Posted 3 years ago
That wonderful Canadian Quilt that Grace Trafford Antiques just posted inspired me to share this photograph.
This is my Great Great Uncle Joe of the 12th Canadian Mounted Rifles (CMR), sometimes called the Calgary Mounted Rifles, Canadian Expeditionary Force, in WWI. Those that read my posts know that I’m retired US Army, but I take a lot of pride in the Canadian side of my family. Joe came from the family homestead a bit north of the small town of Innisfail, Alberta. The farmhouse my Great Great Grandpa built on his homestead there still stands.
By the time the 12th CMR reached France, there was more need for men in trenches than men on horseback, and Joe and the rest were used as reinforcements. Joe was wounded in an artillery barrage and diagnosed with shell shock. He was sent to recover in England, where he met Emily, the nurse that he would eventually marry and take home with him. My grandmother, who passed away at 99 a few years ago, remembered him as often angry and depressed. Her description sounded a lot like what we would call PTSD now.
One day I was talking with my grandmother about Emily. I had always assumed she was a nurse at the hospital where Joe was recovering. My Grandmother said, “No dear –Aunt Emily served in an aid station in France that was also hit by artillery. Shrapnel tore her left breast away. She was also recovering in England when she met Uncle Joe. I guess they always had that understanding about eachother.”
The second photo is a reproduction of the 12th CMR cap badge that I picked up along the way. One day I hope to run across an original at a decent price.