The Innermost Heart

Captain H.H. Chanter MC holding a graves registration document at the Canadian War Graves Detachment, Ypres.

Captain H.H. Chanter MC examining a graves registration document at the Canadian War Graves Detachment, Ypres. With him, two fellow Canadian soldiers and a Canadian visitor.
(Canada Illustrated Weekly, August 28, 1920 p. 246)

Canadian War Graves Detachment, Ypres

To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night
(For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon, mid-September 1914)

We are the dead…short days ago…

And so they came – the pilgrims. With war’s end some of those left to remember arrived in France and Flanders in search of their loved ones. To assist these travelers, charitable organizations such as the St. Barnabas Pilgrimage Fund, the Y.M.C.A., the Church Army and the Salvation Army were on hand to provide for the pilgrim’s needs. Keenly aware of their visitor’s suffering they assisted with travel to these personal destinations of hurt. This was war work of the innermost heart, understandings of a pilgrim’s anguish, and providing kindliness within this distress.

Loved and were loved…

Canada also assisted their pilgrims. Canadian soldiers served with War Graves detachments during and after the Great War. For one solider, Captain Henry Howard Chanter MC, late of the 13th Battalion CEF (Royal Highlanders of Canada), his post-war service provided assistance to those who came to Ypres (Ieper) in search. Chanter was a pilgrim’s champion, five times wounded, his injuries seemed not to deter him even after the third session of hurt when he became nervous, excitable and run down. Chanter soon returned to the front.

13th Battalion CEF, H.H. Chanter MC, War Graves

Captain Henry Howard Chanter’s Canada Garage advertisement
(Canada Illustrated Weekly, May 20, 1922)

In Flanders fields…

Working with pilgrims who had found him through the Canadian Red Cross Hostels (affiliated to St. Barnabas) and other organizations Chanter’s work included looking up grave locations for Canadian visitors. Ypres remained a dangerous place after the Great War, and his knowledge and advice greatly assisted the pilgrim with their movements. Chanter was knowledgeable about the war graves in the Salient, cared for the proper internment of Canadian soldiers and was sympathetic (the innermost heart) towards those men and women who had traveled from far-off places to find their loved ones. Though Chanter returned to England in February 1920 he returned to Ypres providing for pilgrims at Canada Garage, Boulevard Porte de Menin, Ypres. Visitors met at any Port…by car and conducted to any cemeteries or battle areas…Every comfort considered…reliable information…Telephone: Ypres 45.

As the Stars are Known to the Night…


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.

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