Euphemia Denton with Australian Soldier in WWI
Grey Roots

In Service of the Common Soldier

Grey Roots

Looking back, there is a lot we might be critical of with respect to WWI: its rampant imperialism, classism and the punitive Treaty of Versailles which ended it, contributing to the conditions which led to WWII. We must acknowledge that when we talk of the fight for peace, this first meant fighting for victory and contemplate what that means. However, it remains our responsibility to enter into our community and national memory the individuals who served, as well as to honour their utmost sacrifice made in our collective name. For those who died, we must remember them. Perhaps more demanding a duty, both after WWI and other conflicts to follow: for those who are injured, we must care for them. It is in this decidedly practical area that veterans may be underserved, all the while being praised for their service.

It is for this reason that the Archives treasures its collection of letters written by Luella Euphemia Denton, a Canadian Nursing Sister, whose tireless service caring for others who served is truly something to look back at, though it was nearly 100 years ago, with gratitude. Writing home to Annan, Denton is aware, even while the war is happening around her, that she is a participant in a time in history. 

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