The Diary and the Mannequin: Far from Home

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Video Description:

In this video you will learn about efforts within Canada to support her soldiers overseas.

Duration: 4:38
Codec: h.264
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  • A screenshot of Joe holding a coloured postcard depicting an English seaside harbour
    00:00:00 - 00:01:26

    Joe is pacing in the storage room. He then sits down on a trunk and picks up a postcard of an English harbour scene. As he studies it, we hear the voice-over of Old Sisler, during which a series of images appear, including a map of the English Channel. 

    Voice-over: Well look at that, the old Folkestone Harbour. We were in training at Shorncliff, and the bunch of us, Brown, Waddell, and Boland, and me, snuck down to Folkestone. And we could hear the shelling from across the Channel. That’s what made the waiting to go over to France tough, knowing that we were so close. And then after all that waiting, it was hard to believe we were finally going. But then there we were, marching down the old slope, hearing the order to short step, and soon enough we were crossing.

    Joe looks around impatiently and checks his watch, texts:

    Joe: Where r u? 

    Lottie is ignoring his texts and is looking through the armoury.

    Joe: R U COMING???
    Receives text from Lottie: getting ammo for machine gun.

  • A screenshot of the mannequin-soldier posing by a castle.
    00:01:27 - 00:02:30

    Joe picks up the diary and then we hear a voice-over of the Young Sisler reading from his diary and see a series of photographs with the mannequin-soldier in them. 

    April 2nd, 1916
    We visited Hythe today, and had a look at the human bones and skulls in the Crypt of Saint Leonard’s church. There are the bones of 4000 people there.

    April 29th
    We got our pass all right, and Boland, Waddell and I are in London. The Maple Leaf Club was full. I slept on the floor.

    April 30th
    Peter and I got up early and walked around Hyde Park. We went all over the place today. We just got on a bus and let it take us as far as it went.

    May 1st
    We are all dead broke.

    July 5th
    Draft picked out today. 22 of us are picked up for the 20th Batt’n.

    July 13th
    Left for the boat at 4 pm.  Sailed for France at about 10:30. Got sick, but not very bad

  • A screenshot of Lottie picking up a wooden box with an ammunition belt inside.
    00:02:31 - 00:03:15

    Joe puts down diary and picks up phone to text Lottie.

    Joe sends text: U SHOULD GET BACK HERE!!!

    Lottie picks up a wooden box with ammunition for the machine gun and heads back to the storage room. 

    Lottie enters room carrying ammo box. She goes over to the diorama and starts to thread the machine gun belt through the gun just as Joe is finishing jimmy-rigging a tri-signal camera to his projector.

    Joe texts: i read diary - he is in the trenches now

  • A screenshot of the mannequin-soldier in a trench with fellow soldiers
    00:03:16 - 00:04:38

    Lottie picks up diary and Joe joins Lottie in looking at the light that is projected onto the wall by Joe’s projector.

    Lottie opens the diary, and we hear Young Sisler’s voice reading from the diary. While he reads, we see a sequence with the mannequin-solider writing letters in a trench along with impressionistic images of explosions and battle.

    Voice- over:
    February 20th
    Received a letter from Mildred, and wrote to Frank, Grace, Mildred, Alison, Will and home.

    August 1st
    Relieved about 1:30 a.m. I have not washed or shaved for 5 days, and I am a filthy-looking object.

    19, Saturday
    Very lively this afternoon for a while (about three hours.) Four men of our companies were blown to pieces. We picked two of them up and put the pieces in a sandbag, and there are small pieces all over the place.

    December 22nd
    I’ve received nine Xmas parcels altogether & I never knew I had so many friends before. I’ve had parcels from people that I never wrote to in my life.

    December 25th
    We are spending our Xmas in a cellar with a nice fire-place of our own making. Well, I hope that next X-mas will be spent by us at home.

    The sequence ends.

    Lottie: pretty harsh.
     Joe: no kidding
    Lottie: we should add something comforting to exhibit.
    Joe: but what?

    Screen freezes.