To Collection Description
Eric Aldwinckle collection.
Note: Most letters were contained in J. Russell Somers & Co. brown
envelopes with dates, correspondents, and sometimes brief summaries of
the content of the letters written on them. Envelopes listed below refer
to the original mailing envelopes.
F.1 Eric Aldwinckle (E.A.) to Harry Somers (H.S.) and Ruth Somers (R.S.),
29 March 1943
F.2 E.A. to H.S., 27 April 1943. Written from the Invanhoe Hotel in Glasgow,
the letter ends with ink sketches of cake, jam, bread, shortbread, and
F.3 E.A. to H.S., 21 May 1943 + envelope
F.4 E.A. to H.S., 21 June 1943, encl. programme of music by Walter Goehr
and Concert Ensemble led by Maria Lidka, 19 June, Wigmore Hall. The programme
contains a brief holograph note by E.A.
F.5 E.A. to H.S., 7 August 1943, includes poem which begins "Where is
he who dare define / The Water from a mountain spring" and ends "'This
F.6 E.A. to H.S., 28 August 1943, telegram
F.7 E.A. to H.S., 2 October 1943; the letter ends with one staff of musical
F.8 E.A. to H.S., [6 October 1943], includes the story of "Mime" which
Aldwinckle hopes to make into a ballet one day and also hopes that Somers
will use as "programme music"
F.9 E.A. to H.S., 17 March 1943 . The annotator of the envelope
has redated it as 1944. The letter contains references to "Mime" and also
to a painting Aldwinckle hopes to paint already titled "Return from Berlin".
Note: This painting was completed and now hangs in the Canadian War Museum,
F.10 E.A. to H.S., 17 March 1944. The letter begins: "After posting my
letter to you of the same date ..." The second letter concerns the beauty
of a flight at 12,000 ft.
F.11 E.A. to H.S., 5 April 1944
F.12 E.A. to R.S., 26 May 1944 + envelope
F.13 E.A. to [H.S.], 26 May 1944
F.14 E.A. to H.S., 23 June 1943 re Benjamin Britten's new work
F.15 E.A. to H.S., 23 December ; encl. ink sketch of his studio.
He notes that he has nearly completed his painting "Return from Berlin"
which is "a symphony to bomber crews"
F.16 Boosey & Hawkes Ltd. to E.A., 20 June 1944 (a rejection letter
for "String Quartet" by Harry Somers); on the verso is a letter from E.A.
to R.S., n.d. + 2 envelopes
F.17 E.A. to H.S., 15 July 1944, written from France, noting that the
building in London containing his studio had been bombed but fortunately
"Return from Berlin" had been moved to the vault of another building
F.18 E.A. to H.S., 1 August 
F.19 E.A. to R.S., 17 August 1944, encl. water colour of a wasp, titled
"Blooming' People!", 13 cm x 10 cm. The letter concerns the wasps that
have bothered the troops since D-Day: "Strong healthy men seem to be in
some great fear of them, even pilots who face flack and ... fight in the
air at night seem in terror when surrounded by erratic ZS flight of one
black and yellow wasp."
F.20 E.A. to H.S., 8 September  + envelope. The letter notes:
"That is why I accept with alacrity, for the first time offered, to live
with you in the mind, defier of space and time..." A p.s. includes the
information that he is now a Flight Lieutenant.
F.21 E.A. to H.S., 2 November 1944, a letter in four parts, numbered 1-12,
followed by an additional letter, n.d., numbered -7, with a pencilled
annotation of the verso of last leaf "Harry from Eric, received with music
Dec 7/44". The first letter includes poems "Normandy 1944 June" and "Reason
Moves Me to Think Then--" which ends with a musical notations using their
F.22 E.A. to H.S., [1 December 1944]
F.23 E.A. to H.S., [20 December 1944] + envelope
F.24 E.A. to H.S., 15 January 1945 + envelope
F.25 E.A. to [Augustus] Briddle, 10 February 1945, marked "copy". E.A.
objects to Briddle's criticisms of Somers' quartet which debuted on 28
F.26 E.A. to H.S. and R.S., 16 February 1945, mentioning Briddle. At
the bottom of the letter are two pen and ink sketches, titled "An Englishth
[sic] Myth" and "A Myther [sic]"
F.27 E.A. to H.S., [April 1945], encl. pen and ink drawing of a cat. The
letter concerns the cat who E.A. "interviewed" outside a museum.
F.28 E.A. to H.S., 28 April ; the vase story is mentioned, see F.35
F.29 E.A. to H.S., 18 May  + envelope
F.30 E.A. to H.S., June 1945 + envelope. E.A. has begun to study lithography.
F.31 E.A. to R.S., 7 July ; E.A. to H.S., [10 July 1945]. He expects
to be back in Canada in August.
Manuscripts, typescripts, and news clippings:
F.32 "A Young Artist Paints Record of Air Heroes," ts. by Allen Nickelson,
Canadian Press staff writer, 1943. Also two news clippings: "Toronto Artist
Paints Men of RCAF in Action," by Mollie McGee, Toronto Globe and
Mail, 7 February 1944; "Canadian War Pictures to Be Hung in London,"
by Kenneth C. Cragg, Toronto Globe and Mail, 29 December 1943.
F.33 "To H.S. and All Those Like Him", ms., poem, February 1945
F.34 "Life, There Is a Lot to Live For ...", ts., April 1945, which begins
"I was attracted by two vases ..."