EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lest We Forget

Its not a combat veteran that I am remembering this year but a Peacekeeping Veteran instead, my late cousin John deSolla. John was commissioned into the Queen's Own Rifles and served with them until his battalion was rebadged as PPCLI in 1970 when our army, navy and airforce were merged into the Canadian Forces. He was a career soldier and served as a Peacekeeper in Cyprus in the 60's and as a UN Observer on the Golan Heights in the '70's.

This is my late cousin John and his still beautiful wife, Greta, back in 1965. (not to forget his sister Anne and her late husband Mac)
John was what I call a double cousin. His mother was my father's older sister while his father was my mother's older brother. John who was around 20 years older than me was also a bit of a hero for me. Apart from that rifle green uniform and pouch belt (still think pouch belts are very cool) he was one of those people who seemed to know all sorts of things, have done all sorts of things and seemed to be able to turn his hand to almost anything  yet was respectful and caring towards others. He also had a fund of stories once I was older and lived close enough to see him periodically. Some of these were about his service but he also had some memories about my dad before the war and the change in him when he came back without his older brother.

I got some good advice from him in my early years at military college. Don't go in the infantry he said, its fun crawling in the mud when you're in your 20's but not so much when you're 40 with arthritis and rheumatism. Right, got it! The navy gets hot meals and beds to sleep in, even if they rock a bit at times. He also said don't start smoking. He was right there too.


  1. Ross Mac,

    What a lovely little blog entry ... and highly suitable for today of all days.

    All the best,


  2. A great tribute to your cousin. I had the opportunity to visit the QOR Officer's Mess in Toronto once. A storied regiment. I think your cousin gave you good advice all around.
    May he rest in peace.