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Rob Paterson
Looking beneath the surface
Interests: my dogs, history and science, blogging, my children, science fiction and fantasy
Recent Activity
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This is the Menin Gate at Ypres where the names of those whose bodies were never identified at the Salient in World War 1 are recorded. This omnibus of 56 posts takes us from the outbreak of war to the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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In October 1914, over 1,000 men in the new PPCLI have their picture taken by their ship. By May 15, barely 150 are still left in the field. Of the 18,000 men in the Canadian First Division who arrive in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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So how did Hammie Gault and his wife Marguerite Stephens react to the events of April and May 1915? They enacted a tragedy. Think of Macbeth. Who starts the chain of events and why? It is Lady Macbeth. It is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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George Slingsby was one of our heroes during the sinking of the Lusitania - more here and here. What happened to him during and after the war? He became one of the displaced. Even before the May final crossing of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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This is how the Number 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill) looked when it arrived in France in June 1915. 2nd in command was Henry Yates. Head of Medicine was John McCrae. In this post we will explore the particular devotion... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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How did Hugh Allan react to the loss of his sisters and to the losses at the front? On May the 18th, Gwen's body is found. She is labelled Body 218. A member of the family has to see it... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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How did the men in our story react to the losses of Ypres and the Lusitania? How the women reacted is here. It is clear to me, that most of the main female characters in our story talked with each... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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All the excitement of the war for the Canadians from Montreal had died in April and in May of 1915 . So many of the young men had been killed or wounded at Ypres and the sinking of the Lusitania... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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On May 7th 1915, the Lusitania sunk in 18 minutes. Over 1,000 people died. 4 of the dead were members of my family. Many more of my family and their friends and their staff were involved. This is their personal... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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In April and in May of 1915, the Canadians of the First Division, and the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry pass the test of courage and ability as they save the day during the 2nd Battle of Ypres. By early... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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The Battle of Frezenberg, May 8th 1915, is the most important battle in the history of the regiment. It will set the culture and it will also force a transformation. The best record of the battle is to be found... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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All the immediate newspaper accounts have their flaws. This is certainly Hugh, Aunt Marguerite Allan's son. But the lady with him is not a survivor. Where would she get a mourning outfit? It is, I think, his older sister Martha.... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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So we come to the turning point in the lives of my large extended family in Montreal. From now on, all the adventure of World War 1 has gone and only duty and resilience is left. In Part 1, Part... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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It's May 6th. The Metagama is captured here sailing from Montreal. On board is the Number 3 Canadian General Hospital - The McGill Hospital. 2nd in command is Uncle Montagu's best friend, Henry Brydges Yates. By the dockside with Uncle... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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One of our heroes in the World War 1 series that I am posting, is Trumbull Trum Warren. Here is the key post. His son, also called Trum, was General Montgomery's chief personal aide. On May 4th, Trum Jnr, escorted... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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This is the situation on May 4th, 100 years ago today. With the loss of all the territory on the north of the Salient, the British had to withdraw so that they could present a more rounded front. On May... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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On May 5th, the commander of the PPCLI, Lt Col Buller, was wounded. Fortunately Hammie Gault, who had been wounded on February 28th, arrived back on that day with 47 replacements. Hammie took command just 3 days before the Pats... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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This is Frank Hurley's famous image of a dressing station. There is more than a dressing station here. Hurley, a great artist, added the sky effect deliberately. It is surely a "sacrament"? So too, on May 3rd 1915, when, crushed... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
Hi Bill Thanks - I don't know why the C was commandeered. Matthew was one of an unlucky group. I hear that Mike Poirier has invited you to join the Relatives Group on FB - he may well have more answers for you - he is THE expert on the people. Eric will be in Cobh too and you can speak to him
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So it's May 1, 1915 and the great day has arrived. At noon on May 1, 2 hours late, she was pulled out of her berth on Pier 54. My Aunt Marguerite, Lady Allan and her party are on board.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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This is the house of my great great Aunt, Frances Stephens. It is on Dorchester Street in Montreal where Place Ville Marie is now. She was, in 1915, a widow and the second wife and sister of the first wife... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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The Lusitania sails on May 1st 1915. On April 28th, or earlier, Aunt Marguerite Lady Allan and her two daughters must have set out from Montreal. It makes sense to me for them to arrive in New York at least... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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On April 15th the 2nd Brigade CFA, 3 batteries (5th, 6th, 7th) and an ammunition train - 18 guns in all and nearly 800 horses got their orders to move into position to support the 2nd Brigade CI. Each Battery... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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On April 21st, 100 years ago today, my cousin Martha Allan sets sail across the Atlantic on the Adriatic. She is the advanced guard. Her mother my great Aunt Marguerite Lady Allan will leave on May 1st also from New... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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April 22 begins quietly for the Canadians on the Ypres front. The action had been in the rear. The Germans had been shelling Ypres for days and one of these shells had killed Guy's friend and brother in law, Trum... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog