Friday, June 29, 2012

Interesting Feedback for Soldier of the Horse

I am pleasantly surprised by feedback that I get on "Soldier of the Horse" and topics related to the Canadian Cavalry Brigade. One recent example is a series of queries from the director of a theatre in an American town who will be mounting the poignant, prize-winning play, "Mary's Wedding". He was looking for background information that I was able to supply.
And a speaking engagement is in the works for Remembrance Day, when I will present at the Surrey Museum in Cloverdale. It is a fitting location, given the number of Moreuil Wood veterans who spent many final years in the Fraser Valley.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Explosion 1812

Tonight, History TV features "Explosion 1812", a documentary that I expect will be very well done. When reading an article about the program, I noted in particular that the producers used an archaeological approach to confirm their research. That reminded me of "Man & Horse", another documentary in which "trench detectives" found and displayed evidence of the 1918 Battle of Moreuil Wood in Picardy, France.
Sure enough, further reading in the article revealed "Explosion 1812" is a presentation by Yap Productions, who also made "Man & Horse". I anticipate a great show, and feel privileged to have been a very small contributor to "Man & Horse". The Battle of Moreuil Wood was a pivotal scene in my book "Soldier of the Horse".
Break a leg!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fighting the Hun (2)--A Review

"Fighting the Hun From Saddle and Trench" is a fascinating read. Sergeant William R. Jones joined the Royal Canadian Dragoons at the outbreak of the Great War, making his way from his home in New York State to Valcartier to sign on just days before the regiment left for the UK in September 1914.
Jones' story is told in the first person, and he manages to transport the reader into the trenches, where the bodies piled up and the mud caked soldiers from top to bottom. We are with him as he charges the enemy on his faithful horse, knee to knee with his comrades, sword levelled. Sergeant Jones witnessed the heroics of Strachan, VC, of the Fort Garry Horse; Harvey, VC, of the Strathcona's; and the first tank attacks by the British.
Known as "Lucky Bill" for his long survival under fire, Jones was lucky for sure, being off on furlough when the Canadian Cavalry Brigade attacked at Moreuil Wood. At the end of the book he is heading back across the Atlantic, returning to France to continue his battle against the hated enemy. There is no indication, at the end, of whether he survived the last hundred days of the war.
A gritty read, providing a look into the mind, ideals, and emotions of a warrior.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Royal Canadian Dragoon

A friend has loaned me a book called "Fighting the Hun From Saddle and Trench". It was written by Sergeant William R. Jones, who was "No. 59 of The Royal Canadian Dragoons". The cover is a black and white photograph of Great War mounted troopers, and the back features men leaning against the side of a trench, rifles at hand. I anticipate a fascinating read, a first person account of those gritty days on the western front.
The Dragoons were the senior cavalry regiment in Seely's Canadian Cavalry Brigade, and were in the thick of  the ferocious Battle of Moreuil Wood.