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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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When my Granddad went to war...

by Rick Baker
On Nov 11, 2019

In late 1915, as WW1 continued, our community began to recruit for the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force.

Military paperwork dated September 6th, 1915 confirms a young fellow, William Charles Morgan, born July 28th, 1895 enrolled and was examined at Carling Heights [Wolseley Barracks]. The medical records for this young fellow from Berlin, Ontario confirm he measured 5’-4” and he had a scar on a finger of his left hand.

Military paperwork dated February 14th, 1917 confirms a young fellow, William Charles Morgan enrolled at Kitchener, joining the Canadian army. The medical records confirm this young fellow measured 5’-8” and he had been vaccinated twice on his left arm. He had a tattoo of a maple leaf, above a scroll containing “Canada 118”. There were a few other tattoos…”Gwen”, “Emma”, “Beckie”, and a serpent on the right forearm. And, he had a one-inch scar one inch below the left angle of his mouth.

That’s what we found when we looked up my grandfather’s World War 1 records.

You may wonder, back during World War 1, were there 2 William Charles Morgans in our community?

No…the same man enrolled twice…he applied for overseas service twice…he was accepted twice.

Then - why would a young man enrol for the army twice?

What’s the story behind the growth in height?

And, what about the facial scar and all those tattoos?

The war records confirmed the stories my Mom told me about her Dad.

In 1915, my Granddad was too young to join the army. So, he lied about his age. In 1915, the army accepted my Granddad Morgan’s application and he became a bugle boy in the 118th Battalion.

Then in 1917, when he was of legal age he enrolled a second time.

My Grandfather served in the trenches of Belgium. He was exposed to chemical warfare…he was gassed. As a result, he had half his stomach removed and he was a sickly man for the rest of his life. This did not stop him from serving in World War 2…but it did preclude him serving overseas. In WW2, my Granddad was a Captain of the Army Signal Corps, serving in London, Ontario. Apparently, my Granddad could draw maps with both hands at the same time.

My Granddad Morgan died in his early 60’s, in 1963, when I was a child. I shall always  remember laughing together while I sat on his knee. I shall think about the blurred tattoo on his arm…the tattoos were something I had forgotten all about until I read his WW1 records…and childhood memories came to me.

I shall think of my Granddad Morgan today…

…I shall think of a brave, patriotic, adventurous, courageous, naive, restless, young fellow leaving Canadian soil, crammed on a ship with his mates…

…and, today, I shall think of that young fellow aging quickly, living each day as fully as he could while he shared the shock and awe of WW1 trench warfare with his mates…

…and I shall think of that young fellow, still a teenager…but with 3 years of hardened army service on his record…coming home to Canada…a man…a changed man.

…and, today, I shall think of my Granddad Baker who refused to talk about the 7 years he spent in the army, overseas, in World War 2.

…and I shall think of my Dad, who enrolled in the Canadian Navy as soon as he turned 18, serving in Halifax during 1944 and 1945.

…and, today, I shall think of my 2 sons who, thankfully, have not faced the weapons of enemies.

 

Tags:

Beyond Business | Family Business and CFFB | Hero Worship

Talent can get lost...even young Mozart was too busy playing notes to focus his mind on quality music.

by Rick Baker
On Aug 31, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Apparently, even the greatest, including the child-prodigy composers, could get all wrapped up in their instruments and their talents at the expense of gaining the specialized knowledge required to excel. [Fortunately, they had mentors.]

Strengths = Talent + Opportunity +Specialized Knowledge + Practised Skills.

Tags:

Solutions & Opportunities | STRENGTHS: People-Focused for Success | Thought Tweets

Mediocrity happens when we live under the wings of our bad-habits.

by Rick Baker
On Aug 30, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Bad Habits follow us like shadows. Bad Habits make us mediocre. We can replace Bad Habits with Good Habits...it's a matter of choice...and commitment & self-discipline.

Tags:

Habits: Good Habits, Bad Habits, & New Things | Thought Tweets

We know the right things to do...even while we are not doing them.

by Rick Baker
On Aug 29, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Most of the time we know the right things to do, yet, often, we don't do those right things. 

In particular, we tend to do things that offer short-term gain over long-term gain. Dieting provides a good example. Most diets work if people follow them. Most people don't follow them. So, the reality is most attempts at dieting fail.

Tags:

Beyond Business | Thought Tweets

Isn't it ironic that successful people are busy while unsuccessful people are too busy?

by Rick Baker
On Aug 28, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

I've never heard a successful person say, "I'm too busy."

I've heard many struggling people say, "I'm too busy."

There must be a cause-and-effect at play here...

Perhaps, successful people never place themselves into too-busy situations, so they never feel or think too-busy?

Perhaps, people who say "I'm too busy" doom themselves to never be successful?

Understanding the power of self-talk and not wanting to take chances on the latter...I choose to never say "I'm too busy."

 

 

Tags:

I'm too busy! - I don't have time! | Thought Tweets

Our pervasive habits take us both to and from our elusive goals.

by Rick Baker
On Aug 27, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

The more elusive the goal, the more pervasive the habit.

Pervasive habits are like governors...some are good while some are bad....some are 'on topic' while some are 'off, on a tangent'. 

Paraphrasing Napoleon Hill - the wind can take you east or west, depending on how you set your sail.

Tags:

Habits: Good Habits, Bad Habits, & New Things | Thought Tweets

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