#100DaysofVimy – January 22, 2017

Each Sunday we will share a story of Remembrance.

Part I:

Will R. Bird’s “Thirteen Years After” – In the years immediately following the First World War, acts of honouring the battles and the men who fought quickly declined. In Canada, the economic prosperity of the 1920’s left little time to dwell on the past. But in 1932, one veteran’s tour of the “old” battlefields re-united veterans and brought Great War nostalgia back into mainstream society.

Will R. Bird, M.M. served with the 42nd Canadian Infantry Battalion (The Black Watch) from 1916 – 1919. In 1932, Bird was sent to revisit the battlefields and write articles of reflection for Maclean’s Magazine. Bird’s articles became wildly popular across Canada and helped bring attention to the growing veterans movements. Veterans now in their forties and fifties “were hungry to share their wartime experiences, and Will Bird gave them the chance” (Christie, preface to Thirteen Years After, 2001).

Part II, Will Bird’s tour of the Vimy Ridge battlefield, will be posted next Sunday.

 

In 1932, Will R. Bird returned to the battlefields and witnessed the lasting scars of the war on the landscape. Depicted here are the ruins of the Church at Ablain St. Nazaire.  Photo: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-002462
In 1932, Will R. Bird returned to the battlefields and witnessed the lasting scars of the war on the landscape. Depicted here are the ruins of the Church at Ablain St. Nazaire.  Photo: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-002462