On a recent trip to Bayfield, Ontario, I walked through a park near the entrance to the town. It’s a welcoming little park with beautiful oaks and maple trees, park benches and swings. On that particular day, the sun was warm and a cool wind rustled the freshly coloured leaves. Fall was upon us and soon the November winds would be blowing. I walked along the path which led me to the Cenotaph – the “empty tomb” honouring those individuals from the town who had sacrificed their lives for Canada. These heroes lived an unselfish life in order for generations after them to live in peaceful surroundings. I looked around at the young kids laughing and playing innocently in the park, I watched as families – mothers, fathers, grandparents, sat on park benches, sharing stories. I captured some photographs of those who lost the fight but whose lives were not lost in vain – I honour them and thank them for that especially when I see my children running freely amongst the fallen leaves.
© 2013 Ann Ivy Male
An excerpt from “Bayfield During WWI ” by David Gillians
Harry Baker was an 11 year old boy when he watched some of the older boys march off to war. In his book ‘My Memoirs’, Baker wrote; “A lot of local boys went to join up. Alan MacDonald one of the boys I knew well. Had a very quarrelsome father and one night he and Alan got into a fight and the next day Alan enlisted and was killed August 8th, 1918. Wilfred Toms and Ken Currie were also killed; they were all friends of mine.”
“Kenny Currie was just sixteen when he enlisted, Harvey, his brother too was killed and left poor Mrs. Currie with four daughters to raise as her husband had died with pneumonia a few years previous. He had been ice fishing and fell through the ice and instead of coming home, proceeded to set his nets as he needed food, but it cost him his life.. How poor Mrs. Currie raised the children, I will never know, no children’s allowance in those days.”