Sunday, June 25, 2006

Finally I've finished a new book

Born Lucky
RSM Harry Fox, MBE
One D-Day Dodger's Story

Craig B. Cameron

This book was an incredible read. Harry Fox is a Queen's Own veteran (I play flute and piccolo in the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Band and Bugles)and I have met him on several occasions. In his early 90s, Harry is still as sharp as ever. Captain Cameron was the Padre of the Queen's Own until recently.

Even though Harry went to Italy (hence the term D-Day Dodgers) with the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment (Farley Mowat's regiment) he never forgot his roots with the Queen's own and went back to them for one year following the war. He retired from active military service in 1947. After many years away he returned to the Queen's Own Rifles Association and has been active with them ever since.

This book is an amazing account of near misses. Because a Regimental Sargent Major (RSM) has many responsibilities, Harry seemed to be everywhere at once, always just missing the shot that seemingly had his name on it. He recieved the Order of the British Empire (MBE) citation for maintaining Tactical Headquarters (to supply ammunition) extremely close to the front line. He is funny and serious, always a gentleman. After years of telling his stories on Sunday afternoons at the Queen's Own Legion on Lakeshore, Capt Cameron suggested writing it all down.

As we move further and further away from this time in our history, and as our vets diminish in numbers everyday, we need to think about how we are going to remember. Once a year for two minutes at 11:00am on 11/11 is not enough. In our society of followers, what would most people do if asked to die for what they believed in? Is there anything we believe in that strongly anymore?

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