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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 picture was taken in the best summer of my youth. It was the summer of 1967. I am on the far left. My best friend then and now, Esme Johnstone, is in the centre. Diana, my sister, is on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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This is a picture of the Canadians in England before they arrive in France. They look like "New Boys" and they are. Here they are in 1916 at the Somme - quite different. When they arrived in France in February... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
I am writing a real time story of my large extended family's experiences in the First World War. When I say real time, I mean that each week from August 1914 to May 1919 will have entries talking about what... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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From the McCord Collection As General Currie, an unknown in Feb 1915, arrives in France, Julia, Lady Drummond, known socially but not for anything else, sets up shop in a small office at 14 Cockspur Street in London in mid... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
Here is a post that has Monty at my school http://smartpei.typepad.com/robert_patersons_weblog/2007/12/amesbury---my-d.html
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This lovely painting shows the arrival of the Canadians in St Nazaire on Feb13/14 1915. They had come all the way from Avonmouth. (More here about the painting) It gives us a sense of the relief that men from such... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
On the Monty front how fascinating. His home during the war where his son David lived was my prep school. Amesbury. He would visit the school often when I was a boy he found it very hard to be with peers and adults but he was simply wonderful with all if us. We adored him. Trum 2 must have had a unique view of the man and the war
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Richard. How wonderful to hear from you. I used "Tim " because that is in the letter to his mother from Guy Drummond. It may be an error of transcription. If his son was Trum I bet he was too. When I get back from holiday I will add a note and change this. Marjory's sister was on the Lusitania with my great Aunt. They shared a table. She was coming out to join her sisters who had both lost their men. She drowned with my cousins Gwen, Anna and John. How hard it must have been for them. The wonder being that Trum and Guy fathered children and so you are here. I would love to hear more stories from you. Please add them. We will chat when I get home
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My grandfather got flu in January 1915 and was hospitalized for it. "Mild attack" says the note. But there may be more to this than the obvious. It seems that the strain of flu that hit the world like a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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The man pointing on the left is Dr Fritz Haber, a Nobel winning scientist, who - as well as discovering how to make artificial nitrates and so fertilizer - was the primary advocate of using poison gas. The use of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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This is a view of the Drummond House in Montreal before the war. I show this again because of the horses. In 1915, this is how most of the officers on the CEF "saw" horses. Many of the horses that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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This is the Cloth Hall in Ypres at the end of 1914. Ypres was where the Canadians lost their innocence. It was where the war took a new turn in horror. All of this because it could not be lost.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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This print by the Ilustrated Londom News shows British wounded early in the war. Nearly 90,000 of the BEF had been wounded or killed from August to December 1914. This kind of industrial war would demand an industrial approach to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2015 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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The Christmas of 1914 was a Christmas like no other in the war. On the front lines, as this picture shows, there was that unique moment of humanity as the two sides crossed into no man's land and celebrated together.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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By Christmas 1914, there had been nearly 100,000 casualties in the British army but this had not deeply affected the British people. This was because the British Army, that had retreated from Mons and then been part of the victory... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2014 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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30,000 Canadian women crossed the Atlantic to be with their men during WWI. But for the nearly 600,000 men who left Canada during the conflict, all left behind women and girls that they loved. It is no wonder that many... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
I too am captivated Chris - I had no idea when I started how their lives would take me over. Also I had no idea how much information is now available. If I live to 2019, there will be quite a book here. I now intend also to spend a couple of months on the western front and get a feel for the place. I have been before but not long enough to immerse myself in the landscape. It would be fun if a few others might drop by for a time when I do this - hint hint
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While the First Contingent of the CEF settled down for a tough winter in the mud of Salisbury Plain. The PPLCI got ready for an immediate move to France. They were not a bunch of recruits but hard men who... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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This idyllic picture shows a Brtish soldier returning home on leave. Sadly, this happy scene was largely a myth. Even if you had a family to go to there was too much of a disconnect between what these men had... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2014 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
And yes - 30 x 30,000 gives you a sense of the loss in a real way
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If you look in the right hand margin of the blog you will see a list of books - the One on Vimy is done and tells the story of how the Canadian - the amateurs became the spear point of the British Army
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Thank you Andrew - this is a labour of love for me - 19 of my family died in WWI - including two teenage girls who drowned on the Lusitania - By christmas 2018 - if I am still here myself - I hope to have a book that my children and grandchildren can read
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Image Over a million men trained on Salisbury Plain in WWI - the First Division of the CEF was the first. In the first post (Link) of this part about the CEF in England in 1914-Feb 1915, we saw the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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This was a not an unusual situation the men of the First Contingent in their 3 1/2 month long stay under canvas on Saisbury Plain in this, the first winter of the war. It was the wettest winter weather that... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2014 at Robert Paterson's Weblog
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We see that many traditional organizations are betting that Social Technology is the key agency for making the shift to being a network. Their hope is that if all the employees are socially connected that somehow everything will be different.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2014 at Robert Paterson's Weblog