won’t get them yet. Tell her that tomorrow I’m going to Shul (Ed. Synagogue) so she can be proud. Tell her I’ll go a few times before I leave camp.
Freda if you send me a package send me only one from you and if you send more than one a month (I hope) send it under somebody else’s name because your only allowed to send me one a month but I can receive as many as I’m sent. Freda you can send me lump sugar if you have any extra. Send me anything in food or candy but no clothes unless you send socks. Well when are you going to be a mama or is that why mama is there? By the way did you enjoy your holiday. I just thought you might write me even if I don’t write. Keep up my morale you know. I’m going to write Lil right after you.
We’re right in the center of town in other words people walk right through our streets in fact its as much their streets as ours. We have all U.S. picture shows about 12 theatres. We get the pictures pretty up to date. They’re pretty expensive too. The money here is worth nothing. A pound note goes about as far as 2 dollars.
I got a letter from Captain Levi our overseas chaplain. The food here is pretty good. The scenery is pretty nice you can’t beat their scenery. This town is filled with 2 things, soldiers and syphilis. No kidding I won’t even talk to any girl because I’m scared, believe it’s the first time I’m scared of a girl. They’re practically all in the army.
Last week we got a new corporal and he is Jewish. He comes from Toronto. I just found out about and he had to leave on the weekend so I’ll get to know him better next week. I’ll close now and get my night. Give my regards to Murray and my love to Ma, and all my love to you. Freda please write at least two times a week because I enjoy getting mail.
All my love
21 Nov 1943
Dear Pearl & Morris,
Well it's me again I received a letter from you the day before I left Africa so I'm answering it in Italy. I hope everybody at home is fine? I feel fine myself and I was thinking is Kay is all over it. I haven't heard how she is getting on. How is Carol, Esther and Bessie doing? How is Gertie Stall and the rest of the Stall's doing.
I can't write you where I am in Italy but I can say the scenery around here is much like at home except for all the orchards around. Whenever we go out on marches I can hardly eat my meals when I get back because I eat a lot of fruit.
Tell mama that I wrote her a Jewish air mail and posted it today but it has to go to the base censor in England and that takes longer than yours. Tell her if she hasn't any mail from me not to worry because there's lots on the way from me to her. Tell her I've written her at least twice a week whenever possible.
I've received one letter from Lou and that's all. In your last letter you told me that Avery was a bum well I wrote him to him and told him to behave and if he doesn't I want you to write and tell me.
Well kid by now you have probably heard that I'm thinking of asking a girl to marry me. I haven't had any answers to that from the folks but I'm patiently waiting.
I haven't much to write but am just putting in odds and ends. You also told me about Myrna phoning for my address. Well kid I was surprised because I thought she didn't want to write but I was glad to hear from her and she explained everything to me. By the way how is Mildred Miles doing at the Palace Theatre. I got one letter from her and haven't heard from her since.
Say thanks for the Dentine gum I certainly enjoyed the good chew I got from it. I've written mama not to worry about me and to believe everything you tell her.
I just remembered you said something about going south with your father perhaps by the time this letter reaches you, you'll already be down south. Well kid in case you aren't here's wishing you a nice trip and tell your father to take life easy.
In case you're already down south when you get this letter write me all about your trip and the country you went through. Your letter aren't censored like mine.
About the parcel situation I haven't received any yet but like I said before I expect one almost any day. I don't want any more parcels sent to me until I write and let the folks know if I want anymore.
Well I'm running short of something to write but I think I did a good job of letter writing considering I had nothing to write so I'll close for now hoping that everybody at home is fine. Give everybody my regards and tell Sonny that I'll try to get his Germans that he wants me to. So hoping to see you all soon.
All my love,
PS Keep writing Here is my address
H8101 Pte Yuffe H
4 Bttn. 1 C.B.R.D.