I first learned about the World Wars through Remembrance Day poppy drives in Jamaica. Like Canada and other countries, we have the same traditions of honouring and supporting our veterans. This is one of the Canadian holidays that is part of our shared history.
In 1999 Marc Goodman wrote an article, “Remembering when the World was at War” in Skywritings magazine. The subtitle is, “A visit with Jamaica’s last surviving World War I veteran gives a glimpse into history’s bloodiest battlefields, and a Jamaica past”. The host was 103 year old Ugent Augustus Clark who had volunteered for the British West Indies Regiment at age 22. Ugent Clark served as an ammunition carrier in the war & was at the Battle of the Somme. Goodman quotes him as saying:
They speak about (religion) a lot. You feel religion and God. You could dead at any time. You just take it one day at a time…. War is no good. It changes things, but in the changing, plenty bad things go on.
It is an excellent article. I can see why Marc was my Mom’s favourite student.
I heard McCrae’s In Flanders Fields read on Sunday. The text is here. What Dylan Thomas wrote is true: “And death shall have no dominion.”