Lest We Forget

Last year, on our Canadian Remembrance Day, I talked about my family’s military history and thought I would re-post it, for those of you who might have missed it. As a matter of fact, I was discussing some of the things my Grandfather had done while in the service in WWI, but I couldn’t remember a lot of the details, so this was a bit of a refresher for me, too! Anyway, here is what I wrote last year:

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.’ (Last year, I questioned what the initials stood for but was told they refer to the Officer in Command, which makes sense when you think about it!)

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 below the ‘x’)

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 Barracks in Winnipeg, as you can see from the picture above.

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

In addition to this post from last year, I wanted to mention that we currently have two nephews, who are serving in the Reserves, not to mention those in my husband’s family who have served and are serving. I only hope they never have to see combat in their lifetimes.

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

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12 comments on “Lest We Forget

  1. I remember this – it was nice to see the pictures again. We only have one it’s from the first world war and it is my granddad with the gun carriage and his two heavy horses Jumbo and Dolly – I must ask my dad to fish it out. The cover for my novella Ghost Written is a picture of my father in law when he was in the air force during WW11 he narrowly missed being posted to the far east. So much sacrifice and so much pride. I wish it would end though and all they had to do was rescue people from floods and march about looking wonderful. – Sigh .

  2. I’ve stopped wearing a poppy, because, imho, it glorifies war.
    Read Robert Fisk’s recent article in the Belfast Telegraph for a more
    eloquent explanation of my own changing attitude. Of course, I’ll always remember.
    But the poppy as a symbol? No.
    I do appreciate the discussion. Thanks, Susan.

  3. Beautiful post. My father served in WWI too. I’m in the process of writing about his experiences and might be ready to post something next year. My dad was only a bit older than your grandpa when the war broke out. He was a medical student at the time and that saw him serving on the front line and in military hospitals. He was awarded two medals for bravery for assisting wounded soldiers under fire. I’m very proud of him. The red poppy to me does not glorify war but pays tribute to the soldiers who served an sacrificed for our freedom.

  4. You are right…may we not forget. Your old pictures were very fascinating. My uncle Doug was in the Korean War. He was in intelligence and could never tell what happened there. He’s gone now, so no one will ever know…

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