soldier

Category: soldier

“You boys have told a good one!” Such was the sentiment that greeted Andrew Traficante and I when we made our way to Newfoundland in support of our recently published book, A Boy from Botwood. With kind assistance from Dundurn’s Michelle Melski, our schedule permitted us to catch up with Frank Gogos, the remarkable, engaging Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum curator and author, in St. John’s and meet some terrific regional booksellers (such as the Downhome Shoppe, pictured here) who are carrying our work.

While the future of the world weighed on his mind, a corporal in the middle of the Great War noted that life goes on.

In the spring of 1917, as he and the entire Canadian Corps prepared for the greatest battle of their lives, Ellis Sifton, a twenty-five-year-old farm boy from Wallacetown, Ontario, stopped to notice familiar activity in the French countryside. Despite the approaching Easter offensive against German armies entrenched on Vimy Ridge, he noted in letters home that the planting season in France would go ahead no matter what.

History is not what actually happened, but rather what is recorded to have happened. For numerous reasons, some deliberate, others not, the recording of history can often be a distortion, if not a complete misrepresentation, of the events as they actually occurred. As such, the historian must be a sleuth to uncover, as closely as possible, the actual reality and drivers behind those events. This can be a daunting task as there are a myriad of challenges to obscure the “truth,” especially for military historians.