Very high on my list of activities this Veteran's Week will be attending as a guest at "Mary's Wedding", the opera commissioned by Pacific Opera Victoria, on November 10th. The evening will pull together several narratives for me:
One of the three characters in the opera is Sergeant Flowerdew. The real Gordon Flowerdew was indeed a sergeant early in the Great War, but as a lieutenant led the charge of C Squadron, Lord Strathcona's Horse, at Moreuil Wood, France. The battle took place on March 30th, 1918.
My father, Tom Mackay of Winnipeg, was acting troop leader, 1st Troop, at the time of the charge.
I have told a fictionalized version of my father's war in my novel, "Soldier of the Horse".
Three of my father's four children served in the navy; none opted for the army.
While at sea with the RCN, I served with then Sublieutenant Michael Morres.
Michael Morris is Production Patron of "Mary's Wedding".