Monday, April 09, 2007

George Fountain was a student from Vancouver who fought at Vimy Ridge in April 1917. He was with a group of engineers burying armoured communication cables through much of the battle of April 9-12: his turn to go over the top came later. Over the next 18 months he was wounded twice and mildly shell-shocked. But he made it home in one piece and lived a fine, full life. More than 60 years later, early in February 1978, a grandson traveling in France, Gordon DesBrisay, called to wish happy birthday and ask where Vimy was, so he could go visit. George gave his geographically challenged grandson directions, chatted amiably, and wished him well. He died in his sleep that night. Below is a page from the diary of April 1917 that George, like so many soldiers, kept (illegally) while in France. Click either image to enlarge.