In WWII, my grandfather was Lieutenant Colonel of ‘A’ Corps Signals, a reserves unit. With the objective of communicating regularly to the men involved, the began a monthly newsletter and called it Jimmy’s Journal after running a contest amongst those enlisted in the Corps. You see, James was my grandfather’s surname. (NB: My mother has corrected me, apparently Mercury, the winged messenger you see on the Signals symbol, was called Jimmy, although the origin is unclear.)
As leader of the Corps, my grandfather wrote the front article for each publication. Here’s the one from January 3, 1944:
According to our military leaders, this is Victory Year, at least in Europe.
We are cautioned, however, that it will also be a year of tremendous war effort at home. There will be many casualties in the armed forces. We shall have to make even greater sacrifices of goods and materials needed for war. Taxes will remain at a high level.
All of this means DISCIPLINE. In the Reserve Army we are taught the value of discipline. Now is the time to apply discipline to our own lives and to continue our active support of this unit which is an important part of Canada’s Reserve Army.
As we know, military leaders were wrong. Victory in Europe did not occur for another eighteen months. Discipline was needed for a much longer time.
When I think to whine about my own circumstances, I should think instead of what our ancestors endured with courage, conviction and discipline.