A century ago, Alex Wilson of Killam, Alta., won a watch at a carnival. It was in his pocket when he enlisted and during the Battle of Passchendaele when he was wounded.
The young stretcher-bearer returned to Canada with two things he loved—his bride, Leah Beatrice Jones who had nursed him, and the prized Elgin watch.
“When I inherited the watch in 1969, it was broken,” explains Alex’s son Dave who did not participate in the pilgrimage. “We wound it up but it never worked again.” With the finish worn away and hands fixed between 11:04 and 11:05, the watch was a family heirloom telling not the time, but of a different time.
Dave handed the watch to his grandson, Alec Dreichel of Westerose, Alta., to take along on the Royal Canadian Legion 2013 Pilgrimage of Remembrance. “I want...