By Edith Pierrard – Estevan, Sask.
Years ago, when I lived in Woodley, Sask., all kinds of trains used to stop at the coal dock.
When the passenger train stopped for coal, we kids would run down to the end of the caboose and catch a ride up to the town station which was close to the middle of town.
The conductor was very nice to us kids.
When a train stopped for coal one Saturday afternoon, lo and behold, it was a troop train full of army men and women.
It stopped at the coal dock and the train station was about the middle of town, so we kids and all the people ran out to greet them and wish them well.
They threw chocolate bars and cigarettes out the windows. Two soldiers stepped out on the steps of the coach and said hello to us. We were standing closest to the steps.
One soldier said to me, “I’ll trade you two chocolate bars for your golden bird brooch.”
I thought, ‘Oh, no! I love my brooch,’ but I also thought ‘Oh, I love chocolate bars too.’ So I hollered at him, “Okay. I’ll give you my brooch if you promise not to lose it.”
He said, “I’ll pin it to the inside of my jacket, I promise.”
Then the coach started up and all yelled goodbye.
I always wondered where my golden bird ended up. Did the soldier happen to pass through London, England, where my grandmother, Ellen Hughes, came from?
She was adopted by the Samways family of Hartney, Man.
Or did he happen to pass through Somme, France where my grandfather, John Westly White, is buried?
I hope and pray this young soldier who was wearing my golden bird brooch came home safe to his loving family.