Stewart, William

Private William Stewart served as a “bat man”, or officer’s aide, with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (British) during World War 1. Crestwood Grade 9 student Katie Stewart sat down with her father, Alan Stewart, to learn more about her great-grandfather’s wartime experience.

Pte. Stewart, like many soldiers of his generation, was reluctant to talk about his wartime service. Additionally, Alan was a young boy when lived with his grandfather during the final years of his life. That said, Alan is able to offer a glimpse into his grandfather’s experience, and also shares and some of the mementos and medals that have been family heirlooms.

While no veterans remain from the Great War, Katie’s interview shows the enduring legacy and impact of service during the war on families throughout Canada. The video also shows the importance of recording and documenting the firsthand stories of past before they disappear. As Katie wrote in her companion essay to the interview, “a textbook gives you the overall story, but the real life stories give you the details that no one can possibly learn from pages of notes taken…because you learn detail, what really happened and how it felt to be there.”