MDBC: Charlie Wilcox


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MDBC: Charlie Wilcox

  1. 1. Charlie Wilcox Mother / Daughter Book Club November 2013
  2. 2. Some background... • The Great War: 1914 -18 • For the first time in its history, Canadian forces fought as a distinct unit under a Canadianborn commander. • Canada's total casualties stood at 67,000 killed and 173,000 wounded.
  3. 3. Brigus, Newfoundland (1)
  4. 4. Brigus, Newfoundland (2)
  5. 5. Brigus, Newfoundland (3)
  6. 6. New recruits
  7. 7. Heading to France
  8. 8. In the trenches
  9. 9. Stretcher-bearers at work
  10. 10. Red Cross Dressing Station
  11. 11. Support Services in War Time • What other jobs are people involved in during war time? • Could soldiers survive without these support services?
  12. 12. Discussion Questions (1) • When we first meet Charlie, do you have any indication as to what a fine soldier and loyal friend he will turn out to be? • In Chapter 7, as he is under anaesthetic for his operation, Charlie has a strange dream about dead cats surrounding him in the water. This is called ‘foreshadowing’. Why do you think the author uses this technique?
  13. 13. Discussion Questions (2) • In Chapter 9, Aunt Maude says “I knew a German once. Nice enough fellow. As the war keeps going on, I expect we’ll come to believe that all Germans are monsters. It’s easy to kill a monster now, isn’t it? If we thought they were just like us, with wives and children and such – well, how would we shoot them?” How much truth is there in this statement?
  14. 14. Discussion Questions (3) • In Chapter 12, the C.O. says to Charlie “... you’re as good a man as you’re ever likely to be.” • Is this true? Is your character ‘set’ by the time you are fourteen years old? How would serving in the army change your perception of the world?
  15. 15. Discussion Questions (4) • In Chapter 18, Charlie gives his ticket to England to Mac. Do you agree or disagree with his decision?
  16. 16. Discussion Questions (5) • Throughout this book, Charlie often lies. Can we justify lying in certain situations? And is Charlie’s lying justified throughout this novel?
  17. 17. Discussion Questions (6) • Why do you think it’s important for us to observe Remembrance Day? • Who should be remembered on November 11?
  18. 18. Based on a True Story • See Fact or Fiction endnote in Charlie Wilcox. What’s true? What’s not true?
  19. 19. What’s true? • • • • • Born in Brigus, NF. Weighed 2lbs at birth (this is very small!). Had a club foot. His father, Samuel Wilcox, was a fine captain. He did have an operation on his foot.
  20. 20. What’s not? • He never went to war.
  21. 21. What happened next? • Charlie and Claire both attended McGill University, graduating in 1926. • Charlie became a doctor. • They were married and had two sons, a daughter and six grandchildren. See Charlie Wilcox’s Great War for more on their story...
  22. 22. Sharon McKay • • • • • • Historical fiction author Our Canadian Girl series Charlie Wilcox and Charlie Wilcox’s Great War War Brothers New novel: Thunder Over Kandahar Official War Artist for the Canadian Military; currently away in the Middle East on assignment
  23. 23. War & Child Soldiers • ‘Child Soldier’: Under the age of 15 in direct hostilities. • Why are children used in war situations? • Should children be involved in war situations?
  24. 24. Follow-up reading • Please see handout for students (red) and moms (green). Charlie Wilcox’s Great War by Sharon McKay Find out what happens when Charlie returns to Newfoundland, and his adventures in France during the Great War.
  25. 25. From Charlie Wilcox’s Great War... “(He was) a good-looking lad, tall and broadbeamed for all his seventeen years. He had the regal bearings of his father, Captain Samuel Wilcox, but colouring all his own, blonde hair with blue, regarding eyes. Away at war three years, give or take. His antics at the front were well known. He should have come home a decorated hero. But then, maybe it was enough just to come home.” (p. 2)