Author 
Jeanette Elliott, Collections Relocation Coordinator

Usually at this point in the winter season most Canadians are ready for a break from the weather; a “seventh-inning stretch” so to speak. We long for warm sunshine and green grass and our thoughts turn to pleasant summer pastimes like picnics, trips to the beach, or playing a good old-fashioned game of baseball.

Base Ball Team
From the Fanshawe Pioneer Village postcard collection

The origin of the seventh-inning stretch is a little muddled, but one popular theory credits baseball enthusiast William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States. While attending the Opening Day game between the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics on April 14, 1910 the President, a tall and rather rotund man, became increasingly uncomfortable on his wooden chair. When he rose in the middle of the seventh inning to stretch his frame, his fellow spectators followed his lead as a sign of respect for their leader. The tradition could date to an earlier time as a letter written in 1869 by Cincinnati Red Stockings manager Harry Wright reported “The spectators all arise between halves of the seventh inning, extend their legs and arms and sometimes walk about. In so doing they enjoy the relief afforded by relaxation from a long posture upon hard benches.” Whatever its origin, the tradition of the seventh-inning stretch continues to be observed today in the ...

Author 
Jeanette Elliott, Collections Relocation Coordinator

As a World War One researcher my greatest interest is not in military strategy, technological advances in weaponry or the political climate of the time - it is the “human element” - the personal thoughts and experiences of those that served and the families they left behind. As we make preparations to celebrate the holiday season with our family, friends and co-workers, one can only imagine how different Christmas must have been for those separated by the Great War. A couple of artifacts in the Fanshawe Pioneer Village permanent collection help to provide us with a rare and personal glimpse into Christmases past.

Small and diminutive, but covered in patriotic Canadian imagery, this little chocolate tin was produced in Toronto by The Cowan Chocolate Company of Canada. The tin would have been marketed in retail stores across Canada during the war years and likely many found their way to the front line. Filled with the company’s famous “Maple Buds”, or perhaps milk medallions or chocolate ginger, the tin and its contents would have been a welcome Christmas treat and a remembrance of home to a soldier in the trenches.

Chocolate Tin

Even Britain’s Royal Family took steps to make sure those serving in his Majesty’s Service were remembered at Christmas. In 1914 Princess Mary, the 17 year-old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, organized...

Author 
Jeanette Elliott, Collections Relocation Coordinator

In Flanders fields the poppies blow,

Between the crosses, row on row…

This iconic poem, written in May 1915 by Lt. Col. John McCrae during the Second Battle of Ypres, has long been associated with the observance of Remembrance Day in Canada. In fact, it is believed published poets wrote more than two thousand poems about and during the First World War. Today we feature one such poem on this beautiful WW1 era postcard, one of over a thousand in the Fanshawe Pioneer Village postcard collection. The short but poignant verse below the flag is from a poem written by Canon Frederick George Scott, author, poet and much loved Chaplain to the First Canadian Division.

Postcard

At the outbreak of WW1 in 1914, Frederick George Scott was a 54 year old Victorian clergyman. Fiercely loyal to the ideals of the British Empire he wasted no time enlisting for overseas duty. Ignoring the risks to his own personal safety, Scott spent the war with his “boys” in the frontline, following his beloved First Division into every major Battle.

Frederick George Scott

Frederick Scott also suffered a personal tragedy during WW1 with the loss of his son, Captain Henry Hutton Scott, killed in action on October 21, 1916 during an attack on Regina Trench. In mid-November, as the troops were preparing...

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