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Documentary Uncovers Story of Calgary Soldier Samuel Watts

In the first episode of Our War, Samuel Daniel Watts’ great-granddaughter searches for a lost war memorial.

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Calgary native Stephanie Watts says her life changed after taking part in a History Channel documentary to learn more about her great-great-grandfather, one of Canada’s first black military men.

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Our War is set to release on Remembrance Day, and in the first of two episodes, Samuel Daniel Watts’ great-grandson Stephanie discovers the lost “death penny” she’s been searching for for years. look for The Despenny or “Dead Man’s Penny” is a commemorative plaque awarded to close relatives of the British Empire who died in World War I and was given to her family after Samuel was killed in the line of duty .

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Stephanie told The Post Media in 2019 that she had only recently become aware of the plaque’s existence and had enlisted the help of members of the public to find it and honor Samuel. Except for one photo, it’s the only memento the family has.

“As a family, we knew very little about Samuel. I had some pictures and knew he was in the military. Growing up, I was always asking questions. But no one knew the answer,” Stephanie said.

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To learn more about Samuel and find the lost death pennies, Stephanie participated in the History Channel documentary, Our War, working with the production team and many experts. In this episode, she travels to Alberta to learn more about how Samuel, an up-and-coming music artist, was at the forefront of Canada’s most famous battle.

“This whole process and meeting with all the professionals made me realize just how influential Samuel was in his short life,” Stephanie said Tuesday.

“I never met him, but this trip brought me a connection. It’s kind of weird to say I have a connection with someone I’ve never met, but this brings my connection to Samuel closer to me.” I did.”

When the show was filmed earlier this year, Stephanie revealed more about her great-grandfather’s war sacrifices, the discrimination he faced as a black enlisted, and the precious value of Samuel’s legacy of service. One of the most influential things she learned was about the barriers Samuel had to break down and how he pursued service to his country.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhNIqwa_e94

“This story touched my life in ways I never would have thought possible. I actually made some changes in my life and pursued things that wouldn’t normally happen. It was Samuel’s story that inspired me,” Stephanie said.

She hopes Samuel’s story will inspire him after hearing his son’s history.

“I get emotional when I think about it. As a descendant, one of the things I’m proud of is who Samuel was, but seeing it through other people’s eyes, and his Seeing the story was really special.

The History Channel documentary tells the story of four Canadian families who seek to discover their ancestors’ contributions and unravel the mystery of their service in World War I or II.

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Erin Haskett, President and Executive Producer of Lark Productions, said the intention of the series is to connect the modern generation with their ancestors in a meaningful way.

“And yes, it’s a mystery, yes, an investigation to learn more about the service and contributions of their ancestors in World War I and World War II,” Haskett said. “But what you see across the board is that there is this true family connection that is unlocked in this process of further understanding who they were.

“What we want is for viewers to discover their own family stories and be the kind of call to action that piece together their own ancestral journeys.”

Calgarian Stephanie Watts is photographed in the Field of Crosses next to her great-great-grandfather Samuel Daniel Watts' cross on Wednesday November 9, 2022.
Calgarian Stephanie Watts is photographed in the Field of Crosses next to her great-great-grandfather Samuel Daniel Watts’ cross on Wednesday November 9, 2022. Gavin Young/Postmedia

She said the show touches on many descendant questions, such as why their ancestors chose to serve and who they served.

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Haskett and Stephanie said that anyone interested in learning more about their ancestry should start researching and find outside resources and local historical societies that might help. rice field.

“There are people willing to help you, and they love to share that information and are passionate about it. It can be daunting and overwhelming at times, but don’t give up.” Stephanie said.

Haskett said there is information to discover and all kinds of resources available.

“The show will spark conversations between generations because it’s a way for us to remember and share those stories and legacies,” Haskett said.

The two-part series Our War will air continuously on the History Channel on November 11th at 7pm MST. It will also be streamed on StackTV.

sbabych@postmedia.com

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Documentary Uncovers Story of Calgary Soldier Samuel Watts

Source link Documentary Uncovers Story of Calgary Soldier Samuel Watts

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