Far From Home: A Memoir of a Twentieth-Century Soldier

By Jeffery Williams

© 2003

Far From Home recounts the life of a soldier who grew up in 1920s Calgary and became an officer in the Canadian army who travelled the world. Williams offers a vivid retelling of growing up in Calgary during the Depression. Following the outbreak of war in 1939, Williams was sent to England as an untrained, but enthusiastic, amateur member of the Canadian army. During his thirty-three years in the army, Williams experienced wars in Europe and Korea and served in Canada, Germany, the United States, and England. With an uncanny memory, Williams tells tales of meeting various famous and unknown people of the twentieth century, including the Royal Family, John Diefenbaker, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Williams' transition from "the most untrained officer in the army" to an army officer at home in the Pentagon, along with the culture shock of moving from a relatively simple upbringing to the sophisticated life of an international officer, is told with great humour and rare insight into the human side of military life.

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Product Details

  • Publisher: University of Calgary Press
  • Page Count: 382 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 1.1in x 9.0in
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SKU# DT077112

  • PUBLISHED DEC 2003
    From: $24.95
    ISBN 9781552381199

Far From Home: A Memoir of a Twentieth-Century Soldier

By Jeffery Williams

© 2003

Far From Home recounts the life of a soldier who grew up in 1920s Calgary and became an officer in the Canadian army who travelled the world. Williams offers a vivid retelling of growing up in Calgary during the Depression. Following the outbreak of war in 1939, Williams was sent to England as an untrained, but enthusiastic, amateur member of the Canadian army. During his thirty-three years in the army, Williams experienced wars in Europe and Korea and served in Canada, Germany, the United States, and England. With an uncanny memory, Williams tells tales of meeting various famous and unknown people of the twentieth century, including the Royal Family, John Diefenbaker, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Williams' transition from "the most untrained officer in the army" to an army officer at home in the Pentagon, along with the culture shock of moving from a relatively simple upbringing to the sophisticated life of an international officer, is told with great humour and rare insight into the human side of military life.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Publisher: University of Calgary Press
  • Page Count: 382 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 1.1in x 9.0in

This memoir represents the experience of an international Canadian from the 1920s until 1970, mainly as an army officer, but with considerable contact with the civilian world. It makes a significant contribution because it recounts so many stories involving well-known figures and ordinary citizens over a period of 50 years, and because it covers in a personal way some very significant events in world history, namely World War II, Korea, and the Cold War.

-Tim Travers, University of Calgary


Williams presents a rich narrative that offers special views from a Canadian perspective. His ability to see through red tape and confusion, his understanding of the complexity and fog of wartime preparations, and his insights into the human side of life make for a significant contrition to the field of military studies and memoir writing. Williams? study will occupy a special niche for works of this type.

-Christon Archer, University of Calgary

Jeffery Williams is the Governor General's Literary Award winner of the 1983 Non-Fiction Award for his biography of Field Marshal the Viscount Byng of Vimy. Committed to the interests of veterans, he represented the Royal Canadian Legion on the executive of the British Commonwealth Ex-Services League.

Chapter 1. Boyhood
Chapter 2. School
Chapter 3. Bowness
Chapter 4. Outdoor Life
Chapter 5. High School
Chapter 6. Air
Chapter 7. Growing Up
Chapter 8. Amateur Soldiers
Chapter 9. Calgary
Chapter 10. To England
Chapter 11. Aldershot
Chapter 12. Regimental Duty
Chapter 13. Divisional Headquarters
Chapter 14. On the Fringe of War
Chapter 15. Staff Course
Chapter 16. France
Chapter 17. Winter
Chapter 18. 1945
Chapter 19. Peacetime
Chapter 20. Korea
Chapter 21. Washington
Chapter 22. Germany
Chapter 23. Canada
Chapter 24. London
Epilogue
Glossary
Index