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“This looks truly amazing Brian, if I was an art critic I would know all the right things to say to you but I’m not so this comes from the heart…it is incredibly moving. I am glad the colours are not gloomy despite the enormous sacrifices that were made, it is very powerful in a different way because the colours are so brilliant. I think often of what both my parents had to say about the time their high school chums went to war and how awful it was that so few of them returned. For Dad, he was too young, so he was faced with managing the farm and all the responsibilities that came with that at a very young age. He had only one other brother who was younger and all other siblings were girls so the responsibility was heavy in a very different way. My grandfather and Great Uncle were both gassed in the war but still managed to live into their 80’s.”
– Catherine Smith
“Private Arthur Raymond Galbraith
835502 146th Battalion CEF
D.O.B. 07 Jul 1897, age 19
Enlisted 24 Jan. 1916 Kingston On.
Sailed from Halifax NS to Scotland 10 Jun. 1916 to start his brief career as a Canadian Infantry Soldier, in the First World War.
My older cousins may have a better recollection of him as their Grandfather; however, I only have pictures and a Medical Record from the Archives of his service.
From this document I feel his pain, anguish and commitment to his country, as he was wounded, transferred more than half a dozen times to slowly make his way back over the ocean to his homeland, Canada, this taking well over a year from Battlefield to front door, a humble farm in Croyden On.
From these documents, and I quote:
“Wounded at Passchendale, 26 Oct. 1917 by machine-gun fire, bullets entered below left knee, severed posterior tibial artery, and bone. Amputated through left above the knee on 28 Oct. 1917 at Field Hospital #44 Canadian Casualty Station…”
My family often said, he falsified his recorded birth date to enlist at 16, however, even at recorded 19, a young man he was. He would be 117 this year.
Honouring his and others memories through Art is an emotional journey worth taking and I for one am enjoying every moment.
Thank you Brian, and the members of Project Remembrance for your dedication to preserving and sharing these stories.”
– Catherine Anne France Galbraith