Stepler Family

Dorothy Hamilton Stepler was a native of Strathroy, Ontario, was the daughter of William and Wynne (Gordon) Stepler and sister to William Gordon Stepler. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario in 1931, Stepler worked for the Federal Department of Health and Welfare. Stepler edited and published two articles based on the letters her brother Gordon sent home from the Front while serving in World War I.

Dorothy Stepler donated her brother's correspondence and military records to the archives in 1998. They are available at the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, fonds 0170.

Additional scanned correspondence between Stepler and his family can be found in York University Libraries Digital Repository.

Gordon Stepler was a student at the University of Toronto when he signed up to fight as a gunner with the 67th Varsity Battery in March 1916.  A native of Strathroy, Ontario, Stepler was shipped out to England for training in June 1916 and arrived in France in February 1917, just in time to participate in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. 

Stepler, in addition to maintaining a correspondence with his parents and sister Dorothy, kept a series of diaries detailing his activities and experiences in the trenches and on campaign in Belgium and Germany. 

Here is a letter written by Stepler March 28, 1916, informing his mother of his plans to join up with the troops.  He was then a student at the University of Toronto.

He also took photographs of the regiment’s journey out of Cologne, Germany and back through Fumal, Belgium before being returning to Canada in April 1919. Fonds consists of diaries and approximately 150 letters of Gordon Stepler, as well as military ephemera, a discharge certificate and photograph album.

Here is a letter written by Gordon while in the trenches in April 1917.

Here is a letter sent by Stepler to his mother on June 12, 1917.

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