During World War II, Louise Shearer’s father, Edward J. Malan, was drafted into the Army leaving behind his fiancé, Sophie Karmer.  Louise Shearer’s artifacts include her parent’s love letters, her father’s Army papers, and her parent’s wedding keepsakes.

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Transcript

The Letter from Louise’s Mother to Her Father Announcing the Birth of Louise

Dearest Edward, as you probably know by, by time, you are the father of a girl. All the signs and predictions prove false and now you are probably paying off the bets you so confidently made. We’ll have to try again when you come home soon, I hope. The baby is certainly not the most beautiful one – doesn’t look like the Malan’s or the Karmer’s.  I’m a little disappointed especially since looks mean so much to a girl. I guess she’ll improve with age. I named her Louise Barbara, as I said I would.  I feel fine only I am not supposed to sit up, hence this scrawly note. There are lots of things that happened that I think would be more interesting to Henrietta then to you.  When you come home. I will give you a detailed account. At any rate, she is not puny, seven pounds, seven and a half ounces.  I sure hope she gets prettier.  I wish you were here with me.  I see the servicemen come to see their wives and they make me jealous. Well, there’s no use complaining. I wish I’d get a letter from you.  It’s been just ages.   Here I am griping  again.  I guess I need you more than I think.  Be a sweetie pie and finish up this war in a hurry.” 

“Love from Duchess and Duchess, Jr.”