On Sunday is Remembrance Day also called Armistice Day, a day to remember the soldiers who have died in World War I. The armistice between the Allies and Germany went into effect on November 11, 1918. Germany was defeated, but that doesn’t matter for this day. All the soldiers suffered, no matter for which country they fought. In Germany this Remembrance Day is called Volkstrauertag and not celebrated on November 11 but two Sundays before the first Sunday in the Advent time. In 2012 that’s on November 18. The German carnival time begins on November 11 11h11, which is celebrated in some parts of Germany with lots of noise.

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His face looks back at me from an almost 100 year old photo. It’s a regiment photo, shot before they left Ontario. His complexion is fair;  his hair is light; he looks about 20. His military papers say he was a dark haired 30 year old man. I guess you can’t trust documentation. He died at the Battle of Somme it says. That’s almost certain. He was a laborer in Norwich it also says, but enlisted at Woodstock.  He was only in Canada 5 years and he left very little here; his trail is faint. He seems vague and  mysterious to me. No family here – a father in England.

My soldier is memorialized at Vimy, which means the body was never found. Did someone see him die? Internet accounts describe soldiers walking on the numerous dead – the Somme was bad. It lasted 5 months.

71st Regiment

Photo Source: Woodstock Museum…

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