I won’t be doing this at the top of the hour, but at least I’ll make it during the hour.
Anyway… I have two relatives who I know fought in The Great War.
Up there is my paternal grandfather, Harold Bruce O’Brien. Written on the original photo is: “Harry O’Brien in Phillipines, 1915.”
Which raises an interesting point. See, I have two extant birthdays for Harry. One is from his later records at the Boston PD, for whom he worked for decades after The War. That’s Dec 4, 1896, which would make him 18, perhaps 19 in this picture. But then there’s this record, which purports to be a copy of a birth certificate, which states him as having been born Harry Raymond O’Brien, on Dec 4, 1899. Which would make him 15, perhaps 16, in this picture.
I suspect Harry changed his name and birthday to get into the Army, and then stuck with it the rest of his life.
The other relative is my maternal great-grandfather, Addison Bright Evans. He joined the Canadian Army — Service Battalion, CDF, 48th Highlanders.
He joined on August 5, 1917. Which is strange in a bunch of ways. He was naturalized as a US citizen on July 5, 1917. The US entered the war April 6, 1917. So… was he waiting for his naturalization papers to clear? Why did he join in Canada? Why did he give his birthplace as Canada when up until then he’d been saying England, which he’d also say later?
Hey… Who’s asking, you know?
My family. Obviously I come by it honestly, from both sides.