James’ Brand New Blog

My grandfather Stewart Thibaudeau & the cavalry at Amiens, Aug. 10, 1918

- August 9th, 2012

Amiens_the_key_of_the_west

Amiens The Key of the West, a work by Australian war artist Arthur Streeton. Apparently painted in spring, 1918, or to illustrate Amiens as a target of the German offensive 

Harrison Jones' Medals - WWI

Harrison Jones’s medals, courtesy of Thom Waller

Battle of Amiens

The Battle of Amiens, the Canadian Corps sector

Inspection of Canadian Military by Prince of Wales

Inspection of Canadian Military by Prince of Wales

Wounded on August 8th

Wounded on August 8th

Canadian Machine Gun Corps

Canadian Machine Gun Corps

My grandfather Stewart Thibaudeau, mom’s dad, was a fine man who had a tolerant attitude to life & the world & knew how to spell cavalry. Having spelled it (ahem)  ”calvary” all the way through a My London column using grandpa’s account of a foolish, noble, disastrous cavalry charge on Aug. 10, 1918, JBNBlog appreciates the tolerance. Thank you, grandfather.

One aspect of Stewart Thibaudeau’s account of a day in the Battle of Amiens has me wondering if there is any way to check the British casualty lists for Aug. 10, 1918, for an “Arthur” in a mounted detachment. Grandpa’s story has “Arthur” lying dead in the Canadian trenches, after the cavalry has been decimated, & one of his fellow lancers sadly holding his body when Stewart leads him to Arthur.

So there may be an “Arthur . . . . ” out there who has a connection to Stewart Thibaudeau.

Among the responses to the Amiens My London column was an e-mail from Thom Waller. His great-grandfather died of wounds at the Battle of Amiens. There were more than 9,000 Canadian casualties in all.

Here’s some of Thom’s e-mail. He also provided the images accompanying this post. Among them is one of his great-grandfather’s medals:

 My great-grandfather was in the Canadian Machine Gun Corps and was injured at Amiens, dying the next day when the military hospital was bombed.  I saw “War Horse” last winter and found the story moving in its relating of the very human behaviour of people on both sides of the battles as well as the civilians caught up in the activity.  I am attaching some images from Canadian Archives from Amiens.
Thom Waller,
great-grandson of Harrison Jones
I am not sure if Harrison Jones is in the photograph of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps . . . here are links Thom provided for the images. Thanks, Thom.
If I remember correctly, the battle scenes came from Archives Canada.
http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/guerre/battles-fighting-e.aspx - many of the photographs can be found on this virtual war museum website…

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2 comments

  1. frank prothero says:

    Eh bien, he was also a pretty tolerant French teacher at old STCI, otherwise I would be pushing a broom for a living. Maybe, just maybe, that was more important than Amiens. I was shocked when I read in your column earlier this year that your grandfather was a veteran of World War One. He never spoke of it and as he was the mildest of gentlemen, his students never suspected. If someone were to say that I must honour this man as either a teacher or a soldier but not both, I would say, “Eh bien, Monsieur Thibaudeau, le professeur.” Fortunately, that is not the case.
    Frank Prothero.

  2. james.reaney says:

    Wow. Thanks for this Frank . . . My mom’s dad had many fine students at Stee-Cee-Eye, Stee-Cee-Eye. I believe the late Hugh McIntyre of the Nihilist Spasm Band was one. He certainly valued education, learning and decency ahead of his war experiences . . . late in her life, mom expressed some frustration that her father’s students at Flesherton high (where he was principal pre-St. Thomas) had been unaware of a war wound that left him with a slight limp. But mom I responded I never knew about this, so how could they? A remarkable man.

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