This is my personal page. Everyone is welcome here but the page itself is dedicated to my grandfather Louis Alexander "Alec" Lardie.
We had memories that, perhaps, no one else would know or understand. All my life he promised me the moon. He was always "looking for a ladder that was long enough to reach it". So I'm giving him the moon.
Alec married a lady by the name of Emily Connolly but never called her anything but Peggy. It seems very normal for my name to be Peggy and be named after my grandmother Emily.
You are listening to his favourite song. Peg Of My Heart.
Alec was a veteran of WWI. His wife died at a young age leaving him to finish raising 7 children. He did this through hard times including WWII. Four of his children are still alive today. He was a cooper by trade. Reading this site you will see that the trade was followed through generations. He was never a wealthy man other than his family. He lived in the city of Hamilton, Ontario and never drove a car. It was a major hurdle to get him on a plane to visit his daughter in Texas.
As storytellers go he ranked up with some of the best. When asked if he could "do" something you would get the standard
"I can run faster, jump higher, dive deeper, swim farther and come out drier than any other S.O.B."
He was more folksie than the Chad Mitchell Trio because he used to sing "I was born about ten thousand years ago, there is nothing in this world that I don't know, I saw Peter, Paul and Moses playing Ring Around The Roses and I'll whup the man that says it isn't so." years before they thought to put it on an album.
When I took up the guitar and decided to show him what I learned I started singing "I'm Henry the eighth I am" and he joined in. Totally taken aback I asked how he knew that song and he replied "we sang that one marching through London in the War". It was very hard to ever come out ahead with him.
When I remember him alot of things come to mind. Three I will probably never forget. First, "never feed a dog an egg or it will chase chickens". That one was important but it took me years to figure out there wasn't a chicken within five miles of my house. Second, going to his home and getting a piece of fresh apple pie he just baked. Third, he danced at my wedding. No music, on his own he marched up beside the head table and reminded me be said he'd do it and broke out in a down home clog.
Here he is dressed as a cowboy to have his picture taken.
.Emily Anges "Peggy" Connolly
(with her younger sister Lillian)
Alec Lardie served in World War I with the Canadian Expeditionary
Forces. He spent from 1915 to 1918 in trenches
in France. During this period he spent some time in hospital, two
weeks at cooking school and had a two week pass. The rest of the time
he was in the foul weather and mud facing off with the Germans at
My grandfather was proud of the job he did. He was proud to be
a Canadian and part of the Forces that finally took Vimy. The Canadians
were a force to be reckoned with. The British had tried to disperse
them among their troops but the Canadian government representative
flatly refused to do that. They came to France together in Battalions and
they were going to fight that way. The British were afraid the
troops were untrained and disorganized and they were. They caught
the European theatre off guard with their unorthodox methods. Most
of them thought up as they went.
The British, French and Germans were basically "gentlemen" fighters.
They telegraphed what they were doing. They lined up in perfect formation
and marched towards each others. The Canadians had spent years
with the Natives and learned the element of surprise. They are credited
with devising the modern infiltration and espionage that is common
today. While the British were in their trenches the Canadians were sneaking
up on the Germans at night, stealing their food, keeping them off
guard with noisy night raids, digging their tunnels right up to the
German tunnels and listening in on their plans. They did, however, make
two costly mistakes. One was trying to harass the Germans with gas
and ended up having the wind blow it back at them. They were in
the trenches and the heavy gas killed or maimed a great number of
Canadians. The second was in a timing miscalculation during the
taking of Vimy. The CEF had the idea to have the foot soldiers lead
the attack followed by the heavy machinery. The bombs would be set off
over the heads of the foot soldiers. They had timed the positions they had to
be to at precise seconds. It was a brilliant plan except that the
ground was in worse shape than they had anticipated and the heavy
artillery couldn't keep up the pace and the foot soldiers couldn't be
warned to back off. Many were killed by "friendly fire" because they
got too far ahead and the bombs meant to take out the German artillery
and clear the way were hitting their own troops.
Alec was with the Second Division, fourth Battalion. When they marched
out on April 9, 1917 Alec was in the clean up division. This left him
fighting through the thousands of bodies of his friends, comrades and fellow
Canadians. He rarely mentioned how he felt or that day. He did ask me
to paint a picture for him. He saw a hillside littered with bodies but the
ghosts of those men still marching up the hill. I never felt talented
enough to do that for him. Years ago the Royal Canadian Legion commissioned
the very painting that Alec had in his mind and it hangs in many branches.
Alec had died by then and never did see it.
Private Alex Lardie
Survivor Vimy Ridge
How Alec ties us to "The Hardy Boys"
Alec was born in Burlington Ontario in 1892. He died in Hamilton Ontario January 19, 1970. He married Emily Anges Connolly born Nov. 24 1897 in Shepard's Bush, Fulham, England. She died in 1938 in Hamilton, Ontario.
Alec was the son of Louis Lardie born 1856 in Milton, Ontario and Jeanette Marie DeLong born Oct. 30 1854 in Nelson Township, Halton, Ontario.
Louis (born 1856) was the son of Louis Lardie born Jan. 20, 1831 in Montreal Quebec and Rose Beauchamp born July 1832 in Montreal, Quebec.
Louis (born 1831) was the son of George W. Hardi born Sept. 25, 1810 in Montreal, Quebec and Marie Chartrand born 1810 in Quebec.
This Louis is one of the "Hardy Boys"
Visit "The Hardy Boys" page to continue their lineage!