Monday, September 24, 2012

S. H. Williams, author: Stand to your Horses

One of my most prized possessions is a first edition of “Stand to your Horses”, subtitled “Through the First Great War with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (R.C.)”. It was written by Captain S. H. Williams, M.C., and published in 1961. Sam Williams based the book partly on his own diary, which he had written in 1926, using as a foundation notes he made during the war. He also by then had access to the Regimental War Diary and to other first-hand accounts of crucial battles.
My father, who was living in Surrey at the time, received a copy of the book from Williams in October 1961.
S. H. Williams, 1917
In the Foreword, Sam Williams laments that he only knew of five survivors of the “epic charge of “C” Squadron led by Lieutenant Flowerdew” (my father being one of them). He also comments that the “average Canadian infantry or artillery soldier” knew little about the Canadian cavalry.
And if that was the case even among veterans of the war itself, how much more true about the Canadian population today.
More about Sam Williams and his book in future posts.

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