A Calgary Soldier's Story
Joseph Augustin Convery is not a name that many of us have heard before. He is one of the soldiers who is commemorated each November with a marker in Calgary’s Field of Crosses. Like many of the others who we remember each year Joseph was an ordinary man who was thrust into extraordinary circumstances – the horror of World War I.
It has been said that history may well be a series of stories we tell about the past. By and large, the stories are about famous men and celebrated events. This story is a story about one of the forgotten, the everyday, the common man. He was lured to Calgary from the slums of Belfast by the chance for a better life for his family, only to find himself serving his new country in World War I. His story is one of courage and daring, even more so because he was just one of us.
As well as hearing our soldier’s story, we will learn about some of the resources available for researching people and places and some of the tricks to use to find even the most elusive ancestor.
Christine Hayes is a genealogist and history nerd who works in the Calgary’s Story area at the new Central Library. Her work includes outreach to schools with the Lest We Forget program in which high school students are introduced to the adventure of primary source research using military records in order to commemorate the everyday men and women who served their country.