Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remembrance Day, 2015

Here we are at Remembrance Day, with a new government, full of hope for the future, while at the same time we look back. There was the annual ceremony at the cenotaph in City Park, with its booming canons rattling our windows (built long before the Great War that Grampy fought in). With the Royal Military College based here, as well as a major military base, there is always a parade. Here, the Princess of Wales Own march past.




I thought of my grandfather, pictured here in 1915 as a young officer, younger than my own son is now.

He seldom spoke of his war experiences, other than to joke that he chose not to sign up for the cavalry, because he didn't want to spend his time mucking out stalls. Eventually he was wounded, and spent time first in British hospitals (hence his lifelong aversion to Brussels sprouts) and later with his aunt, Lady Perley, whose husband, Sir George was our High Commissioner in London. In his nineties he was invited to review his regiment at a time when he was the oldest surviving officer from WW1. Around the same time, an archivist from the National Archives visited the house to interview him about his experiences and collect such archival material as he still had in his possession. There is a small collection under his name.
My American readers should keep in mind that Canada was in the War from the outset and over its duration lost a sizable percentage of its young, male population.
After sitting on my front steps to watch the parade, I took a few minutes to admire the beauty in our late fall front garden.

The last few leaves of the Boston Ivy against our limestone wall.

The last rose of the season. Amazing that there's any bloom at all in November.
Poignant.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for this lovely remembrance.

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  2. Remembrance Day is always very touching for me...I watched the ceremony here in Picton and wept the whole time. You know, the white rose pictured looks just like a southern Camelia. Do you think it might be one? That would account for its blooming so late.

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    Replies
    1. I'm pretty certain it's one of the Canadian Explorer Series of roses.

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