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George Strivel "Geordie" Black


Black, George Strivel, Rossburn, Manitoba, Class of ’17 (B.S.A.). Military Service: Second Lieutenant, Reg. No. 910021, 196th Univ. Bn., transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. Attestation Papers.

Additional Biographical Information:

Undergraduate, Geo. S. Black, 910021, 196th Univ. Bn.
University of Manitoba, Archives and Special Collections, Managra, v. XI, No. 1 (Nov 1917), 7.

Geordie Has Not Forgotten Us
Oct. 12, 1918
“Somewhere North.”

The Editor,
M.A.C. Managra
There is just one word that explains everything and that is “Procrastination.” I feel indeed ungrateful when I think I have not written back to the old college but once I start I feel sure I shall keep it up

As one moves from camp to camp it is surprising how the faces of former M.A.C. students turn up. I am at present in a camp where there is only one member of the agricultural tree and he is a graduate of O.A.C. He remembers Scotty McCullough quite well and also our new president, so in our odd time we discuss the big difference between Bacteria and Bacterium, a question of Professor Lee’s. I cannot forget how I astonished a M.O. one time, who was inoculating me, by asking him the above question.

I suppose the only kind of a letter to write in this case is a little history of my movements. After such a glorious send-off by the college and ex-students our trip over is well known in history it seems ages ago. At Seaford we lived thru our stiff inspection and did well, but the inevitable break up came, some here and others there. With some six others I was transferred to the mechanical transport and spent nearly a year there, on the south coast. Between Fords and Cadillacs, jitneys and ambulances, France seemed to be full in our branch and they decided we were more use at this work so we stayed. Needless to say we were fed up with such a long stay in England.

Many of the boys went in for commissions and were back in Seaford as M.G. officers including Hopper, McCullough and the others of our M.G. crew in the 196th Battalion. The boys in the fifth division were certainly held a long time at Bramshott and one began to wonder whether the War Office knew their business or not. Still it was all changed.

Suddenly I took the flying inspiration and managed to get transferred into same about a year ago. It was a start all over and drill and more drill. Still it led to an object ahead and we at last left Hastings as full fledged cadets to a school of military aeronautics. Here on the outskirts of London, we learned much of the conditions under which man imitates bird life, a change from why do wives climb anti-clock-wise. Eh what!

Three weeks leave was next and very much enjoyed, when suddenly we came back to life and found ourselves in France trying to sprout our wings. All the sensations of the first flights, the most enjoyed were past, and after some dual instruction suddenly one lovely bright morning I found myself alone in the air above the aerodrome and ambulance, a cheery sight, and the minutes seemed like hours and I decided to come down to earth. Oh the amount of will power it takes to shut the engine off the first time in the air, but after an age (about three minutes), we landed with an ordinary bounce and taxied in as happy as a king and proud as a peacock.

Since then it has been work, and after many different schools I was sent on sea planes and landed up in the Orkneys. At our station I met a brother of Guild, formerly of the M.A.C., so it seemed like old times to talk of Brandon, etc. Roy Hopper is back at Seaford training again, last account of same writer. Just noted Cunningham’s name in the casualty list with A. K. Olive, hope they are not serious. Met G. Ewart in London while on leave, he was the same smiling boy of debating fame.

Glad to hear that Clarke Hopper won a decoration and that former Major Dyer is now a Brigadier General.

With kindest regards to all the staff and members of the Red Cross Society who have been so kind.

Wishing you all a continuance of good fortune.
I close
One of the “Use to Wassers.”
2nd Lt. G. S. Black.

Geordie entered college with the ’17 class and was soon noted for his popularity with our fair co-eds. He heard the call to arms, enlisting February, ’16, with the 196th Battalion. In England He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, was sent to guard the Orkney Islands, a favourite haunt of the mermaids. He returned to Canada a short time ago and we are looking forward to having him with us next winter.
University of Manitoba, Archives and Special Collections, Managra, v. XII, No. 1 (Jan. 1919), 14-15.

George S. Black left here with the 196 Battalion; sometime later transferring to the Flying Corps. Strumpy is taking his final year with us. It may also be said that he hasn’t grown a bit.
University of Manitoba, Archives and Special Collections, Managra, v. XIII, No. 1 (Nov. 1919), 42.