More about war
In this review, two books, each telling of a different war from a different point of view.
"The Royal Newfoundland Regiment in the Great War" by Frank Gogos (Flanker, $24.95) is not only a guide to places associated with that regiment between 1914 and 1918, but a brief guide to the regiment’s history during that period.
"My Dear Alice: War Letters 1937-1950" by Clare Christie and Carol Wills (New World Publishing, Halifax, $27.95) is a collection of letters between members of a family in Canada and England.
These give a glimpse of how Middle-Class families lived - and survived - the War.
"The Royal Newfoundland Regiment" is a deluxe volume which no one interested in the Great War should be without. Not only does it describe what happened, it gives directions to get to each site, has numerous illustrations showing the battlefields then and as they are today, looks at some of the participants and has maps for each section.
There are, in all, over 400 photographs, and 40 maps. And every so often, there stands on a rocky height the Newfoundland bronze caribou bewailing the loss of her sons.
This is one of the most moving war memorials we have ever seen.
Gogos is no great writer, but the completeness of his book makes up for it. One of the most remarkable things in it are the pictures of towns and villages bombed to ruins, and pictures of those same places as they are today - completely rebuilt, with little or no sign of war’s destruction.
"My Dear Alice..." at a glance is a mildly boring account of births, deaths, marriages and thanks for food parcels. However its effect is cumulative. All this is going on in the context of air raids, threats of invasion, increasing lack of food, insufficient heat, and volunteer work night and day.
It’s worth reading, maybe especially for those too young to remember.