My father, Stanley A. Solomon, joined the army in September 1914. He fought at Vimy Ridge and the Second Battle of Ypres during WWI, as well as the Battle of the Bulge during WWII.
Trying to ask my father questions about his war years was very difficult, as he would get quite upset and walk away with tears in his eyes. Although we never learned very much about his experiences, he did tell us about being in the trenches, and how he and his fellow soldiers would wait for darkness then crawl into a nearby farmer’s field to suck the juice from frozen turnips to quench their thirst. He also told us that during battle, whenever they’d storm a hill, the first and third soldiers over the top were usually killed; I assumed that the sec-
ond and fourth men survived because the enemy had to reload their guns.
After he came home from WWI, Dad married my mom and bought a small farm in the Fraser Valley, B.C., where they raised five children—far from easy during the Depression. Finding it difficult to get work, Dad enlisted again and was stationed in Alberta until 1942, the year my mother died. After his WWII service overseas, he was stationed in Vancouver until the end of the war. He then went to live in Penticton, B. C., where he worked in the armoury until it was closed down. Dad died at the age of 82. At 90 years old, I am his only surviving child. I am so grateful that he was one of the few who came home from both wars.
Lily’s father Stanley served in both the First and Second World Wars.