A recent contribution to the 18th Battalion Facebook Group brought a candid photograph of two members of the 18th Battalion to life.
The photograph is from an event circa 1940 and it is evident that it, most likely, an event related to the 18th Battalion association. The two men prominent in the photograph are Sergeant Fred Young (left, wearing 18th Battalion beret), poet laureate of the 18th Battalion, and to his left, Major Gordon Ingram.
The men are quite animated in their converations and it appears that an award has been given out as there is a silver cup sitting in front of Young. The other men are engaged in converstation and appear to be younger than even Ingram. Sergeant Young was 40-years old when he enlisted in 1914 so his apparent age would be approximately 66-years. Major Ingram would be 57-years old. The men with them are probably younger members of the 18th and some appear to be close in age as evidenced by the gray hair of the man 2nd in from the left in the rear of the photograph.
One can imagine the animated converstations between these men who shared so much during their service. Stories, memories, and getting updated on the progress of their lives after the war would have filled these conversations.
The 18th Battalion had an active Association formed shortly after the war and it existed until the early 1980s when it was disbanded as the last survivors of the Battalion passed away.
This photograph is a wonderful testament to the camaradery of the men who survived and joined the Association.
Compare the photograph from the 1940s with that of the late 1970s – early 1980s and see how time changes these men of the 18th.
The memory and spirit of “The Fighting 18th” was kept active and alive by the members of the Association and Fred Young was a major contributor to this legacy with his poetry. He was also a prolific letter writer during the war and many of his letters were published in the Windso and London newspapers.