Savage Chickens by Doug Savage for November 11, 2015
At 21, Ernest Handyside's life was full of promise. He had lots of friends. He was learning a trade (building staircases at the Ottowa Stair Works). He was even a bit of a local sports hero: In August 1913, he and his rowing team won the junior four-oared race at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. When war broke out, Ernest and his brothers, Richard and Hugh, enlisted in the Canadian overseas expeditionary force. After 11 months in the trenches, Ernest was still optimistic. On July 25, 1916, while stationed near Ypres, he wrote to a friend: Within 13 months I expect to be safe home again! Four days later, Ernest was walking along the trench, checking in on his men. He was struck by a piece of shrapnel. It went clean through his chest and out his back. Ernest died instantly. He was 24.