Wherever Ye May Be

A Great War highland Dancer at Christmas.

A Great War highland laddie and lassie at Christmas.

Dance to Remember

I have known an army Christmas, with family together at home wherever home might be and an army Christmas where the Sergeant, posted to distant parts, is with us in spirit near to hearth and self. It is at Christmas that thoughts also drift to those unable to be with us.

The Great War witnessed the Christmas season in 1914 with a truce envisioned by many as carols, songs, food and football among enemies. Yet turmoil still reined…the devil (or devils) amidst the spirit (or spirits) of goodwill. Though we prefer reminders of joyous times there are many who would know a difficult time during this time of festival. Christmas Day and the Great War, including a few years beyond the armistice, saw from 1914 through 1920 the loss of 1,205 British and Commonwealth troops. Even Christmas 1914 despite the refrains of Stille Nacht / Silent Night across the trenches, knew without calm, without brightness the loss of 148 soldiers.

Our image today is about a bonnie, bonnie Christmas though the silent message is the apart of the season, our absent friends, laddies and lassies who may just dance to remember.


About The Author

pferguson
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 in Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was further amazed by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and with time he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography 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 entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that 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 would be 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, he 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.

Comments

One Response to “Wherever Ye May Be”

  1. Paul Ferguson says:

    The film clip is from the 1970 film “Waterloo” with Rod Steiger as Napoleon and Christopher Plummer as the Duke of Wellington.

    Christmas Day Fatalities

    1914 – 148
    1915 – 209
    1916 – 276
    1917 – 283
    1918 – 190
    1919 – 64
    1920 – 35

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