Postcards from France
"My grandfather was in France during the first world war and sent my mother, his oldest daughter, Florence, who was then a teenaged girl, some postcards which are now in my possession. Several have personal messages to her in his handwriting. One is embroidered with the symbols of his regiment, the Suffolk Regiment. There is also a booklet of views of the town of Albert, on the Somme, 'after the bombardment.’
When my book group read The Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden, Grandad's experiences came into a new focus. In the book, two First Nations snipers from Northern Ontario got a little out of control on one occasion and the author describes them shooting their rifles after climbing onto a statue of the Virgin and Child that had been standing upright on top of a church steeple, but by then was semi dangling at about 90 degrees. As I read I remembered this statue from the book of views of Albert. So Grandad, who had died before I was two years old, (they said that he was never the same) had been in the terrible world described in that book. My thanks to Joseph Boyden for making that connection for me.
In reading some of the other posts on the alumni Facebook page, I'd like to pass on my gratitude to Emily Doyle re: school food and Trevor Bell re: limnology of Lake Melville etc. If this is a just world/province their work will be celebrated."
- Joan Scott