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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

When you observe the How, the Why either resonates and amplifies the peaks or dis-harmonizes and diminishes the peaks.

by Rick Baker
On Jul 10, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet 

First, it is essential to do a good job of observing in order to properly perceive the How. 

Then, with the How understood, the Why has an opportunity to become fully clear. 

Finally, take time to understand why the Why either resonates or dis-harmonizes. This is the route to understanding whether Values are in sync or whether Values are likely to create interpersonal challenges and Culture problems. 

(I mean - Culture problems within your business, your family, or your community.)

If we had not learned the word "No" so well when we were young, we would spend a lot less time ruminating about our mistakes.

by Rick Baker
On Jun 24, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

When we were young a lot of people started to say "No" to us. We were made to believe it was wrong to say and do certain things....many things. The rules of "No" versus "Yes" were inconsistent, depending on who was saying them and where all of us were when they were being said. Regardless, when we were instructed "No" we received the message we were doing something wrong...i.e., making a mistake. We heard "No" so many times when we were young we still ruminate about our mistakes, sometimes even the mistakes we made when we were young. 

We should shake that off.

Courage breeds Confidence and Confidence breeds Conviction & Creativity.

by Rick Baker
On Jun 9, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

It takes courage to face adversity. It takes courage to face criticism. It takes courage to face change. 

Children are born courageous and independent-minded. But, often, that is discouraged.

It takes wisdom to re-build courage.

If we had not learned the word "No" when we were young, we would spend a lot less time thinking about our mistakes.

by Rick Baker
On May 20, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

When we were young a lot of people started to say "No" to us. We were made to believe it was wrong to say and do certain things....many things. The rules of "No" versus "Yes" were inconsistent, depending on who was saying the rules and where all of us were [mental schema, states of mind, etc.] when the rules were being expressed.

Regardless, when we were instructed "No", we received the message we were doing something wrong...i.e., we were making a mistake. We heard "No" so many times when we were young much of our current thoughts involve our past mistakes, sometimes even the mistakes we made when we were very young. 

We should learn to shake mistakes off.

It's okay to yell and scream at work...celebrations do not have to be subdued.

by Rick Baker
On May 16, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Baby Boomers, an interesting 'generation': grew up under pressure...watched the first steps on the moon...survived disco music...and some of us still haven't figured out how to stop yelling and screaming at work.

 

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