From Randolph Dallas
Hi Linda, I’m sending a pic of Pt Norman Turner, from Almonte who had emigrated from England with his family in 1912.
He was brother of Edna Fraser who with her husband, Gordon, ran Fraser’s Snack Bar. (see Community Comments — Memories of 46 Queen Street.) Norman enlisted at Montreal with his best friend, Leslie Owrid was also from Almonte. Norman was shot and Les killed during the horrendous gas raid March 1917.
Les’ name is on the Vimy Memorial. Norman was shipped from the field hospital to Aldershot, then sent to Kingston War Hospital where he met and married his nurse.
I have a letter also that was sent from Norman after he was shot, from the field hospital. Edna, his sister, was my grandmother. Another soldier had to rewrite it for him because it was near illegible, writing with his wrong hand. He was shot from behind, went through his arm, which severed the main nerve so he lost the use of his arm permanently.
The Turners emigrated from Yorkshire, England a month before the Titanic sank. Edna was chosen to recite the Sinking of the Titanic to a packed Almonte Town Hall. If you’re interested, I can send you a copy of the letter. It describes in-depth the the day, much like the chapter in Pierre Burton’s book. Thanks very much for posting the pics tomorrow. Norman never got over losing Les. He died at 45 in Kingston from malnutrition.
In memory of:
Corporal Leslie William Owrid
March 1, 1917
Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment)Division:
Pas de Calais, FranceGrave Reference:
Canada’s most impressive tribute overseas to those Canadians who fought and gave their lives in the First World War is the majestic and inspiring Vimy Memorial, which overlooks the Douai Plain from the highest point of Vimy Ridge, about eight kilometres northeast of Arras on the N17 towards Lens. The Memorial is signposted from this road to the left, just before you enter the village of Vimy from the south. The memorial itself is someway inside the memorial park, but again it is well signposted. At the base of the memorial, these words appear in French and in English:TO THE VALOUR OF THEIR COUNTRYMEN IN THE GREAT WAR AND IN MEMORY OF THEIR SIXTY THOUSAND DEAD THIS MONUMENT IS RAISED BY THE PEOPLE OF CANADA
Inscribed on the ramparts of the Vimy Memorial are the names of over 11,000 Canadian soldiers who were posted as ‘missing, presumed dead’ in France. A plaque at the entrance to the memorial states that the land for the battlefield park, 91.18 hectares in extent, was ‘the free gift in perpetuity of the French nation to the people of Canada’. Construction of the massive work began in 1925, and 11 years later, on July 26, 1936, the monument was unveiled by King Edward VIII. The park surrounding the Vimy Memorial was created by horticultural experts. Canadian trees and shrubs were planted in great masses to resemble the woods and forests of Canada. Wooded parklands surround the grassy slopes of the approaches around the Vimy Memorial. Trenches and tunnels have been restored and preserved and the visitor can picture the magnitude of the task that faced the Canadian Corps on that distant dawn when history was made. On April 3, 2003, the Government of Canada designated April 9th of each year as a national day of remembrance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.-Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.