The History of Grand Manan, the Fundy Region and the Great War

About Roger P. Nason

Roger NasonIn the 1980s, I was gathering information from relatives about ancestors from my Ingersoll side of the family in Woodward’s Cove. My grandmother, Belva (Ingersoll) Muise mentioned in passing that her brother, Clyde Darrell Ingersoll, enlisted to serve his country in the First World War. I was intrigued and began a quest to find out more about his war service record. Local legend within the family alleged he enlisted in Saint John in the first months of the conflict at barely sixteen years of age but his strong physical stature convinced military authorities not to challenge his application. Time and memory sometimes have a tendency to embellish the facts with fanciful folklore and later I found out this was the case.

As almost a challenge, a colleague suggested that I begin to identify and record both veterans who fought in the "war to end all wars", and determine what happened to them and their families before and after the conflict. Did they survive and if they did what might have been the impact on them, friends, relatives and the community as a whole?

From the beginning, I knew thirteen islanders were killed in action but determining how many actually enlisted, were drafted and survived has been a much harder undertaking. When I began, 89 vets-including KIAs- were identified in newspapers with island connections but now (June, 2014) that number has risen to 107 that are verifiable. In addition, another 21 registered with the U.S draft after April, 1917.

From the inception in August, 2013, I offered the articles as contributions to the local Grand Manan monthly newspaper, the Island Times, published by Joan Harvey. Subsequently, they are posted to my web site.

Thus began my interest in the broader topic of Grand Manan and its involvement in the four years of conflict from 1914 to 1918 and in the postwar period. Please check out my articles, blog and other pages.

Roger P. Nason
Fredericton

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info@grandmananfundyhistory.com