Lest We Forget

November 11th is the day those of us in Canada, Great Britain and the United States remember the fallen soldiers from wars of the past and present and pay our respects to the veterans who served our countries.

After reading some of Diane Dickson‘s war stories, it got me thinking about my Grandfather who served in World War I and my dad, who completed his cadet training at the military base at Shilo, Manitoba. Here he is in his uniform, just before his 18th birthday, about the time WWII ended, so he was never deployed.

I started digging through some old photos looking for pictures of Grandpa’s military days stationed at Camp Hughes in 1916. Camp Hughes was a training camp in southwestern Manitoba, near the town of Carberry. Many of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces who trained there were later involved in the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917. While my grandfather was not among those sent overseas, I am still proud that he served in the best way he knew how.

Here’s a picture of him outside his home before heading out to Camp Hughes. I apologize for the quality of the pictures. They were scanned from very old faded photos.

In front of home on Furby Street

Grandpa at Camp Hughes 1916

This is his unit at Camp Hughes. Grandpa had the photo turned into a postcard but it was never sent.

Here is a postcard that Gramps sent home to his Dad from Camp Hughes dated August 13, 1916. The ‘X’ marks his ‘O.C.’ (Anyone happen to know what the initials stand for?)

Postcard commemorating the Presentation of Colours to 100th Battalion C.E.F, Camp Hughes, Sept.9th, 1916

New Year’s Greetings from the A.D.D.S. and Officers of Canadian Army Dental Corps M.D. No.10

In case the writing is too faint to read, the above greeting states: “May the New Year Bring a Righteous Victory and a Lasting Peace.” It was dated Winnipeg, 1916-17. Too bad the peace did not last as long as they’d hoped. 😦

While Grandpa was at Camp Hughes, there was a sandstorm that knocked down the tents. Here are a couple of rather faded photos of that event, but you get the idea:

The Sergeant’s Mess Tent, August 28, 1916
(Gramps is on the right)

Holding up Lab Tent

Grandpa (left) with QMS T. R. Lowres
at C.A.D.C. M.D10 Osborne Barracks, Winnipeg, 1919

He later became the Quartermaster at the Osborne Barrack in Winnipegs, as you can see from the picture above.

Well, there you have it – a little personal history, lest we forget.

What about you? Do you have stories about your military loved ones you’d like to share?

10 comments on “Lest We Forget

  1. Thank you for sharing! I enjoyed reading a little about your family history. The pictures say a lot, as well. I can hardly believe the first picture, too… you say your dad was 18 in the picture, but he looked so much older. It makes one think how young all those men were that fought for our freedom. Amazing.

    • Your family history was pretty interesting, too, Cheri. I can’t imagine what your Pepe went through. Keep his memories alive for your boys to pass onto their kids so that remembering those who fought for our freedoms will have more meaning. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for sharing these photographs and telling us about your family and their contribution. I look at these, and we have quite a few here in our house, and wonder about what these men were thinking, proud of course but surely a little afraid and doesn’t that make them even braver, that they did it even though there were maybe afraid. I agree also that anyone who did their work in whatever capacity “served”. My father in law was in the air force but never went overseas, however he worked at keeping the whole thing going as a clerk and a medical orderly and a mechanic. My dad was accepted into pilot training and was then turned down because at the time he was working in a factory building aircraft and one grandad had so many children the army said they couldn’t afford him 🙂 nevertheless he served in the home guard and as a fireman. My other grandad was gassed in the first war and so was unfit for active service in the second. Every one of them is a hero in their own special way. Even my mum did her bit working in the munitions factory. You didn’t have to be firing a gun on the front line to help with the war effort did you. Thanks again for this post.

    • All wonderful stories, Diane. Your family should be proud of each and every one of them. 🙂

      Dad would probably have been in the air force, probably as a paratrooper. During his training, he used to tell how scared he was standing at the top of the jumper tower with his parachute and how that first step off the platform caused his stomach to lurch rather violently and yet, he was prepared to go overseas if the war had continued. 🙂

  3. My grandfather served in the Pacific Corridor of WWII. He doesn’t speak of it much, but I know he did this country a great service. He served in two crucial battles that shifted the war in the favor of the Allies. While he is a pacifist at heart, he knew what needed to be done and he did it.

  4. I think O.C. might mean Officer in Command.
    My Grandfather was RAF WWI and RCAF WWII. My Great Aunt was a nursing sister on the front (you can see her photo, war record and a statue modelled after her on my FB page). My dad and uncles were WWII vets (Artillery, Infantry and Navy, so we had all the bases covered!). I’m glad to say they all survived.

    • Thanks for the info, Elizabeth. I thought that’s what it meant, but wasn’t entirely sure. Thank heaven all your military family survived. That’s cool that your Great Aunt was a nurse at the front. 🙂

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