Monday, November 10, 2008




In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
in Flanders Fields.-

John McCrae

Inspiration for the Poem
On 2 May, 1915, in the second week of fighting during the Second Battle of Ypres Lieutenant Alexis Helmer was killed by a German artillery shell. He was a friend of the Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae. It is believed that John began the draft for his famous poem 'In Flanders Fields' that evening.
Inspiration for The Poppy Umbrella
On Armistice Day in Ieper (Ypres) the idea for The Poppy Umbrella was inspired by the powerful image of poppies growing amongst the soldiers' graves in John McCrae's poem.

My Maternal Grandmother had 5 sons, Fred, Sam, Alf, Jack, and Jim who went off to WW II. My father also served overseas in the Armed Forces. Luckily all came home alive, except for Jack, who was seriously injured when hit by shrapnel. My father took a sniper bullet in the arm, but wouldn't talk about it to us, and was very embarrassed when I asked him to show my little playmates his scar on his arm, one day, long ago. At times, Dad would tell us some stories of the horrors of war, but for the most part, tried his best to forget those terrible times. I can still remember overhearing his stories to his friends, about the planes dropping bombs, that for years, as a child, I was terrified whenever I heard planes overhead.

I have a telegram sent to Dad from Mom on the day I was born. It would be two years before he saw me for the first time. My brothers, had their world upset, by this man who was around all the time now. An adjustment for everyone.

This is an old postcard, found in the old memory box. The poem is very beautiful


Out with the tide at the dawn of day, under the morning star,

Gaily the sailor boy steamed away over the deep afar.

Mother dear, cried the sailor lad

Don't be lonely at home or sad.

Through wild the storm and wide the foam

One above will guide me home

My uncle Jack, was my hero! Hit in the head with shrapnel, he was paralyzed down his right side, had no use of his right arm which was his dominate arm, came home with no speech, yet he rose above all his injury's and pain, and all he'd lost and began to make a new life, using his left arm. Uncle Jack had a beautiful garden that he worked on with one arm, he took up oil painting and could paint beautiful scenery, he built a beautiful bookcase along a whole wall in his dining room. He could do everything, except tie his shoes,and that was my job and what a honour it was! He had a fantastic sense of humour and was always laughing and taking us kids on hikes in the hills around Owen Sound. He was a wonderful man! I admired and loved him as all my Uncles, Grandfather and Father who served in the war. I have a few pages, but not the whole letter that my Uncle Jack had written to his Mother, and I'll add a few lines of it here.

"They made us all go to the shelter in the basement. I went to the station entrance and and watched. It's quite the thing to see Mom. there were big fires away in the distance. Planes were flying high above and the guns were firing. A lot of shrapnel was coming down. I could hear it hitting against buildings. We've had quite few raids. They only last a couple of hours or so. While we were on the scheme(not sure if this is the word as it's a faded piece of letter), and a raid was on, one of the chaps who was sleeping in his tent, an incendiary bomb came down right through his tent and burned his hand and also fractured it. He's in the same ward now, as I'm in."

Such horror it must of been!!!

This is my mother and father in his kilt. He was a Sargent in the Princess Patricia Infantry and spent time in France, England, Germany and all those horrible places of war, back then.

Dad was still very sick and had recurring bouts of the effects of malaria for a long time.Just a few pictures and stories to tell you about. We all have many of memories of those stories, either told to us, or memories of those who lived through such a terrible time.

I can't forget my own husband, who lied about his age and joined up to serve when he was 15. He's also my hero, and also doesn't like to talk about those times. "It's in the past" he says.


To all who served and are now serving to keep us free and keep us safe.....Thank You!

For a beautiful version of Amazing Grace, please click on this link or past it into your browser.

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West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment! In love with a wonderful husband!! A Capreol Girl from 1959-1975, Belleville 1975-1985


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