Man of few words leaves an invaluable archive
By Alan Freeman, London
As a small boy growing up in Ottawa, Robert Edge saw his English grandfather as a tall, somewhat distant man, who could be a bit brusque. "We were probably a bit afraid of him.
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"This may be my last entry ..."
By Dawn Walton, Calgary
It is tiny. The size of a woman's hand. It had to be small, to carry into the trenches. Ragged soldiers were already loaded down with gear.
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'One from our family is plenty'
BY ROD MICKLEBURGH, JORDAN STATION, ONT.
If you have no one specific to mourn this Nov. 11, spare a moment of remembrance for Private Jay Batiste Moyer. Pte. Moyer did not have a chance to live out much of his life. He never got to experience a joyful reunion with his family in Ontario. He never even got to turn 20.
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Tales of derring-do
By ROD MICKLEBURGH, THUNDER BAY
In a senseless war that lasted four years and took millions of lives, it was rare for individuals to stand out amid the carnage. But some managed. Meet Hector Fraser Dougall, a corker of a Canadian with more tales of derring-do attached to his name than you could shake a First World War riding stick at.
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'God bless you lads'
BY ROD MICKLEBURGH, BURLINGTON, ONT.
Christmas at the front: There was never a more emotional time for the millions of weary, miserable troops who spent four years killing each other, in a conflict few had much stomach for once they got there.
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"'There are too many ruined boys'"
BY ERIN ANDERSSEN, PARRY SOUND, ONT.
Clara White began her voyage into war by losing her purse on the way to the train. It was Sept. 15, 1915. Her diary names it "a bright sunshiny day" and notes the crowd's "rousing send off." The soldiers and nurses, Ms. White among them, left Toronto for a Montreal military ship and a voyage, beyond whales and icebergs, to a continent of falling bombs and death.
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A genteel confinement
By JILL MAHONEY, EDMONTON
Captain John Ernest McLurg gazes at the camera with piercing eyes. He is in his uniform, complete with shirt and tie. The jacket is tight around his middle. There is a gold band on his left ring finger. It has been a long time since he has seen his Annie.
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'He did the best he could ... He survived'
By ROD MICKLEBURGH, VANCOUVER
There are those who talk, and those who don't. John Fox, a soldier and officer who survived the carnage that seemed to single out Newfoundlanders more than any other group in the First World War, was one who did not.
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A story to 'make your blood run cold'
By ROD MICKLEBURGH, VANCOUVER
Pete Flett's last flight began from the tiny French aerodrome at Luxeuil-les-Bain in the early afternoon of April 14, 1917. The Ontario-born fighter pilot was flying a legendary Sopwith biplane, one of four taking part in an Allied bombing raid on the university town of Freiburg, about 110 kilometres away in Germany. The raid was a reprisal for the U-boat torpedoing of a British hospital ship a month earlier in the English Channel.
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