Welcome to the latest edition of the Beneath the Alders e-newsletter--a newsletter mostly about the life and times covered by the Beneath the Alders series, the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

This is a special month for the Beneath the Alders series: the month in which we celebrate Remembrance Day and the sacrifices made during World War I—the Great War as it was called. The desire to describe both the extreme sacrifices made by the men and women who served and the sacrifices of those at home during and after the war was a main objective of my series. This year the Remembrance Day newsletter republishes some of the most popular WWI articles.

Like last year, we begin by hearing the actual voice of Jessie Roberts Current—the woman who inspired the series, and the fictional Jessie Stephens character within it. A recording she made on CBC radio on Remembrance Day 1999 is set to photographs of the time. Produced by Deb Kiss, it is a moving four minute tribute to a group of people not often considered when one thinks of those whose lives were impacted by the war. You won’t want to miss this. Watch the video and please share it with others.

Watch the video

In the coming days we will pay homage to those who perished in the Great War we strive to honour our most fervent commitment to them: to remember them and the sacrifice that they made for us. One way to do so is to consider the experiences, observations and very words of those serving in France over 100 years ago. The article Letters from the Front is based on eight letters written from members of the first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in 1915. Click on the link below to read more.

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In this article, Colleen answered specific questions I posed about the members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force whose 1915 letters from the Front are described in the article “Letters from the Front”.

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Did you grow up with a “spinster” aunt or great aunt? I had three and that doesn’t even include my great aunt Jessie. I always thought the great number of single women of that age correlated to the number of Canadian men killed in the Great War. But do the statistics bear that out?  Click on the link below.

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