The Canadian Medlicotts and World War I

One of the most interesting facts, which I discovered in researching the Medlicott family history, which is particularly relevant for those family members who were born in North America, is that the family origins can clearly be traced to a certain place…a place where the surname was derived from those who lived on or owned the lands. Few families anywhere can lay claim to such a distinction. Having owned lands or lived at the place from which they took their name, which name has been perpetuated through multiple generations and which now can be found throughout the world, including Australia, the United States and Canada and which place continues to exist, is quite remarkable.

Medlicott continues to this day to be a township in the Parish of Wentnor, Shropshire, England, which is a relatively short distance from the border of Wales. The old Homestead, now called “Medlicott Hall Farm” on the Ordinance Survey, lies on the Western slope of the Longmynd Hill and Forest, near Church Stretton, a distance of some 20 miles south of Shrewsbury.

Given that the Medlicott lands were in relative close proximity to Birkenhead, Cheshire, Wales and the English port of Liverpool, it not unexpected, as you will see, that many descendants ended up in that area of the country and journeyed through that port to Australia or North America.  My wife’s Grandfather, Thomas Medlicott was born on November 24th, 1889 in Birkenhead, Cheshire, Wales and passed away on September 1958 at Medicine Hat Alberta, Canada. He married Helen Williams (1891-2012) and they had one child-Norman Thomas. Norman is the father of wife, Joan Elaine Medlicott and she has two other siblings: Charlene Anne and Thomas Clinton. Norman Thomas Medlicott was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, on June 29, 1924. In my research to this point, which has been quite exhaustive, I know of no other person born earlier in Alberta, Canada bearing the surname Medlicott. This establishes Norman Thomas Medlicott as one of the earliest if not THE earliest birth record of an Albertan born with the surname MEDLICOTT. Until someone proves otherwise, we will lay claim to this distinction.  READ ON


Demons of the Soul

The Origins and History of the Bliss Family of Medicine Hat and the Infamous Bill Bliss


Growing up in Medicine Hat, Alberta during the 50’s and 60’s brings back many fond memories and many interesting experiences. As we grow older and reminisce with family and friends about the past, these memories, for whatever reason, seem to take on greater importance in our lives.

I have always enjoyed reading about history and most recently, I became fascinated with the history of WWI. This was prompted by the discovery of pictures of my wife’s grandfather Thomas Medlicott and her great uncle, Edward Medlicott, who were both members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and who served gallantly overseas in the Great War. Both of these brothers were fortunate enough return to Canada from that conflict, while another brother George Medlicott, a member of the British Army, was not as lucky. He paid the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield of France, (Flanders) having been killed in action on the 6th of June 1918.

Recently, I had occasion to travel to France and Belgium and visited the Vimy Ridge Canadian War Memorial and famous WWI landmarks and cemeteries including familiar places or names like Ypres, Passchendaele and the infamous Hill 60, among many others. This evoked an even greater interest and passion in this remarkable chapter of our world history. READ ON

“Flying the Friendly Skies” May Not Be So Friendly Anymore!

Recent anecdotal evidence would suggest that there has been a demonstrable change affecting Canadian Visitors to the United States in the wake of the new legislation regarding pre-clearance sites at Canadian airports.

Being retired, my wife and I are frequent visitors to the United States, having had the good fortune of spending our winter months down south over the last number of years. Although we have never had any difficulty in crossing the border into the United States, the “happy hour” conversations down south invariably give rise to the occasional “horror” story about a friend or acquaintance, who has had “run in” with an overzealous U.S. Customs and Border agent. (“U.S.CBP”), most of which are usually quite amusing but typically are uneventful.

However, a number of recent newspaper articles, including reported personal stories and anecdotes, suggest that there is an enhanced level of inspection and statistically, an increasing number of refusals of entry at the Canadian/U.S. border, apparently as a result of recent changes and amendments to the Pre-clearance Agreement between the United States and Canada. 


“Frugality Risk”: How Much Money Should You Spend In Your Retirement?

In an earlier article entitled, “Retirement, Financial Risks and Negative Interest Rates, I identified and discussed the key financial risks that every retiree must understand and consider in developing a retirement plan. Based upon my own experience and from my observation of others, there is another risk that some retirees must address, which is seldom identified or even discussed.

Frugality is considered by many to be a valuable financial habit and some consider it to be a significant contributor to the establishment of wealth. By definition “frugality” refers to the quality or state of being frugal; the prudent and careful management of material and resources, especially money. Those who consider themselves to be frugal are economical in the consumption of consumable resources such as food, time or money and avoid waste, lavishness or extravagance. READ ON

“Grumpy Old Men”: The Relationship Between Aging and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence as a field of academic research has been around for several decades but has only recently become a popular topic among corporate executives as they search for new ways to improve talent/recruitment within their organization. The topic first gained notoriety following the publication of the book in 1995 entitled “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman. Based upon subsequent research and numerous empirical studies, it has been determined that having a high EI is essential in achieving success not only in business but in life itself and that it may be just as important as having a high IQ.

According to Goleman, there are five key elements to Emotional Intelligence:

  • Self-awareness.
  • Self-regulation.
  • Motivation.
  • Empathy.
  • Social skills.

“Grumpy Old Men”

It is not uncommon these days to discover that there is a general negative perception of seniors and the aging process. Many younger people when thinking about aging associate it with physical decline and diminished cognitive skills. Many seniors are stereotyped as being unhappy and isolated and lacking in motivation. Seniors are often portrayed as “grumpy old men”.

To the contrary, recent studies have demonstrated that as we get older, our emotional intelligence improves significantly and seniors are more focused on positive outcomes as opposed to having negative feelings. They have a tendency to value relationships and work harder at maintaining existing relationships and fostering new ones. They generally have a more positive outlook and a greater sense of optimism, all of which is somewhat surprising to many observers. Studies have found that there is a correlation between aging and an increase in emotional intelligence.READ ON

The Consumption of Alcohol and Travel Insurance and the Canadian Visitor to the United States

In an article entitled,Travel Insurance and the “Pre-existing Condition” Enigma and the Canadian Visitor to the United States of America (or Elsewhere), I discussed stability clauses that are found in most travel insurance policies and the impact that a pre-existing medical condition may have in the ability to obtain travel insurance coverage. For the Canadian Snowbird or anyone travelling to the U.S. or elsewhere for any extended period, the importance of travel/emergency medical insurance is well documented.

Embedded in the standard policy of insurance is a section referred to as “Limitations and Exclusions” and as one might expect, this section identifies the limits of the coverage, typically in dollar amounts and exclusions -things or matters which are not covered under the policy of insurance. Travel insurance is no exception. Most travel insurance policies have an exclusion as it relates to alcohol, which for the naive or unsuspecting Canadian visitor to the United States could have some disastrous consequences. READ ON

“Trick or Treat”: Developing a Retirement Strategy-From A Canadian Perspective

In an earlier article entitled, “Retirement, Financial Risks and Negative Interest Rates”, I identified and discussed several key retirement risks that everyone contemplating retirement should know and understand. In doing so, I encouraged those entering this next phase of life to develop not just a retirement plan but rather a retirement strategy. Understanding the difference between a plan and a strategy in this context may mean the difference between a successful retirement and a failed one. READ ON

Retirement, Financial Risks and Negative Interest Rates

-Develop Not Just a Retirement Plan But a Retirement Strategy

By far the most predominant question among Canadians that are in the early stages of retirement or who are contemplating entering this stage of life is:  

Will I have enough money to last my lifetime without compromising my lifestyle? 

In an earlier article entitled, Risky Business”-The Retirement Conundrum”, I identified the various financial risks that must be considered in developing a retirement plan. The question posed reflects one of the more challenging risks associated with retirement-longevity risk. 

But this is only one of several financial risks that need to be addressed or at the very least understood, when contemplating retirement.

Let me explain. READ ON

Are We Living Too Long?

My grandfather was 93 years of age when he was struck down and killed instantly by a car while crossing the street at night in front of his house. He had lived independently for years after my grandmother passed away. He was never sick a day in his life and continued to have all of his faculties. He allegedly had been playing “crokinole” with a little old lady across the street, just before the accident. 

When I tell this story, most people react by saying “ Oh, how sad!” My response over the years has consistently been the same, “I think we all wish we could be so lucky.”  

My wife recently returned from visiting my mother-in-law who has an advanced form of dementia and who resides in a dementia unit in an adult seniors care facility. Apart from her mental state, and being wheelchair bound, she is otherwise in good health. She is currently the same age as my grandfather, when he passed away. After a particularly frustrating visit, my wife remarked, “I think she has lived too long”.  She was not being disingenuous but rather it was a thoughtful statement made by someone who is as committed, understanding, loving, caring and compassionate as any daughter could be in the circumstances. 

At first blush, I was taken aback and somewhat surprised by the remark, as my wife loves her mother dearly. Upon reflection, however, I decided to explore the context of that statement more closely and what follows is the result of that enquiry, which some may find provocative. 

For others, I hope it is at least informative and offers some food for thought!READ ON

The Holten Canadian War Cemetery Memorial Project and a Tribute to the Fallen Soldiers from Medicine Hat

I have always had a keen interest in history and more recently genealogy and from time to time have researched and endeavoured to document my family history, for what purpose, I was not exactly sure. I have always enjoyed researching and writing, which was a natural mainstay of my chosen profession. In my retirement, I continued with this passion for writing and created my own blog, where I posted many of my articles on genealogy and other topics that I found of interest. ( or simply search William J Anhorn QC). Most recently, my genealogical research and interest in history intersected resulting in this fascinating article entitled, “The Holten War Cemetery Memorial Project and a Tribute to the Fallen Canadian Soldiers from Medicine Hat”.