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Teddy in the trenches

Teddy the tiny bear.
Photo: Canadian War Museum CWM 20040015-001


When I was just a wee cub, my mama bear gave me a blanket. I still have it today! Did you know that things like favourite blankets and old teddy bears can often comfort grown-ups, too?

Even tough soldiers can get lonely during times of war. Ten-year-old Aileen seemed to understand this when her father Lawrence Rogers went off to serve in the First World War. She gave him “Teddy,” her favourite stuffed bear, hoping the present would keep her daddy company and bring good luck. Lieutenant Rogers kept Teddy with him for more than two years as a cherished connection to his family back home in Quebec.

Sadly, Aileen’s father died during the muddy Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium in 1917, with the tiny stuffed bear lovingly tucked away in his pocket. Teddy was returned to Aileen and today, a hundred years later, is on display at the Canadian War Museum. I even took his picture when I visited there!

Despite the devastation of the First World War, cherished keepsakes like teddy bears provided comfort and a reminder of home for the brave Canadians serving overseas.

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