Peterborough native to share father’s letter from war

  • Sydney Williams, "Dear Mary" File photo—

Published: 7/18/2019 9:59:00 AM

Sydney M. Williams, Jr., joined the American army in 1944 and served in the 10th Mountain Division in Italy until his release in 1945. All during that time he wrote letters home to his wife, Mary. His son, Sydney III, has collected them along with correspondence to and from other family members and friends. “Dear Mary: Letters Home From The 10th Mountain Division 1944-1945” has just been published and includes commentary by Sydney III where needed.

Sydney III will be at The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 20 to discuss the book. This event is free and all are welcome. Mary and Sydney had married in 1938 and moved to an older house on Middle Hancock Road in Peterborough shortly before the hurricane of ‘38. There they continued their interest in sculpture, raised horses and goats, and had four children before Sydney was drafted. During the war Mary stayed in Peterborough part of the time and the rest with her family in Connecticut. Many of the letters reference art, neighbors, the animals, and the activities of the children offering a very personal portrait of the homefront as Sydney continued to be engaged with his family, while often being unable to comment on the war activities especially during the early months in Italy.

Sydney M. Williams, III, grew up on that small farm in Peterborough, and later spent his career on Wall Street. Now retired, he lives in Essex, Connecticut, with his wife, Caroline. His other books include “One Man’s Family: Growing up in Peterborough and Other Stories” (2014) and “Notes from Old Lyme: Life on the Marsh and Other Essays” (2016). Sydney and his siblings and a cousin are the founders and owners of The Toadstool Bookshops which opened in 1972.

For more information, call the bookstore at 924-3543.


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