Posted by John Borst on Nov 18, 2018
Ted Mitchell, a Dryden High School Teacher, and a member of the Oxdrift Legion ask Rotarians to  “try to remember or imagine the world of a military person during war”.
Ted has been a member of the Oxdrift Legion for the past seven years. Imagining the horrors of war is what he tries to do each Remembrance Day. Mitchell ’s involvement with the military began in 1997 when he was a student growing up in Kenora. Today he is a captain in the Canadian forces teaching cadets both locally and provincially. He is also on the District Legion executive.
Mitchell’s family history of military involvement goes back to his great Grandfather. Ted recounted how when his great-grandfather’s family immigrated to Canada whose name was Challifoux, because they could not spell, the anglophone who recorded his name changed the spelling to Jellifo.
During World War 1 Ted ’s great-grandfather tried to enlist at age 14.  He was denied but being a determined lad went to another office a year later and was accepted.
He made it to the front lines in France, however, after five months his true age was discovered, and he was sent back to England for the rest of the war. Being in England did not spare Jellifo from injury, however, because during the post-war cleanup period he found an unexploded grenade which detonated.
Mitchell also shared the story of how the military sent a message to Jellifo’s parents informing them that their son had been killed, however, it was his brother who had died.
During the telling of the story, Ted shared many family pictures from WW1. Finally, even though his great-grandfather suffered nightmares as a result of his war experiences and sought solace in alcohol, he still tried to enlist in WWII but was denied as medically unfit.
War should not be glorified Ted said as more than 66,000 Canadians died in WWI and 132,000 were wounded. We must respect and remember why they fought by wearing poppies each Remembrance Day. He also encouraged us to ring church bells as they did to signify the armistice signed on November 11th at the 11th hour.
At the conclusion of Ted’s talk, Aurora Grandbois, a young elementary school student sang a musical version of “In Flanders Fields..”