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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Book - My Second Year of the War
Identifier: 2003.2.64
Donor: Barbara Larson
Item Date: 1917
Image Creator: Museums of Mississuaga
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A hardcovered book entitled My Second Year of the War, by Frederick Palmer. It was published by McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart Ltd., Toronto, in 1917. The book has a red hard cover, with gold printing on the front and the spine. The book is based on the First World War.

American writer and war correspondent, Frederick Palmer (1873-1958), began war reporting in the Greco-Turkish War (1896-97), reaching the height of his fame as a correspondent during World War I. During World War II, he enlisted with the British army in France and the American army in Europe and the Pacific. His writings include novels, biographies, and many books based on his experiences.

The book is significant to the Museums as both Beverly Draper Sayers and his brother, Egerton A., served in World War One. Beverly D. Sayers (1882-1986) married Annie Harris of Benares in 1906. At the outbreak of the War, he was farming forty hectares of land just south of Benares. Married to Annie Harris in 1906, they were raising their son Geoffrey (born in 1907). A member of the 36th (Peel) Regiment for six years, Bev would not be able to go overseas until after his daughter Dora was born in 1915. Commissioned into the 201st (Toronto Light Infantry) Battalion, Lieutenant B. Sayers joined up to serve King and Country in February 1916.

In April, Lieutenant Beverly Sayers transferred to the 204th (Beavers) Battalion where he was appointed to the position of Adjutant and promoted to Captain. The unit went overseas in March 1917, where upon arriving in England the 204th Battalion was absorbed by the 2nd Canadian Reserve Battalion. In England the number of surplus officers awaiting a position in a fighting unit had grown out of control. A policy was introduced requiring Officers higher than the rank of Lieutenant to revert to Lieutenant as reinforcement or be returned to Canada. With little chance of seeing action, Captain Bev Sayers returned to Canada in May 1917. After spending some time with the 1st Deport 2nd Central Ontario Regiment, Captain Bev Sayers resigned in November 1917.

The book was donated by Barbara Larson who is the daughter of Annie Harris and Beverly Sayers and granddaughter of Arthur and Mary Harris. Barbara was born January 27, 1920 and was the youngest of three children. Barbara and her siblings, Geoffrey Sayers and Dora Sayers Caro donated Benares to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1969 after inheriting it from their aunt, Naomi Harris. Many of the items donated by Barbara originally belonged to her mother or Aunt Naomi and came from Benares. Barbara lived in the log cabin originally given to her parents by her grandparents at 1723 Birchwood Drive. Barbara still maintains a close tie with Benares and currently lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, with her daughter.
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