2 – The Why and the When of war.

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When war was declared in August of 1914, Will Grummett, had just recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts degree. That summer, he was probably at home on the family farm near Osprey in Grey County, Ontario. He had applied for and had been accepted to attend the program of law at Osgoode Hall, commencing in the fall term, 1914.

Of course, events touched off by the assassination in June of that summer of the Austrian Archduke, Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, led to a war that mobilized much of the world behind Europe’s rival alliances.  It was a war like nothing that preceded it. Driven by the relatively recent developments of trinitrotoluene (TNT), the internal combustion engine, the mass production of steel, and a new and powerful spirit of nationalism, its sheer power to take lives was nearly unfathomable and largely unappreciated by the public and world leaders as they drifted toward war. Continue reading “2 – The Why and the When of war.”

1 – William John Grummett

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William “Bill” Grummett, circa 1955

William John Grummett (1891-1967) MPP, QC, known to his colleagues and friends in later life as “Bill” Grummett was a civic leader and  politician. He was elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1943 as a member of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) Party, the forerunner of today’s New Democratic Party.  Among other duties, he served as House Leader for the CCF following the disastrous provincial election of 1951 in which the party leader Ted Jolliffe and 32 other CCF MPP’s lost their seats. 

Before taking up politics,  Bill Grummett had, in the early 1920’s, made a bold move from Toronto to the remote northern Ontario town of Ansonville. He had only recently passed the Ontario Bar examinations, having graduated from Osgoode Hall, School of Law in 1920.  The move to  a cooler climate and a slower pace of life was the recommendation of his Doctor as a means of finding relief from recurring bouts of malarial fever.  Continue reading “1 – William John Grummett”