By Joyce Barkhouse
"Twelve months in anyplace, my pal, is sort of a weary whereas And turns out extra like a century whilst lived on Sable Isle ..."
So wrote Thomas Raddall on the age of eighteen, now not dreaming that a long time later Sable Island -- that "hell on the earth" -- would supply a romantic historical past for one among his maximum novels, The Nymph and the Lamp.
Traumatized through the horror of the nice Halifax Explosion of 1917, in a number of months through the dying of his father in conflict in another country, Tom was once pressured to depart tuition on the age of fourteen.
This short account of his lifestyles tells of his early adventures and of the way he turned one among Canada's most famed storytellers.
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Extra resources for A Name for Himself. A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall
H. Raddall, DSO, had been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel overseas, but through neglect this rank had not been recorded at the time. Later, when the error was corrected, his widow would receive an additional few dollars. But, as Tom said: Mother found herself in a frightening position in that last autumn of the War. Rent, food, clothing, fuel, everything necessary for existence had rocketed since the War began, and now the cost was climbing faster than ever… Father’s cash savings had been pitifully small… Her one hope was to return to England, where her Canadian pension dollars would buy more, but while the War lasted (this) was impossible….
So Tom had to send a personal wireless message back to the Marconi office in Halifax, saying he had been fired. When the ship arrived in Liverpool, England, an indignant Marconi inspector was waiting. ” Tom was vindicated, but not pleased. He had hoped to be sent back to Halifax on a liner and then get a post aboard another ship of the Merchant Marine. Instead he had to remain with the Watuka. The captain now refused to speak to him. The unhappy Tom was still with the freighter on his sixteenth birthday.
Dennis that Tom had a flair for writing and that if “anything happened” he hoped Tom would get an opportunity to go in for journalism. Mr. Dennis had immediately promised that “if anything happened” he would see that the boy got a chance with the Herald. Tom was elated. He certainly didn’t mind quitting school in Grade Ten, and he was thrilled that his father had made arrangements for him to start work in the field he liked best. Thomas Head Raddall, Junior, was going to be a journalist! He set off for the Herald offices on Sackville Street with a high heart.
A Name for Himself. A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall by Joyce Barkhouse