“My parents instilled in me a love of history by visiting historic sites on our vacations and telling me of the history they had lived. My life became enriched when I married the son of a naval officer.” – Helen Edwards
I have been writing since my elementary school days when I penned plays and short stories for my classmates; I have been producing copy ever since. I am a life-long historian and have written on a variety of subjects, but family history is one of my passions.
In my new book, “Dutchy’s Decades: Life as a Canadian Naval Officer, 1930-1950—and Beyond,” I document the life of John Crispo Inglis “Dutchy” Edwards during the second phase of his long career. I had binders and boxes full of information and photographs, but I had to organize them before starting writing. The best discovery was a typewritten documentation of his time spent on HMCS Prince Henry in the Caribbean during World War II that gave an insight into the realities of life on a ship that is never revealed in academic histories.
In the previous book, “Dutchy’s Diaries: Life as a Canadian Naval Officer, In His Own Words: 1915-1929,” you can read verbatim transcriptions of journals kept by my father-in-law, as he served on different naval ships. They are rare first-person accounts of naval life enhanced by material that I researched and added to give context to the journal material.
My first book, “The History of Professional Hockey in Victoria, BC: 1911-2011,” was a thank-you to the many professional players who entertained Victoria citizens for over a century. It took eight years to research and write and now finds a home in the Hockey Hall of Fame Archives.
There are unexpected connections between my two books as my father-in-law (a world-class athlete) writes about going to hockey games in the 1920s and comments on the players; he then mentions hockey at a later age.
History comes alive in these accounts of life as a naval officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. After reading all this material, I know so much more about my father-in-law and understand my late husband’s life as his son. I did not meet Dutchy until 1969, when he was retired, so I knew little about his personal life when he was young. He was quite a character!
I am thrilled to share his story with the world.
I’d like to know what you think about Dutchy and his journey. Keeping in touch with me is easy – click here.