16th Battalion CEF at Rest and Play

Soldiers of the 16th Battalion CEF (Canadian Scottish), summer, 1918.

Soldiers of the 16th Battalion CEF (Canadian Scottish), Sports Competition, Summer, 1918.

Some Time Behind the Lines

Once in a while there was just a little respite, a little peace and perhaps a different kind of banter for the troops to enjoy behind the lines away from harm’s way. A gathering of souls who on most days were in a different place – on the lines, in a trench or a vantage point watching out upon the short horizon of no man’s land waiting and wondering. For a brief moment our observer shares a quiet chatter with a few fellows nearby but all the while waiting for movement from the other side, another alarm and suddenly action and measures taken for self-preservation.

Enough for now of the front lines, let’s settle in on a bit of calm, though perhaps also a time to let loose a bit and have fun. Maybe some better food or a bottle of wine to share? For a few days, somewhere, a bit of recreation for all those interested to take part. So for today we have four soldiers of the 16th Battalion CEF (Canadian Scottish) performing in a dance competition seemingly smiling and perhaps for a brief moment the thoughts of a turned earth were out of mind as the sound of the pipes brings them to their feet in the spirit of friendly competition.

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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