Horace Hutchins

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    Default Horace Hutchins

    Well, I'll give a bit of background on this before going into the actual work. In April of 2007, I went to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge with 12 other classmates from my school. Our school was one of many who went to the event (over 5000 other high school students from across Canada went too, and there were over 25 000 other spectators had come from across Canada, Britain, France, and Belgium). It was a huge affair; the Prime Ministers of Canada and France went and spoke, as did the Queen.

    I won't go into details on why Vimy Ridge is so culturally important to Canada (and historically important in regards to the Great War as a whole), but one of the conditions in going was that we each be given a Canadian soldier to represent who fought at Vimy. Once we were given our soldier, we had to do research on them and create something to be put into a time capsule that commemorated them. This could be in the form of a letter, a poem, a song, etc. One submission from each school would be put into the time capsule. There were some absolutely beautiful pieces created.

    Anyways, to cut a long story short, my soldier was Major Horace Hutchins and he died in the battle. I wrote a poem for my commemmoration, and it was this poem that was selected from my school's creations and was put into the time capsule. It was written way back in January-February of 2007, and reading it over again now I don't know if I caught the emotion as well as I could have. But judge for yourselves.

    Horace Hutchins

    Born in Kemptville, a small town like many others,
    A village that would raise a truly heroic man
    Destined to have a short life, but one with worth.
    You worked as a liveryman in the small community of Fenelon Falls
    Hiring horses and cars to those in need
    Until there was a greater need for your service.

    Called into service in early 1916, you braved the perils of the Atlantic
    Only to enter the trenches where you shared your life with disease,
    Trench foot, winter, rats, and the constant threat of gunfire.
    You waited there, shivering in the night as you saw your companions gunned down
    Because of your orders.
    You waited there for a dawn that seemed would never come
    Waiting for an end to the brutality, and end to the violence
    An end to the deaths of millions.

    Did you wonder as you waited there, would I be remembered?
    Did you wonder as you waited there, was my life worthwhile?
    Did you wonder as you waited there, did I make a difference?
    Did you know before that fateful day that 90 years on you would be known?
    Your life would be relived.
    Your job, your wife, your home, your sacrifice, would all be remembered?

    Ninety years on, you have been brought back to life;
    We remember you, and we mourn you.
    Your life was not in vain.
    Nearly a century since your death, and yet your name is still remembered.

    Ninety years on, we honour you as you were;
    A hero for your family, your friends, for Canada
    For freedom.
    Lest we forget? We shall never forget,
    Major Horace Hutchins.


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