Mary's Wedding
Memory Project

Mary's Wedding
Pacific Opera Victoria: Mary's Wedding Memory Project
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Our family emigrated from Scotland to Galt Ontario in 1881, and by the time of the First World War, my Great grandfather Alex Baird and his wife Margaret Fleming had eight children, four boys and four girls.

When Bobby was overseas as a Dispatch Rider with the 5th Division Signal Corps, he carried a leather bound photo wallet containing photos of his wide, Kate F. Saunders. They were married early in 1916, and the wallet bears his handwriting on the outside "R.C.Baird, #502648 Witley Camp, Surrey, October 1916."

Bobby travelled to the front lines on a motorcycle, and while there received a sepia toned watercolour from a friend and fellow artist, which he mailed home to his bride. It is labelled "Daybreak in Flanders, on Route 16 near Ypres, 1916." On the reverse it is signed "To Mrs. R.C. Baird, 18 Chisholm St., Galt, Ontario , with the compliments of the artist, William Bromfield."

In August of 1918, Bobby had a Redbook magazine doubled over and tucked under his left arm, while he stopped to light a pipe. He was hit by a bullet in the bicep, but the bullet was stopped by the folded over magazine that Kate had sent him. He survived, and became ambidextrous, as he had to learn how to write and draw with his Right arm.

The three eldest Baird boys, survived the Great War, but their younger brother, Jim died in the liberation of Belgium in September of 1944, fighting with the Highland Light Infantry at the age of 35.As for the Baird girls, Ruth, Helen, Jean and Christina each had careers in commerce, teaching and nursing. But none of them ever married.

I have treasured their photos and these memories of their sacrifice, and look forward to hearing the production of Mary's Wedding

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