‘Trial and Sorrow’ earns heritage prize

A Western Public History program looking looking for a way to commemorate the centennial of the First World War has been recognized for their work with a Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards, presented recently in Toronto. The awards recognize individuals, groups and communities for exceptional contributions to conserving Ontario’s cultural and natural heritage.

History professor Michelle Hamilton’s class sifted through and transcribed thousands of pages – from nearly 500 letters – for an intimate portrait of a prominent local family in the book, This Hour of Trial and Sorrow: The Great War Letters of the Leonard Family. The students transcribed the letters, all of them, word for word, and selected ones they felt were most important to feature in the book.

The collection features wartime correspondence of London brothers Ibbotson and Woodman Leonard, who were stationed in Europe, and their family members – the Leonards of London’s E. Leonard and Sons foundry – who were enduring the effects of the war at home.