Eldred Stringer

Reprinted with permission from the book Hodge’s Cove by Eric Stringer, 2011

Name:   STRINGER, Eldred

Service #:   2349

Branch of Service:   Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit / Home Guard

Marital Status when enlisted:   single

Duration of Service:   June 1940 – September 1945

Medals awarded:

  1. 1939-45 Defense Medal
  2. Newfoundland Volunteer Service Medal

Other noteworthy information:   The following reflects the contents of the Engagement Contract signed by Dad (Eldred Stringer) in June 1940. I still have the slowly fading, but still readable, original copy that was sent to his mother, Matilda Stringer. No doubt, it would be basically the same as those received by the parents of other servicemen. I include it here for those who have not had the opportunity to see such a document.

Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit

ENGAGEMENT CONTRACT

I, Eldred Thomas Stringer, agree voluntarily to serve in the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit, in the United Kingdom, as a civilian woodsman, on the following terms and conditions:

I shall work faithfully and industriously in any such work as normally forms part of a logging and sawmill operation in the United Kingdom; obey the orders of the foremen, superintendents and other persons in charge of operations; and generally behave in an orderly and law-abiding manner.

I am to be provided with free transportation from my home in Newfoundland to the United Kingdom and, when my period of engagement is ended, free transportation back to my home in Newfoundland.

The term of this engagement is for the duration of the present war, provided that the Chief Overseas Forestry Officer may at his option terminate this agreement upon the expiry of one year from the date of my arrival in the United Kingdom.

If I am dismissed for unsatisfactory work or conduct, I am to be sent home at my own cost.

I am to be paid at the rate of $2.00 per working day, and found, that is, board, lodging, bedding, tools and medical expenses are to be free.  For time lost on account of sickness, I am to be paid half my regular rate of wages. In the event of  my being incapacitated by illness or accident, I am to be returned home as soon as possible without charge to me.

If I am promoted to a higher grade, my wages are to be increased to the rate decided upon for the position to which I am promoted.

My pay and my period of service will begin on the day on which I am instructed to leave my home in Newfoundland for the United Kingdom and will continue until I am returned to my home.

I authorize the Department of Natural Resources to pay to Mr. Joseph Stringer, my father at the following address Hodge’s Cove, T. Bay the sum of $30.00 monthly, and to deduct same from my wages.

Signed:        Eldred T. Stringer

Witness:    Edward Stanley

Signed on behalf of the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit,

Signed:        H. M. Ebsary

Witness:    Edward Stanley

Date: June 1st, 1940

(as written by his son Eric)