A Family That Loves Me

Percival Joseph Barnes, 31st Battalion CEF

Percival Joseph Barnes, 31st Battalion CEF

Information of Any Description

There from one of many pages turned during last evening’s research, a soldier’s portrait…

“PTE. PERCIVAL J. BARNES (183648) / CANADIA [sic] INFANTRY, (MISSING/ SINCE SEPT. 27). / Information of any description will be / welcomed by Miss E.M. Barnes, 68, / Durley Road, Stamford Hill, London, / N.” (Canada Weekly, January 6, 1917).

A family's search

A family’s search for their loved one.

There would be no welcome home for Percival, perhaps known to the family as Percy or Perce. Percival was eventually found and buried at Regina Trench Cemetery, France. Son of Joseph and Jane Barnes. Brother to Ethel Millie Barnes who forwarded to the Imperial War Graves Commission her brother’s memorial inscription “VINCIT”.

Ethel’s words with the passing years a reminder of the pain felt, an empty chair at home, memories and passing years. Perhaps someone here, a reader, may know how the family remembered or continues to remember to this day?

Private P.J. Barnes served with the 31st Battalion CEF, of the Second Canadian Division.

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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