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Robert Paterson's Weblog

Looking beneath the surface

Last Build Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2018 10:58:02 -0500


Mass Shootings - Are Men Bad - Part III - Are boys and girls the same?

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 10:58:02 -0500

Are boys and girls the same? The evidence tells us not. This post is all about the consequences of this question. In part I of this series, we examined how sensitive men are to external culture and so to external...

"Noblesse Oblige" - A History of the Families of Montreal's Golden Mile in World War 1 - Book 1

Tue, 09 Jun 2015 11:33:51 -0400

This is the Menin Gate at Ypres where the names of those whose bodies were never identified at the Salient in World War 1 are recorded. This omnibus of 56 posts takes us from the outbreak of war to the...

World War 1 - Total War Begins - Post Lusitania and 2nd Ypres

Tue, 09 Jun 2015 10:06:15 -0400

In October 1914, over 1,000 men in the new PPCLI have their picture taken by their ship. By May 15, barely 150 are still left in the field. Of the 18,000 men in the Canadian First Division who arrive in...

World War 1 - Tragedy and Response - Loss, Anger and Honour - Hammie Gault

Thu, 04 Jun 2015 13:54:37 -0400

So how did Hammie Gault and his wife Marguerite Stephens react to the events of April and May 1915? They enacted a tragedy. Think of Macbeth. Who starts the chain of events and why? It is Lady Macbeth. It is...

World War 1 - Tragedy and Response - Guilt and Loss - George Slingsby

Wed, 03 Jun 2015 11:49:06 -0400

George Slingsby was one of our heroes during the sinking of the Lusitania - more here and here. What happened to him during and after the war? He became one of the displaced. Even before the May final crossing of...

World War 1 - Tragedy and Response - Devotion - Henry Yates and Martha Allan

Thu, 28 May 2015 15:20:38 -0400

This is how the Number 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill) looked when it arrived in France in June 1915. 2nd in command was Henry Yates. Head of Medicine was John McCrae. In this post we will explore the particular devotion...

World War 1 - Tragedy and Response - Honour - Hugh Allan

Sun, 24 May 2015 15:18:26 -0400

How did Hugh Allan react to the loss of his sisters and to the losses at the front? On May the 18th, Gwen's body is found. She is labelled Body 218. A member of the family has to see it...

World War 1- Tragedy and Response - Love - "Uncle" Montagu Allan

Thu, 21 May 2015 08:20:12 -0400

How did the men in our story react to the losses of Ypres and the Lusitania? How the women reacted is here. It is clear to me, that most of the main female characters in our story talked with each...

World War 1- Tragedy and Response - Ypres & the Lusitania

Fri, 15 May 2015 16:25:32 -0400

All the excitement of the war for the Canadians from Montreal had died in April and in May of 1915 . So many of the young men had been killed or wounded at Ypres and the sinking of the Lusitania...

World War 1- The Last Voyage of the Lusitania - A personal story

Mon, 11 May 2015 12:07:25 -0400

On May 7th 1915, the Lusitania sunk in 18 minutes. Over 1,000 people died. 4 of the dead were members of my family. Many more of my family and their friends and their staff were involved. This is their personal...

World War 1 - The Test - The Canadians and the 2nd Battle of Ypres

Mon, 11 May 2015 11:55:06 -0400

In April and in May of 1915, the Canadians of the First Division, and the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry pass the test of courage and ability as they save the day during the 2nd Battle of Ypres. By early...

World War 1 - The "Pats" - Death of the "Originals" and Birth of a Legend

Sat, 09 May 2015 17:11:39 -0400

The Battle of Frezenberg, May 8th 1915, is the most important battle in the history of the regiment. It will set the culture and it will also force a transformation. The best record of the battle is to be found...

World War 1 - The Lusitania Part 5 - The Aftermath

Thu, 07 May 2015 15:43:00 -0400

All the immediate newspaper accounts have their flaws. This is certainly Hugh, Aunt Marguerite Allan's son. But the lady with him is not a survivor. Where would she get a mourning outfit? It is, I think, his older sister Martha....

World War 1 - The Lusitania Part 4 - The Sinking

Wed, 06 May 2015 14:35:22 -0400

So we come to the turning point in the lives of my large extended family in Montreal. From now on, all the adventure of World War 1 has gone and only duty and resilience is left. In Part 1, Part...

World War 1 - Henry Yates - Sailing into history

Tue, 05 May 2015 15:28:06 -0400

It's May 6th. The Metagama is captured here sailing from Montreal. On board is the Number 3 Canadian General Hospital - The McGill Hospital. 2nd in command is Uncle Montagu's best friend, Henry Brydges Yates. By the dockside with Uncle...

Trum Warren and the German Surrender May 4, 1945

Tue, 05 May 2015 14:15:02 -0400

One of our heroes in the World War 1 series that I am posting, is Trumbull Trum Warren. Here is the key post. His son, also called Trum, was General Montgomery's chief personal aide. On May 4th, Trum Jnr, escorted...

World War 1 - Ypres Update May 4- 8 - The PPCLI Move

Mon, 04 May 2015 10:41:43 -0400

This is the situation on May 4th, 100 years ago today. With the loss of all the territory on the north of the Salient, the British had to withdraw so that they could present a more rounded front. On May...

World War 1 - The Price of Devotion Part 1 - PPCLI May 1915

Mon, 04 May 2015 10:07:02 -0400

On May 5th, the commander of the PPCLI, Lt Col Buller, was wounded. Fortunately Hammie Gault, who had been wounded on February 28th, arrived back on that day with 47 replacements. Hammie took command just 3 days before the Pats...

World War 1 - John McCrae - The Motives behind In Flanders Fields

Sun, 03 May 2015 17:55:25 -0400

This is Frank Hurley's famous image of a dressing station. There is more than a dressing station here. Hurley, a great artist, added the sky effect deliberately. It is surely a "sacrament"? So too, on May 3rd 1915, when, crushed...

World War 1 - Lusitania Part 3 - Setting Sail

Wed, 29 Apr 2015 16:36:12 -0400

So it's May 1, 1915 and the great day has arrived. At noon on May 1, 2 hours late, she was pulled out of her berth on Pier 54. My Aunt Marguerite, Lady Allan and her party are on board....