9 “THE O-PIP”
thought highly of our Sergt.-Major, but it is since coming to France that we have seen his finest qualities as a soldier. His past experience has stood him well. The left section has a lot to thank the Sergt.-Major for on their first night in. Since that time he has often demonstrated his coolness under fire, and you will see him smiling even when the pieces are curving a swathe in the atmosphere. That smile of his has done the boys at the guns a lot of good.
Sergt.-Major Wardell was born in Lancashire, which was a good start for him. In 1904 he joined the R.G.A., and after serving in Portsmouth for some time was transferred with 150 picked men to the Canadian Permanent Force in February, 1907. He served with No. 3 Coy., R.C.G.A., until 1909, as corporal. He rejoined the permanent force in 1910, enlisting in the Royal Canadian Dragoons, in which he was made sergeant-instructor. In 1912 he was posted to the 6th Division as cavalry-instructor, and will be remembered by many as instructor at the Provincial Schools of Cavalry at St. John, N.B., and Prince Edward Island, and also in other classes in the Maratime Provinces and Ontario. At the outbreak of the Great War Sergt.-Major Wardell reverted to the ranks to go overseas with his regiment. He reached France in May, 1915, and saw service both in the cavalry and infantry, being in the engagements of Festubert and The Orchard, and afterwards in the trenches at Plugstreet, and Messines. He then went on the Somme with the cavalry.
When the 58th Battery was organized he was offered the post of battery sergt.-major, accepted, and returned to Canada, joining the battery at Petewawa in September, 1916.
Sergt.-Major Wardell was recommended for the D.C.M. in September, 1915, for valuable reconnaisance work, and was mentioned in despatches in August, 1917.
This will let you know, Sergt.-Major, that the boys are all grateful for your presence with us, and wish you a “bon” time in France and a safe return.
MASTERING THE FRENCH LANGUAGE.
If Adam had not sinned, and our forefathers a few generations ago had behaved themselves, we, the children, might have escaped the appalling dilemma which has visited us. Every man has turned his past history inside out to try and find some sign of misconduct which should bring such punishment upon our heads, but none has been found.
The trouble is: We are in a strange country amongst a strange people, and separated by a strange tongue. When we went to school we learned that there was a place called France, and some B.A.’s and M.A.’s used to propound the rudiments of the French language, and tell us that it was simple to master. We believed