by Peigi Rockwell
My great-grandmother, Ann Telfer, had two sons, Pte. Eric and Pte. Cecil Telfer, who were lost to the mud of France in August 1918. Their names are carved into the Vimy memorial, although she would never know that.
Eric enlisted with the 63rd Battalion and was wounded and shell shocked in the battle of the Somme. He was treated in hospital and convalescent camps in England before he returned to France in 1918. He was killed on August 28, 1917. Cecil left Edmonton with the 151st Battalion and was severely wounded in the heavy fighting near Lens in July, 1917. He was sent back to France in March 1918 and was killed two days after his brother. A third son, Lieut. Andrew Telfer, would die three months after his brothers. He is buried in Saloniki, Greece. My great-grandmother, who had brought her sons to Edmonton for a better life, was understandably devastated by their loss and would die herself two months later. Her body was carried by train from Vancouver to Edmonton and taken to Westlock where she was buried beside her husband Robert Telfer in the Hazel Bluff Cemetery.