In Rememberance….Postcards from the Past


I’ve taken on a labour of love as of late.  I discovered that I was in possession of several old photographs, some more than a hundred years old of various family members…many of whom sadly I don’t know.  I began scanning them into the computer and then running them through the program Adobe Lightroom to restore them to some degree and this has proved to be very successful!

I also want to be able to put together a package for family members as well.

Then came the curiosity of trying to discover who it was that was in some of these photos.  I accessed a few of the genealogy sites and had some success.  However these site are not always easy to navigate.

Yesterday I attempted to discover some information regarding my Grandfather Pilling’s time in World War l and my father’s time in World War ll.

I have documentation as to one of the regiments my father was in any yet when I entered the information then checked that I was only interested in Canadian records, the result was 97,000 possibilities, many of them from the U.S.

The same issues with my grandfather, though I don’t know what regiment he was in, I do know he was stationed in France during 1916 and 1917.  What I wanted to do yesterday was to put together a commemoration of sorts for both my father and grandfather respectively in remembrance for November 11, 2014.

0. PILLING, Arthur, Army Uniform

Grandfather Arthur Pilling, circa 1916 stationed in France.

I came across four postcards that are now close to 100 years in age.  They were sent by my grandfather to his parents during the war.  Beautifully embroidered with intricate needlepoint with the fabric then glued to card stock that is incredibly strong.

1.

Postcard No. 1: The intricate detail is just amazing

 

2.

Back of card: CHRISTMAS 1917

 

3.

Postcard No. 2: The detail again is remarkable.

4

Back of Card: 16th September 1916 Dear Parents, Just a line to let you know I am quite well. Hope you are alright. I just got a letter this week, will reply tomorrow. I have halfday holiday today. How do you like this? Best love from your son, Arthur

5.

Postcard No. 3: This one is just gorgeous and the detail incredible.

6.

Back of card: 1917 Dear Mother and Dad, I am sending you these cards wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. From your loving son, Arthur

7.

Postcard No. 4: Again I am amazed at the detail of these items.

8.

Back of card: CHRISTMAS 1916 From Arthur to Ma and Pa From France

 

My father was a young man when World War II broke out.  In 1942 he would have been just 17 years of age.  He joined the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers.  From my research this was a volunteer program that was set up to have men familiar with their respective areas patrol them in the event that our shores were invaded by the enemy.

I cannot imagine the fear and paranoia that must have been rampant at this time.

My father also served eight months active duty in the army overseas.

The PCMR disbanded September 30, 1945 at the end of World War II.  Below are the discharge papers of my father who was also a Ranger Captain.

 

9.

10.

My grandfather was part of a team of men who opened up the first Royal Canadian Legion up in Gibsons Landing, BC.  These were social clubs that were established for Vetrans.  I believe that they were instrumental for the those coming back from the horrors of war to have a place where their experiences were understood.

11.

My grandfather Arthur Pilling is in the first row, second from the right.

I can’t say the exact date of this photo, though I will go out on a limb and suggest that it was in the 1920’s.  Then in the 1940’s land was donated and larger Royal Canadian Legion was built.

12.

Site of the second RCL. My father Arthur John Pilling can be seen sandwiched between the two drummers. My uncle with the rosey cheeks and winning smile is just to the right of the drummers centered in front of the boys that are kneeling down. My grandmother and grandfather are pictured in the back row to the far right.

I wonder sometimes what both men were like prior to going to war.  I wonder sometimes had they not ventured into warfare how their lives may have differed.  Below is a photo of my father at about eight years of age with my grandfather up in Gibsons, BC.

PILLING, Arthur Sr. & Jr., 1939_

In remembrance to all those who have served and paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we know today, may we never forget.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “In Rememberance….Postcards from the Past

  1. hello Nancy , Just to let you know , You have a treasure with you. I am collecting old images and old journals and try to make abstracts or nowadays art. it is my way to respect them and to let them live again in our word. I am really looking forward to your book . cheers bart

    Like

  2. Pingback: Reflections on the Great War #2 | From guestwriters

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