Harry William Manchester

Last updated on May 19th, 2022 at 03:24 pm

This website is the repository of the World War II correspondence of Harry William Manchester of Cottam, Ontario, Canada, as collected by his sister, Mrs. Frances Newman (née Manchester), of Cottam, Ontario.

Pte (Private) Harry William Manchester – Essex Scottish Regiment – December 31,1939.

Editor’s Note

A Work In Progress

Presenting the wartime correspondence of Harry William Manchester on this website is a work in progress, begun in 2018 and continuing today. As such, additional correspondence will be posted herein as the Editor’s work through the original correspondence content.


The correspondence begins at the outset of World War II in September 1939 with Harry’s entry into the Essex Scottish Regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces, and ends with notification of his repatriation back to Canada after Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

Throughout the six years of World War II, Harry wrote extensively, including during his time in England, and as a prisoner of war on the European Continent, as a result of Harry’s capture during the Dieppe Raid. As such, his correspondence serves as a chronology of the events of the times as they affected him and those around him.

In addition, the correspondence indicates the impact of the war on the economy, and the extent of war-time controls placed on private correspondence during World War II, that censor markings and redacted text serve as a record of those controls.

The website title “dreams of things that were,”  is taken from the address by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur to the Corps of Cadets accepting the Thayer Award, on May 12, 1962.

The photograph above is of Private Harry William Manchester of the Essex Scottish Regiment, Second Canadian Infantry Division, in full dress uniform, at Cottam, Ontario, Canada, taken December 31, 1939. Harry was on leave after having completed basic military training.

Harry William Manchester was born on April 3, 1918 at Cottam, Ontario, Canada, as the second son and fourth child of of Jason Manchester and Sarah Catherine Manchester (née Hutzel). His siblings were Charles, Frances, La Verne, and Helen, a fifth child that did not survive childbirth.

Harry and siblings were orphaned in 1931, by the death of his mother from complications of childbirth (of Helen) in 1924, and death of his father from illness in 1931.

Harry died on February 25, 1974, in Wayne County, Michigan, USA, and is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan.

The banner photograph at the top of this page is of a motorcycle detachment of Number 2 Company of the Canadian Provo Corps in Southern England, circa 1941. The arrow drawn on the photo (fifteenth from left) designates Harry William Manchester.