Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Bit about WWI Canada


Some"Ruthenians" in an unidentified family pic.  Ruthenians were the word for Eastern Europeans.

At first I assumed this was from OUT WEST and Herb Nicholson had sent it to his family, but the woman on the right is in twenties garb and she appears to be blessing the woman, in a way.

So she appears posh, and the picture a Photo Op.
I know the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the Canadian GG, visited Richmond in 1921, I have it in a letter.

(I wonder if Norman Nicholson took this, since he was the only one home at Tighsolas in 1921 and if he thought back to his Isle of Lewis relations, landing in Quebec in 1861, speaking only Gaelic and looking as out of place, no doubt.


I pulled out Pierre Berton's book Marching as to War, which I had on hand and consulted back in 2005 when I first uncovered the stash of Nicholson letters.

I wasn't interested in the WWI part the, just the pre-WWI part.

Re-reading the preamble to WWI I can see that Pierre Berton has succinctly summed up what my Nicholson letters of 1908-1913 show, that that era was the era of two forces, one feminine, the NEW WOMAN and one masculine, the Westward Ho.

My series School Marms and Suffragettes , Threshold Girl, Diary of a Confirmed Spinster, Furies Cross the Mersey, is about 3 boffo NEW WOMAN sisters and a brother who moved out West.

And his summary of post WWI in Canada (outside the stuff about Billy Bishop being the REAL Fighting ACE of WWI) was that War brought suffrage and temperance, my point exactly as I write about the 1914-1919 letters which I am turning into book.

He also mentions how the Protestants were determined to impose their values on everyone. So right. The Nicholson letters show that too.

Norman Nicholson, who works for the City of Richmond Quebec in 1921 is horrified that so many people under him are asking him to help them apply for jobs on the newly minted Liquor Control Board.


My story Milk and Water is about Montreal in 1927, the era of American Prohibition.