Violet, the Canadian Lieutenant's Wife

Roger Sherburn-Hall

Cover of Alton Papers 12

A biography of the author's grandmother who married a Canadian soldier in WW1, emigrated to Saskatchewan and later returned to England

Price £8.99

Availability: on Amazon, or contact the author


Paperback - 156 pages, with many illustrations
Roger Sherburn-Hall, 2022

Back Cover . Contents . About the Author

Back Cover

Violet Furlonger was brought up in the provincial English town of Haslemere in Surrey. She was born in 1893 and when she was 15 started a dressmaking apprenticeship.
In 1914 her country was catapulted into a World War, and Violetís life changed forever. Most of the young men that she knew joined up and, one by one, met their fate in the trenches.
In 1916 nearby Bramshott Common was adapted to become a camp for thousands of newly arriving Canadian soldiers. This book records Violetís marriage to Lieutenant Frank Sherburn Hall and of their life together in the Saskatchewan town of Moose Jaw.


Introduction to Violet
Chapter 1. Violet Furlonger's family
Chapter 2. Frank Hall's family
Chapter 3. The Hall family's emigration
Chapter 4. Settling into Saskatchewan
Chapter 5. The build-up to War
Chapter 6. Canada at War
Chapter 7. Training at Bramshott Camp
Chapter 8. Band of Brothers into Battle (including a personal memory of meeting Flora Thompson)
Chapter 9. "Canada, so far from my Home"
Chapter 10. Moose Jaw 1919
Chapter 11. A very different life
Chapter 12. Violet has a Baby Son
Chapter 13. "Let's have another go"
Chapter 14. The End and the Beginning!
Postscript: Jasper's Nose
Note 1: Half a Crown

About the Author

In early 1946 my father Bill returned from the Far East after serving almost four years there in Royal Air Force. I was born 10 months after he and my mother were re-united. As such I came into the world at the start of the UK's post war population boom. I therefore truly qualify as a "Boomer".

Baby Boomers are said to have eight common characteristics:
" A strong work ethic.
" Self-assurance.
" Goal centricity.
" Resourcefulness.
" Mental focus.
" Team orientated.
" Disciplined.
So, I wonder, where did I go wrong?????

As a "Service Brat" I went to about seven schools and was often the tubby new boy. However, looking back, I recall those days mostly with pleasure. It taught me how to cope when others "stuck their tongue out at me". I find that attribute to be very useful to this day!

At 15, I craved a motorbike but had little money, only a paper round earnings. My parents who had previously each had their own set of wheels, were naturally fearful and said that I would have to pay out of my own pocket for my dream. (Thinking I would be put off!). My plan was to start a window cleaning round. Mum and Dad promised to pay half of the money for a ladder but told me that I would have to pay the money back. My window cleaning round was quite profitable and achieved my aim. As a result, watched anxiously by my mother, I rode my 250cc BSA (badly) for a year. Predictably I eventually crashed the bike but emerged (typically), relatively unscathed!

When I left school at 16, my dad wanted me to be an engineer, whilst my mum said she'd arranged for me to attend a quantity surveyor interview. Boring! Ö I wanted to be a journalist with the Andover Advertiser. My classmate Barry Wheeler (later to become the Editor-in-Chief of Australian Associated Press) got the job as cub-reporter and I joined Burtons Menswear as a junior salesman! Most of my wages were commission and so I learned (very quickly) how to be a confident talker.

Reaching 17, I was on my way to work when I did a double take as I passed the Army Recruiting Office window. Less than a year later, I was serving in Aden as a very junior Trooper in an armoured car regiment! Following that year, I enjoyed 7 years as a member of the British Army on the Rhine. Being now a married man, I left and joined the New Zealand Police. In the Antipodes, I had a fascinating five years, serving in Wellington, Timaru, Auckland and Great Barrier Island, before returning to England via three months in Australia. Back in England I pulled on a different uniform and toiled for the next 28 years as a member the Hampshire Police. Along the way I had three sons but after a 30-year marriage I became divorced, and then my eldest son Alan sadly died in 2008. Thirty months after that I remarried.

My police career ended 16 years ago when quite unexpectedly I had a heart attack. Since then, I have been taking it easy at often part-time work. I started up a small business, combined with working for the Probation Service, crewing an ambulance, being a civilian employee for the Police, driving a minibus, and operating as a taxi driver. Now that I am retired, I exercise other people's dogs, walk long distances, and visit the local Leisure Centre to keep fit. I drive people to medical appointments and deliver the Parish magazine. When I have nothing to do, my wife Ann helpfully finds something for me to be occupied with.

I have become increasingly interested in my Grandmother Violet's life and times as my life progressed. Like most people, I wish I had persisted in asking my forebears about their first-hand memories. I have always liked writing, and now I have written my first book. I am enjoying every minute of the journey.

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