The Diary and the Mannequin: Signing Up & Training

Watch the video!

Video Description:

In this video you will follow the two detectives as they discover the WWI diary and start their investigation.

Duration: 6:04
Codec: h.264
You can download the VLC media player to open the video locally on your computer.
  • A screenshot of Lottie and Joe using their flashlights to explore the dark storage room.
    00:00:00 - 00:00:17

    Lottie and Joe quickly enter a darkened room. It is a storage room for the museum and is crowded with mannequins, stored uniforms, and other objects relating to the military.

    They close the door and explore the room with their flashlights.

    Joe says: “Wow!”
    Lottie looks worried, says: “Shhh!”

    Old time piano music plays.

  • A screenshot of Joe listening to the headphones from the field switchboard.
    00:00:18 - 00:00:45

    Lottie: can’t talk - like we’re in our own silent movie.
    Joe: ???
    Lottie: Need to text ALWAYS!!!  Let’s look around...

    Lottie heads over to the table.

    Joe goes in the opposite direction, distracted by a field switchboard.

    Lottie begins to examine the large black and white photographs on the table.

    Joe puts on the switchboard’s headphones, but he can only pick up static, so he starts adjusting the many switches.

  • A screenshot of Lottie trying to get Joe’s attention to show him the diary.
    00:00:46 - 00:01:24

    Just as Joe picks up the sound of a voice in the head phones, the camera begins to pan across a panoramic photograph of a group of soldiers. Joe is hearing the voice of Sisler as an older man (Old Sisler):

    Voice-over: See these rows and rows of faces? If you look at them, really look at them, you see fellas like me, real people from a particular place, with families and friends, maybe children of their own. All of us, everyone who lived and died during the great and awful war, have stories worth discovering, worth remembering.
    And it looks like these two are trying to do just that, discover my story. And they are off to a good start, seems like they’ve got a hold of my diary.

    Music starts up.

    Lottie: found diary of a Byron Cooper Sisler!

  • A screenshot of Joe placing a beige uniform on a soldier mannequin.
    00:01:25 - 00:02:43

    Joe glances at Lottie and goes across the room to pull out a suitcase, holding it up so she can see it and shining his flashlight on the name: Byron Cooper Sisler.

    Lottie: Is everything in here about him?
    Joe:  I wonder if his uniform is in here too?
    Lottie: we should make brilliant exhibit! need to find out more…

    Lottie turns her attention to the artefacts on the table but then notices Joe handling artefacts so throws over the white gloves for him to wear.

    Joe sees a partially finished mannequin and drags it over to where the suitcase was found.

    Joe puts a beige uniform on the mannequin but it doesn’t look right.

  • A screenshot of Joe and Lottie looking at the mannequin and the photograph on the wall behind it.
    00:02:44 - 00:04:07

    Lottie: check this out - might help.

    Joe comes over to see. They set the photograph on the table and as they watch, the image becomes larger on screen. While the photographic image fills the screen, there is a slow pan across the faces of the recruits. The tune of God Save the King starts playing. 

    Lottie: can’t you just see it?
    Joe: c what?
    Lottie: what it must have been like, God Save the King playing and all the boys rushing to sign up
    Joe: no I can’t  - but we can do something about that

    Once the image is gone, Joe finds an old projector and begins jimmy-rigging his iPhone and a series of cables into it order to project the photograph onto the wall.

    Lottie comes over and joins Joe in comparing the mannequin to the soldiers in the background photograph with Joe. It is clear that the mannequin has the wrong uniform.

    Lottie: he looks lame
    Joe: agree. very wrong uniform.
    Lottie: back to the drawing board

    Lottie returns to the table to keep searching for more information while Joe looks for another uniform.

    Lottie finds some old sheet music in a box and then discovers Sisler’s Attestation Papers documenting where and when he volunteered for the war.

    Lottie: found his attestation papers!

  • A screenshot of Joe using a pair of WWI field binoculars to read papers held up by Lottie
    00:04:08 - 00:05:12

    Joe looks over and Lottie waves the paper a bit, Joe squints because he cannot see them. He then remembers the binoculars on the trunk behind him and picks them up and looks through them. 

    As he looks through the glasses, he is able to view a series of images about Sisler. After the Attestation Papers, on which the words Attestation, Sisler, Byron Cooper, Lemonville Ontario, Banker, June 8, 1916, and finally Camp Niagara are highlighted, there are corresponding visuals representing imagined scenes of Sisler’s experiences. The mannequin-soldier is animated in the various scenes. As the images appear, the following voice-over can be heard, again in the voice of Old Sisler:

    Voice over: There I was, just 20 years old, off the farm and starting out on my own. I was settling in at the bank, but all the talk was about the war, about fighting for King and Empire. Folks were pretty excited and lots of fellows were signing up. Everyone said it would  be over by Christmas. But when 1915 rolled around, and our boys were still slogging it out over there, I decided to say good-bye to the bank and sign up.

    So I signed up with Lt Bick, and then was into the training at Camp Niagara. By October, it was getting cold and we had a Grand Trek, a big recruiting event, 5000 of us marching to Toronto Exhibition grounds for the winter, playing at war along the way. 

  • A screen shot of the mannequin-soldier trying to join a large group of marching soldiers
    00:05:13 - 00:06:04

             Lottie’s text appears on screen: strange – staying at the EX before going to war?
             Joe: no kidding but the uniform is still wrong.

    War games they may have been, but it was still hard enough marching the 78 miles with our packs and rifles, most of us having never marched before. But the 37th? We discharged our duties in fine style, arriving ahead of schedule.

    When the images of Camp Niagara appear, the soldier-mannequin that Joe was trying to find a uniform for appears in the photograph. The mannequin is apparently trying to ‘fit in’ the various scenes, but is clearly dressed wrong and does not look like the other soldiers. 

    The images end and Lottie is seen pinning up photographs on the wall and examining one of the soldiers at the Exhibition with a magnifying glass.

    Lottie: we have to find correct uniform

    She then goes to join Joe by the photograph of the soldiers projected on the wall.

    Lottie: we are running out of time!!!
    Joe: ok, well, Byron is headed to France to fight
    Lottie: what would he need to wear?

    Screen freezes.