- My Great-Uncle, Pte. Farquhar McLennan, killed in action, June 13, 1916
Join me, if you will , on a journey in time – a journey back 100 years!
I have designed this website as a media supplement to the novel “Flowers of the Forest”. The novel is a historical/fiction rendition of my Great Uncle, Pte. Farquhar McLennan’s time in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in the Great War. This site gives the reader of the novel, the opportunity to see photos of the vivid characters and amazing places that live in the pages of the novel. The reader will also have access to background information and research that went into writing the story. The Library and Archives in Ottawa provided a wealth of digital data that are displayed in this site. The project started out as my curiosity but soon became my passion. Read on as I update the site and find out why. Here is a chance to view some compelling photos and documents. Travel back in time 100 years and feel the vibe!
Battalion Colours of the 58th Battalion, CEF
Light blue rectangle – 9th Brigade
Dark blue triangle- 58th Battalion
Brown background – 3rd Division
Canadian Expeditionary Force
Cap Badge, 58th
Cap Badge, 58th
Just a little over a year ago, I started work on something I never dreamed I could do. Ever! I started work on a book; actually a novel. The book is now Published and available at Amazon, Chapters, Barnes and Noble and on this website. Needless to say, then, this is a very exciting time for me. At the same time, I am learning to set up this Blog page and Web site to provide background material for the book.
The project of writing this book started out innocently enough – about 5 years ago. I became curious about a Great Uncle who lost his life in the Great War. The only thing that I knew about him was his name; Farquhar McLennan. He was mentioned from time to time in family conversations. I remembered him because his name was so unusual. I grew up in Toronto Canada and nobody was ever named Farquhar.
As I said, about 5 years ago, I became curious and had some time on my hands. I sat down at the computer and did a search in the Library and Archives in Ottawa. I searched under WW1 records. Within a few minutes some documents came up on my screen. There in front of me was a document called “Attestation Papers”. In other words, enlistment papers. I could see detailed information about my Uncle and the thing that really blew me away – his signature.
Farquhar McLennan was no longer just a unique name, but a real person who lived and breathed and signed his name. And he was about to go away to war.
I was hooked.
Start here and follow the Blog through to the end. I will update it regularly.
First Page of Farquhar’s Attestation.
In my first post, I mentioned my Uncle’s attestation papers. Farquhar McLennan signed up with the 58th Battalion, Central Ontario Regiment on July 12, 1915. He traveled from Toronto to Niagara-on-the-Lake, where the training camp was located. Oddly enough, the training camp was called Paradise Camp. It was located on The Commons right next to the old Fort George site. The Commons was covered with thousands of white bell tents where the recruits slept.
Farquhar would have undergone a medical examination before he was presented with his papers. I have posted the 2 pieces of Attestation in the Gallery for you to see.
A photo of Farquhar McLennan as a young boy
Not all of the information that I gathered came from the records in the Library and Archives in Ottawa. The above photo was sent to me by a Family member. Before Farquhar left Toronto to join the CEF he lived briefly with his sister, Catherine, in the East End of the city. He left some belongings behind – things, obviously, that he couldn’t take with him. This picture might have been one that he left with Catherine.
Below, is a photo of the East End house that he lived in. On his Attestation Papers, he stated that his residence was 175 Bolton Ave. A look at a map of Toronto shows a Boulton Ave. in the Gerrard and Broadview neighbourhood. Did Farquhar misspell the name? Apparently not. Old historic maps of the city show it as Bolton Ave. The house is very narrow, perhaps 15 feet wide.
175 Boulton Ave. Toronto
Farquhar stated on his Attestation that his occupation was a baker. This is a letter of reference from his employer back in Aberdeen, Scotland. Signed April 17, 1914, shortly before Farquhar immigrated to Canada. A glowing referral.
A drawing of the Dunlop factory in the Queen – Broadview area of Toronto.
Farquhar’s Dunlop Team Photo, 1914
I can only assume that Farquhar was employed at the Dunlop plant; even though he was a baker. A job is a job! He must have been a pretty good football player. How many of these men went to war? How many came home? Do you have ancestors in this picture?
This is the Bakery that Farquhar Mclennan worked in until April 1914. It is located at 15 Fountainhall Rd., Aberdeen. He worked as an apprentice for 5 years and then became a journeyman. Google Earth is a great tool for doing this kind of background research and providing photos of current locations in street view. I try to imagine what the bakery looked like in 1914. Later, I will demonstrate how to use Google Earth for overlays on Trench maps.
15 Foutainhall Rd., Aberdeen