My new novel ‘The Tin Triangle ‘ about the First Newfoundland regiment during WW1 is finally on the shelves. I’ve done several book signings which I am pleased to say went very well.
I had the honour of speaking with the son of a Blue Puttee- the title given to the first 500 men to enlist- and learned more than historical fact. He talked about the men who went over the ‘top’ at the Battle of the Somme, their fears and concerns about the battle and the British leadership. I got a glimpse into the daily trench life of a soldier during the great War, the hardships, the dangers, the senseless loss of life.
As a Newfoundlander, July I, the date of the massacre at Beaumont-Hamel, is an integral part of our heritage. It’s only been since I researched my book that I feel I have a small sense of the actual horror these men… most mere teenagers faced. A sixteen year old charging across the battle field with his eighteen year old brother had to continue on even though his brother is blown to bits next to him. How do you come to terms with that in a matter of seconds? How do you carry on with such intense grief?
July 1. 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel when 801 Newfoundland soldiers went over the top. Within thirty minutes over 700 hundred were either killed or wounded. A mere 68 answered roll call the next morning.
Since writing my book I feel a greater sense of loss and sadness than I have ever experienced. Others who have read the story feel the same.