Hold the Oxo!

Hold the Oxo!

A Teenage Soldier Writes Home

Book - 2011
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Examines the history of the First World War with a particular focus on the letters of Jim Fargey, a soldier who served during the First World War in the 79th Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders regiment.
Publisher: Toronto : Dundurn Press, c2011
ISBN: 9781554888702
1554888700
Branch Call Number: 940.48171 Bro
Characteristics: 141 p. : ill. --

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SPL_Childrens Jul 29, 2014

The subtitle of this book is revealing. Many of the soldiers who fought in World War I (and also in World War II) were just teenagers. Marion Brooker’s uncle, Jim Fargey (the writer of these letters to family members at home) was one of them. At 17 years of age, he volunteered to leave his small Manitoba farming community to serve overseas with the 79th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.

In his letters – especially those to his parents - Jim rarely mentioned the true hardships that he and other soldiers faced. The death, destruction and the utter horror of the battlefield – and the cold, the mud, the rats and lice of the trenches – were glossed over. Instead, he wrote of more “normal” things such as the weather and training the war horses. He often asked about the crops at home.

The text, poems and photos which accompany Jim’s letters reveal more of the true picture of what it must have been for a soldier fighting in the “Great War”. Life at the Western Front was harsh at best. The shelling and danger were constant. Food was in short supply, as was proper sanitation. Infection and disease were rampant, killing many soldiers.

Wounded at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, Jim died soon afterwards at only 18 years of age. His letters, which form the basis of this poignant and informative book, have been kept and treasured by his family.

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SPL_Childrens Jul 29, 2014

SPL_Childrens thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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