By 1913 Filip had become married and had a young daughter. Seeking a better living for them, he immigrated to Canada with the plan to send for them later when he got established in his new homeland. He dug his heals in working in the lumbering industry briefly in British Columbia but then went East to Ontario seeking higher paid jobs. Soon the War to end all Wars came along and like so many other Ukrainians, despite the way they were treated by their new country, signed up to go to war in mid June of 1915.
On 19 June his unit boarded the SS Missanabie at Halifax and sailed for Liverpool, arriving ten days later.
Two of these were the women Jane Johnstone and Mary Elizabeth Oliphant, both were employed as stewardesses in the Merchant Marine Service at the time. Their names are two of the seven names on the plaque at Langford BC mentioned a few days ago when I brought you the names of the two women killed the day before Canada went to war. In that incident their vessel, the SS Athenia WAS NOT A TROOP CARRIER but was sunk by a cowardly German U Boat commander who fled from the scene after realizing the dreadful mistake he had made. To further his crime of abandoning those struggling in the water, he ordered his men to strict secrecy of the event and made no reference to it in his ship's logs. His superiors later covered it up by creating the fake story that the Brits destroyed the vessel themselves, as many Yanks were on board at the time and American would become so infuriated it would immediately enter the war. The hoax was finally revealed in evidence taken during the Nuremburg trials.
Pte Konowal's unit arrived at Liverpool on 29 June 1916 and moved into the temporary Canadian camp set up at Bramshott, about 70 miles s/w of London and just a dozen miles inland from the southern coast. While there Filip was promoted to Lance Corporal. His unit was needed to replenish loses in Europe and so it was split up and men were sent in several directions. He would go with a crew to the 47th Battalion, cap badge shown above. After probable additional training at Bramshott he was sent to Europe of 10 August 1916. Two months later he would find himself at Vimy Ridge and wearing 2 stripes now, that of a acting Corporal.
It would be here that Cpl Konowal would become famous... for numerous events, But I'll leave these and much more till Monday!