(Or Why I Treat My Wife Like Royalty)
By William J Anhorn K.C. ICD.D
Here is an article which is a slight departure from my usual offering relating to Medicine Hat history but it may be of interest to some as it explores my other passion-genealogy.
–How the hopes, dreams and aspirations of some of these young men from Medicine Hat were impacted by the Second World War
-The Story of an Italian Gentleman and his Heartwarming Connection to a Fallen Canadian Soldier and the Beginning of an Italian Christmas Tradition
As we approach another Remembrance Day, we should again pause and reflect on those who paid the ultimate price in defense of our freedom- a “freedom” which is not without its own logical boundaries which has been predicated soundly for centuries on the “rule” of law. A “freedom” which far too many of us today have silently taken for granted.
Here is a story of a Fallen Soldier who has no special connection but whose sacrifice in a far away land should be honored and remembered.
More than 2,800 nurses served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps, as fully-enlisted officers in the specially-created all female rank of “Nursing Sister”, during World War I. Nicknamed “bluebirds” because of their blue uniforms and white veils, Canada’s nursing sisters saved many lives by caring for wounded and sick soldiers during this horrific conflict in France and Belgium during the Great War (1914-1919). Their valour and dedication to the war effort, however, is often overlooked. One of these Nursing Sisters has a unique connection to Medicine Hat and her story is one that should be told as part of another interesting chapter in the history of Medicine Hat.
On June 16th, 1945 Major Mary Minor Mills, R.C.A.M.C was awarded the Royal Red Cross Medal by King George VI at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Major Mills has a unique and special connection to Medicine Hat and Southeastern Alberta and Southwestern Saskatchewan and her story is a story worth telling as it forms another interesting chapter in the history of Medicine Hat.
On Remembrance Day, we Canadians pause to honour the men and women who have served and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict, and peace. Many of us where a red poppy to symbolize our respect to those that served and paid the ultimate price in service to their country. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae beautifully captured this symbolism of the blood-red flowers in his 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields.” The poem which has received international acclaim, was written to honour those who had fallen during the Battle of Ypres in WWI, as he noticed how quickly the poppies grew over the graves of soldiers who had earlier died during this battle. It is a moving tribute and a reminder that their sacrifice should always be remembered.
Here is my second article in my effort “not to break faith” but to REMEMBER…..
“If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields”
A recent genealogical discovery is worthy of being documented as I found that a distant relative in WWI was awarded the rare Victoria Cross for gallantry and bravery. As we approach November 11th, and honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for love of country, his story is worth sharing as we discover one of the many “real” moral tragedies of war. LEST WE FORGET
This is the second of a series of articles in relation to the St Margaret’s Church “Living” Memorial Project. READ ON
As an amateur genealogist and historian, I have been recently involved in several interesting research projects. I have written extensively regarding my family history (Anhorn/Medlicott/McIvor) and in doing so, I have endeavored, whenever possible, to put the story in some … Continue reading →