The Story Behind the Story
With the recent passing of John Babcock, the last surviving Canadian veteran
of World War I, we have witnessed the end of an era. Although we have lost the last living link to the Great
War, it is with us still. It is in old letters, photographs, memoirs, newsreels, government records and
family reminiscences that have been entrusted to us since November 11, 1918.
Despite our questions and entreaties, my great-aunt, Martha Morkin (pictured),
rarely spoke about the war. That's not unusual for veterans. Many deal with the trauma by putting it behind
them, closing the door, and getting on with their lives. So it was with my great-aunt. It wasn't until her
latter days that she spoke about it briefly with my Aunt Eileen. My aunt took notes, and she passed those
notes along to me.
They were short, telegraphic, and spare. Most of the words remained unspoken;
but between those brief and understated lines was a world of human experience packed into four intense years.
I have included every one of her memories in this novel, weaving them into the history of the times and
drawing on a wide variety of sources to make it as real and as authentic as I could.
I hope you enjoy the story. I hope that it encourages you to find out more
about your own family history, and, in the end, I hope that it honours the men and women who built this
country and whose legacy continues to inspire us to this day.
Web Site Design by
Susan Taylor-Meehan © 2010