REMEMBRANCE DAY IN THE TIME OF THE PANDEMIC

WORLD WAR TWO ended September 2nd, 1945.   That year winter came early to my home town of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.  On November 11th with my classmates we walked in bitter cold  the two miles from school to attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies at  the Armouries.    For the first time in seventy five years I will not  attend a Remembrance Day ceremony.  We will watch the laying of wreaths on television and then my husband and I will place our poppies on the Cenotaph  in our village of Ladner, British Columbia.

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If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is forever England.  There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed:

Gave,  once,  her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England’s, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home

 

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And think, this heart,all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given,

Her signs and sounds; dream happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends;  and gentleness,

In hearts at peace,  under an English heaven.

 

My father-in-law  grew up in a quiet town in Southern Ontario.  He enlisted and his training as a flight sergeant took place in an equally small town in Saskatchewan.  This is where he met and married.    He returned from the war to live t he rest of his life in    Saskatchewan.  He is survived by his two sons.

 

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My uncle,  Bertram Henry Henderson grew up in my home town, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.  He and his two brothers all enlisted in the Regina Rifles.  He died in action October 27, 1944.  His last letter home was dated October 27, 1944.  It was written in the dim light of a candle in a bottle.  The letter was in his effects returned to the family.

 

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My older sister and myself with my Uncle shortly before he was shipped overseas.

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This document shows the location of his grave in Belgian.  It also identifies the family who would be responsible for the maintenance and care of his grave site.

 

 

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Our Uncle’s grave continues to be looked after by the Belgian Family entrusted in their care more than 70 years ago.  Members of that family continue to maintain contact with our family.

 

My father grew up in a small village in southern England.  He fought in the war to end all wars (World War One).  When war ended he immigrated to Canada to join his older brothers in Northern Saskatchewan.  The only time he talked about the war  was to tell us how  he had befriended some Turkish prison of war soldiers and they had taught him  to make Turkish coffee.

Today we fight a grim and different war.    There are no battlefields.  The enemy is unseen.  If we follow  the health protocol that has been given us we will win this battle.

 

 

 

(  poem  … The Soldier – Rupert Brooke)

REMEMBERING ….. November llth, 2016

Remembering …

Our Uncle Bert died in Belgian in a truck accident shortly before the end of the war.  A Belgian family still maintains his grave.

Remembering my Father …

My Father fought in the second  battle of Ypres, and sustained  injures from a gas attack.

Remembering… My Father-in-Law

Carl, my father-in-law,  was a flight Sargent  stationed in Yorkshire, England.

We shall not sleep,  though poppies grow in Flanders  field.

 

REMEMBERING THE WAY WE WERE

How far back can you remember?

I remember, I remember when I was very small.

I remember my mother going away

to England.

Coming home with a valise of presents.

Two silk dresses.

I remember how they felt.

Light as a sigh.

Mine the luscious colour of the inside of a peach.

My sister hers the colour of an early morning sky

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My darling, darling older sister Mona celebrates a December birthday.   Perhaps it is because she is a December baby she embraces Christmas with more joy, more excitement than any one I know.

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The perfect birthday card for my sister’s 83rd birthday.

JIM KELLY – AND A QUARTET OF GRIPPING MYSTERY NOVELS

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I reluctantly read the last page of my book.

It’s been a few weeks and  I have been far, far away in The Fens of Eastern England.

Every watchful,  the towering shadows of Ely Cathedral … the watery, marshy lands of the Fens … have dominated  the landscape of my thoughts.

The poetic writing.

The fiendish twists and turns.

The gripping  plots of Jim Kelly’s quartet of superb whodunits  has been read after dazzlingly read.

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The series begins with DEATH WORE WHITE and a chilly introduction to the protagonists – DI  Peter Shaw and DI George Valentine.

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Twists pile on twists in DEATH WATCH.

Death-Toll

Then DEATH TOLL  with page after page of suspense, gore and excitement.

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The fourth  DEATH’S DOOR   with  the dark secrets of an isolated community in the stunning landscape of the desolate Norfolk coast.

For lovers of the keenly intelligent  British Detective genre,  Jim Kelly is at the top of my list of favorite British authors.  He joins the ranks of Ian Rankin, P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, Peter Robinson, Stephen Booth, Andrew Taylor, Graham Hurley, and John Harvey.

A DAY TO REMEMBER – NOVEMBER ELEVENTH

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is forever England.  There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed:

Gave,  once,  her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England’s, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart,all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given,

Her signs and sounds; dream happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends;  and gentleness,

In hearts at peace,  under an English heaven.

The Soldier by Rupert Brooke   l987-l915

This is every man’s poem.  One could substitute their country’s name  and it would mean the same.