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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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When my Granddad went to war...

by Rick Baker
On Nov 11, 2019

In late 1915, as WW1 continued, our community began to recruit for the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force.

Military paperwork dated September 6th, 1915 confirms a young fellow, William Charles Morgan, born July 28th, 1895 enrolled and was examined at Carling Heights [Wolseley Barracks]. The medical records for this young fellow from Berlin, Ontario confirm he measured 5’-4” and he had a scar on a finger of his left hand.

Military paperwork dated February 14th, 1917 confirms a young fellow, William Charles Morgan enrolled at Kitchener, joining the Canadian army. The medical records confirm this young fellow measured 5’-8” and he had been vaccinated twice on his left arm. He had a tattoo of a maple leaf, above a scroll containing “Canada 118”. There were a few other tattoos…”Gwen”, “Emma”, “Beckie”, and a serpent on the right forearm. And, he had a one-inch scar one inch below the left angle of his mouth.

That’s what we found when we looked up my grandfather’s World War 1 records.

You may wonder, back during World War 1, were there 2 William Charles Morgans in our community?

No…the same man enrolled twice…he applied for overseas service twice…he was accepted twice.

Then - why would a young man enrol for the army twice?

What’s the story behind the growth in height?

And, what about the facial scar and all those tattoos?

The war records confirmed the stories my Mom told me about her Dad.

In 1915, my Granddad was too young to join the army. So, he lied about his age. In 1915, the army accepted my Granddad Morgan’s application and he became a bugle boy in the 118th Battalion.

Then in 1917, when he was of legal age he enrolled a second time.

My Grandfather served in the trenches of Belgium. He was exposed to chemical warfare…he was gassed. As a result, he had half his stomach removed and he was a sickly man for the rest of his life. This did not stop him from serving in World War 2…but it did preclude him serving overseas. In WW2, my Granddad was a Captain of the Army Signal Corps, serving in London, Ontario. Apparently, my Granddad could draw maps with both hands at the same time.

My Granddad Morgan died in his early 60’s, in 1963, when I was a child. I shall always  remember laughing together while I sat on his knee. I shall think about the blurred tattoo on his arm…the tattoos were something I had forgotten all about until I read his WW1 records…and childhood memories came to me.

I shall think of my Granddad Morgan today…

…I shall think of a brave, patriotic, adventurous, courageous, naive, restless, young fellow leaving Canadian soil, crammed on a ship with his mates…

…and, today, I shall think of that young fellow aging quickly, living each day as fully as he could while he shared the shock and awe of WW1 trench warfare with his mates…

…and I shall think of that young fellow, still a teenager…but with 3 years of hardened army service on his record…coming home to Canada…a man…a changed man.

…and, today, I shall think of my Granddad Baker who refused to talk about the 7 years he spent in the army, overseas, in World War 2.

…and I shall think of my Dad, who enrolled in the Canadian Navy as soon as he turned 18, serving in Halifax during 1944 and 1945.

…and, today, I shall think of my 2 sons who, thankfully, have not faced the weapons of enemies.

 

Tags:

Beyond Business | Family Business and CFFB | Hero Worship

We know the right things to do...even while we are not doing them.

by Rick Baker
On Aug 29, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Most of the time we know the right things to do, yet, often, we don't do those right things. 

In particular, we tend to do things that offer short-term gain over long-term gain. Dieting provides a good example. Most diets work if people follow them. Most people don't follow them. So, the reality is most attempts at dieting fail.

Tags:

Beyond Business | Thought Tweets

Battles require people; People require battles.

by Rick Baker
On Aug 25, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

We all have heard it takes two to tango. Tango requires people...two. Battles require people...at least one.

Battles are a fact of human nature.

The question is: Do you back into battles or do you pick them well?

Is logic in action when you select your battles?

Does self-control determine your battles and how you fight them? Do your battles align with your strengths? 

Tags:

Beyond Business | Questions?: The Art of Asking Good Questions | Thought Tweets

Like Beauty, Fairness is in the eye of the beholder.

by Rick Baker
On Aug 24, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Fairness - an admirable motive...but, one that has a really difficult time surviving both delivery and receipt.

Fairness - a thing that tends to be torn between biased perspectives.

The rest of the world will treat me unfairly...OK...I will live with that.

I will treat others unfairly...OK...I will live with that too.

Tags:

Beyond Business | Thought Tweets

Maybe it isn't more blessed to give than to receive - consider the Ben Franklin Effect.

by Rick Baker
On Aug 19, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Ben Franklin found people, even people who clearly disliked him, responded positively when he asked them for a favour. As one example, back in the day - almost 300 years ago, books were very rare in New England. Benjamin Franklin asked a political opponent [who had publicly criticized Ben] to lend him one of his prized books. The person loaned the book to Franklin, who read it quickly and thoroughly then returned it. After this experience, the opponent softened his attitude toward Franklin.

These Ben Franklin experiences led to what is now known as the Ben Frankin Effect

Better to procrastinate when the task is under-whelming than when it is over-whelming.

by Rick Baker
On Jul 30, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Much as our mothers admonished about other matters and manners, "There is a time and a place". This applies too to procrastination. Procrastinate For Success

Tags:

Beyond Business | Thought Tweets

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