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Let Us Remember

· Remembrance Day,Nova Scotia,War Posters,Fine Book Collecting,Cutten Family

November 11, is still fresh in our minds – not too late to muse about the approximately 100,000 Canadians who died serving this great country. I had not attended Remembrance Day celebrations for the longest time, my excuse is that I was living in the United States for sixteen years and they don’t have Remembrance Day and poppies, they have Veterans’ Day. I started attending Remembrance Day celebrations again, when son, Gregory, joined the Nova Scotia Highlanders, Truro. So, for the last 7 years or so I have attended the celebration event in either Truro or Seabright, at our “home legion”. Truro had crowds in excess of 1,000 people every time I was there. Little Seabright, last year, must have had several hundred. The cenotaph there has a lot of names, a lot of traditional South Shore names: Boutilier, Dauphinee, Fralich, to name a few, etc.

This year, of course, people were asked not to attend these celebrations – unless they were invited and had a role. Lucky me. I was asked to lay the wreath honouring “those who gave lives in previous wars and peacekeeping missions”. I was honoured to do so. And yes, there was the horn for “Last Post” and the bagpipes for the “Lament”.

This got me thinking about our family participation and items in our personal library that would be of interest here.

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First up is Fighters for Freedom; the Honor Roll of New Brunswick – The Great War 1914 –1919. And we also have Nova Scotia’s Part in the Great War, the Nova Scotia Veteran Publishing Co., Limited , Halifax, 1920. On page 416, there is a picture of a handsome man, Capt. L. Ray Cutten. Here is the entry to go with the picture “Capt. L. Ray Cutten, an officer in the 93rd Cumberland Regiment. He volunteered for service Overseas at the outbreak of war and was Assistant Adjutant of the 17th Battalion. He transferred to the 15th Battalion and again to the 2nd Battalion, in which he was a Company Commander and was recommended for the Military Cross. He was killed at Maple Grove, near Hill 60, June 5, 1916. Buried near Poperinghe.”

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David Cutten was born in 1717, in Connecticut, and he emigrated to Nova Scotia, in order to fight the French at Louisburg. After the battle, he was one of the original grantees of Onslow Township (outside of Truro). He was elected to the very first Nova Scotia legislature. Family history is that he attended one session of the Legislature and gave it up as not worth the journey. This was the introduction of the Cutten family in Canada. Spun from these roots were branches in Guelph, Ontario and Amherst, NS. Capt. Ray Cutten was from the Amherst branch.

Also, from this branch, was Dr. George Barton Cutten who was president of Acadia University from 1910 to 1922. During the Great War, he was also known as Major G. B. Cutten of the Nova Scotia Highland Brigade, the appointed officer in charge of recruiting.

Yes, indeed – recruiting at universities. I dug into my poster pile and pulled out a WW I recruiting poster for the 148th Overseas Battalion – now recruiting at 197 Peel St., Montreal, affiliated with McGill University Contingent – Canadian Officers Training Corps – A. A. Magee, Lt. Col.

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I have to say, this is a spectacular poster, and I am sure that is not a Raven spewing the smoke of war!

And this poster is featured in Canadian War Posters: Posters from the First and Second World Wars; by Marc. H. Choko; Worth Press Ltd., Cambridge, England, 2012.

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Holy Smokes, Folks! We just passed our 3 rd anniversary in the book business. More on this next