- 378 pages
- Black & White
- 6.0 x 9.0 inches
- eBook (epub, mobi, pdf)
- 978-1-4602-9335-5 eBook
- 978-1-4602-9334-8 Paperback
- 978-1-4602-9333-1 Hardcover
History, WWI, Canadian Military, Vimy Ridge, War, Military Biography, Letters Home
Letters to Vimy
Dear Uncle Oscar…
I’m going to put a note on the back of our book to explain to readers what our correspondence inside is all about. It goes like this...
A hundred years ago a German shell fell on Pte. Oscar French on Vimy Ridge and ended his life. A century later author Orland French replies to Oscar’s real letters home to his mother and tells him, in his own sardonic style, how the world turned out after the horrific War to End All Wars.
Letters to Vimy is an excellent and highly entertaining personal guide to the birth and growth of Canadian nationalism out of that victory at Vimy. Sources abounded for this project, including a memorable conversation with a group of elderly German tourists on the steps of the Vimy Monument.
Your nephew in history,
Orland French grew up in Waverley, Ontario, a couple of kilometres from the farm where his Uncle Oscar was raised. This little crossroads village near Georgian Bay is nestled in a valley among the glacial hills of northern Simcoe County. Orland worked in the newsrooms of The Ottawa Citizen and The Globe and Mail and was a regular Globe columnist covering provincial and national politics. Later he taught journalism at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, and developed an interest in local history. For a decade, he was president of the Hastings County Historical Society. His interest led to producing history and geology books on the counties of Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington, and Hastings. He also advised clients on developing their own local history books through the Friesens History Book Program. For his work as a volunteer in history-related projects, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 and the Governor-General’s Caring Canadian Award in 2013.
Letters to Vimy bridges the gap of a century between the years of the First World War and today. It serves as a teaching tool and learning mechanism for readers of the book. Mr. French is pleased that younger members of the family began to develop an interest in their great-great-Uncle Oscar as the author worked on this project.
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