Retired Sapper Officer Publishes Book of Poems

Cover from an Original Painting by John Wynne Hopkins B .Ed. , G.Av.A. Military Aviation Artist John is a consummate Military Aviation Artist who served in the Rhodesian African Rifles during the Zimbabwe Independence conflict. His first commissions were for the 1st Battalion, Rhodesian Light Infantry, and the 1st Battalion, Rhodesian African Rifles.  John returned to Wales in 1982 where he taught as head of a school art department prior to early retirement to paint professionally. He has painted commission
Publication Date 
10 Nov 2020

Major Bruce Sand served for 40 years in the Rhodesian and Canadian Armies as an engineer officer. He fought and kept the peace.

In retirement, Bruce has found a new calling as a poet and a short story writer. His book, A Soldier's Life: A Sapper's Poems and Short Stories is described in our New Publications section. Copies have been sent to the CME Museum in Gagetown, and our Colonel Commandant will be presenting a copy to Her Majesty the Queen.

Bruce engaged Major General Ed Fitch (Ret'd) to write the forward to his book, some of which is repeated below:

When asked to write a foreword for an ‘old Army buddy’, one reflects on the qualities he/she embodied during the times you served together. With Bruce Sand, numerous stalwart qualities come to mind: experienced, courageous, determined, persevering, sagacious, innovative, caring, etc.. . .. but poetic? That was a bit of a surprise. Bruce himself says it is odd. But odd or not, I am grateful that Bruce has produced this meaningful and valuable body of work.

In his retirement, and through surviving several life-altering events, Bruce’s voice has emerged. And what a voice it is! He has found the words to express many sentiments soldiers feel but tend to keep inside. Any soldier readers of this book will be grateful to see and feel their own fears and doubts, triumphs and achievements emerge from the page in ways we illiterates could never have achieved.

As I read through this collection of poems and stories, not infrequently there were moments of self-recognition, a smile or a tear. Bruce opens himself as few have the skill or courage to do.

In his poems, without fear or restraint, Bruce boldly confronts the unknowable and the unfathomable. Some poems I only half-understood but I enjoyed their lilt and flow. Occasionally, in a flash, with a smile of recognition I realized that Bruce had accurately voiced a feeling I did not even know we shared.

It is in the section of Military poems that we find the most difficult truths of war and its effect on all its participants. Again, Bruce boldly advances in places that many soldiers will

find familiar and Wish that they had written such sage words.

Copies of the book are available from Bruce. If you are interested, simply call him at his home in Cobble Hill, BC at 250 686 2524.