Welcome to the Ross Playfair Letters Project

Letters from Ross Campbell Playfair to his wife Mary (née Ferris) Playfair

Part I: August–November 1917

The Letters

Ross Playfair was a member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium in World War I. He wrote 350 letters to his wife Mary between August 1917 (when he arrived at the front) and February 1919 (when it is believed Mary came to join Ross in Belgium).

The Documents

Browse copies of the Battalion Orders for the 50th Battalion (Ross’s battalion) and pages from the 50th Battalion’s War Diary to get a picture of what was going on when Ross wrote the letters.

The Maps

Interactive maps show where each letter was written from and track the movements of the 50th Battalion.

Who is Ross?

More information about Ross Campbell Playfair and his life before and after the war.

The Context

This page provides some background on the military and political situation at the time, as it affected the movements and actions of the 50th Battalion.

Brothers in Arms

The Brothers in Arms and Who’s Who pages list all the people mentioned in the letters (Who’s Who), and the members of the 50th Battalion in particular (Brothers in Arms), as well as other information about the Battalion.

Help Us to (Re)Make History!

We invite feedback from site users not only on the design and usability of the site but on all of the information posted. Please send us more information about the people, places, and events mentioned on the site. In particular, we hope that people will send in photos, stories and documents relating to the men of the 50th Battalion. We hope the site will be a forum for the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other descendents of the men of the 50th Battalion to post and share information on their soldier ancestor.

photos (above): Mud and barbed wire through which the Canadians advanced during the Battle of Passchendaele (Source: William Rider-Rider/Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-002165); Officers, 50th Infantry Battalion. April & May 1919 (Source: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada)