Dou­ble Duty

Our Canada - - Commemorating Our Men And Women In Uniform - Lily P. Gis­borne, Lady Smith, B. C.

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.

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