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Not Harold F. Cruickshank

Link - Posted by David on July 17, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

YOU never know what you’re going to find in Fawcett’s Battle Stories’ letters column, The Funkhole. Frequently there is information about their authors or even letters from them. In the May 1929 issue I was surprised to find a letter from Harold F. Cruickshank himself! It was in response to a reader thinking he may have come afoul of him during the late great hate! (The portrait of Mr. Cruickshank below was in an ad a few pages later!)


IT WAS coincidence of name that prompted Edgar Fawcett, 95 High Street, Yonkers, New York, to read Fawcett’s Battle Stories magazine. Likewise, it was coincidence of name that prompted him to write the following letter.

    After reading for the first time the December issue of Fawcett’s Battle Stories, I congratulated you on producing an A 1 book. It was the name Fawcett that drew my attention to the magazine, it being my own name.
    I am American born but when I was sixteen I went to Toronto and joined the Canucks, serving in France and Belgium with them. They made the best of buddies and too much praise cannot be given to them. The name of Harold Cruickshank brought back a memory to me of an officer by that name who once gave me a sentence of three days Royal Warrant. I wonder if he is the same person.
    So much for that, so I will close, wishing you continued success with your magazine.

Here is Mr. Cruickshank’s reply to Mr. Fawcett’s letter:

    How could Mr. Edgar Fawcett think I’d be such a brute to crime a poor, lowly buck private? Say, that’s quite funny, isn’t it? But I’m sorry I cannot recollect any Fawcett in my travels. In any case I have a record that takes a lot of beating. Although I had charge of oodles of men—tough eggs, bums, hard-hitters and crooks, tailors, sailors, cooks and what have you, I never remember criming a solitary man. One time there was a fellow who got nasty, went A.W.O.L. and raised hell in general. I was orderly sergeant at the time and of course had to cover up his absence. I got away with it but when the rotter came back he was worse than ever. I should have reported him and got him sent down for a hefty session but instead I paid him a visit and told him if he didn’t straighten out I’d knock his block off—and in those days I was in good training—did a lot of leather pushing. It had the desired effect for he shut up like a clam.
    I always got along well with the boys—did my share of the work and we never had any trouble at all.
    It so happens that I have my old field book here with the nominal roll of my last platoon. There is no Fawcett listed.
    I say I never crimed a man. I’m wrong. Once a gang of my platoon complained that a member was so dirty that he was lousing them up. I investigated and I never saw so many cooties gathered together in one place in my life. I felt like smashing hell out of that bozo and would have done it if it were not for the fact of a dislike for contact with such a loathsome, dirty swine. We all got together—in conjunction with my officer—and paraded the animal to the bathhouse where he got all that was coming in the way of water, soap and a touch of the hose.
    Give Edgar my regards. Tell him I’ll buy him a drink if he ever drops around to Edmonton. But I’m sorry I wasn’t the “gentleman” who threw him in the jug. At least I have no recollection of any such thing.


And look for a new volume of Mr. Cruickshank’s SKY DEVIL stories coming soon!