Adam, Wally

Wally Adam was born in Winnipeg during the Second World War, where his father was serving in the Army Pay Corps.  He grew up there, and decided to join the RCAF Reserves in his own right when he was in high school. After university, Wally enlisted in the RCAF, serving during the Cold War years. 

Adams, Morris

Morris Adams was born July 22, 1926 in Toronto, Ontario.  He grew up in downtown Toronto, in the Spadina and Dundas neighbourhood that was home to many new immigrants, including Morris’ parents.  His father was a barber and his mother worked in a garment factory, and the family was able to make it through the

Aldous, Amanda

Major Amanda Aldous is a member of the current Canadian Forces, one who specializes in logistics.  She has been deployed overseas on a number of occasions, including in Afghanistan and Kuwait, where she worked to provide support to coalition forces in their battles in the ongoing war on terror. In May of 2018, Major Aldous

Aldred, Jack

˜Jack Aldred was born and raised by his father, a war veteran, and his mother, in downtown Toronto. ˜Mr. Aldred always looked up to his older brother, so when his brother went off to fight in the navy, so did Mr. Aldred. ˜Mr. Aldred says that it was “just the thing to do” at the

Allen, Ernie

Ernie Allen was born January 14, 1922 in Heaton Park, in Manchester, England.  His father served in the Royal Artillery during the Great War, and his mother worked in the cotton mills of Manchester.  Ernie went to school and did all the normal things a boy would do in 1930s Britain; when he completed school

Allen, Fred

Fred Allen served in the Canadian Forces for many years; he enlisted and served overseas in WW2, and he kept this career going well into the postwar period.  During that time he was also deployed to Vietnam, where he served as part of the truce commission. Fred is a fantastic storyteller, and his recollections here

Allen, Gord

Gord Allen served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War. He was born October 2, 2022 and grew up in prewar Toronto, where he remembers the tough times of the Great Depression; Gord recalls his father being out of work, and he remembers that he and his friends used to bring food to

Allen, Ken

Ken Allen is a Toronto resident in his 101st year, interviewed in April 2017 by Masters at the McCowan Retirement Residence.  Ken had many stories to share about his long life in and around Toronto.  Ken was born in the then village of Todmorden, in today’s Broadview-Danforth neighbourhood.  He remembers a very different Toronto, one

Amelio, Ray

Ray Amelio was born August 5, 1945 in Pittsburgh.  He enjoyed what he remembers as the idyllic life of 1950s America, though he was aware of the Cold War and the ever present danger.  Still, playing in the street and early television counterbalanced those concerns.  Ray was attending Duquesne University, where he was struggling to

Anderson, Clarence “Bud”

Bud Anderson hails from northern California, where he was born January 13, 1922 and grew up on a farm in the little town of Auburn, relatively insulated from the effects of the Great Depression.  Always interested in flying, Bud attended junior college and took on a job at the Sacramento Air Depot, and he was

Aral, Selena

Selena Aral joined the reserves to help pay for post-secondary studies after she graduated high school in 1997.  She started off in the navy as a boatswain and remained one for 7 years.  She then decided to change tracks and try out logistics; she was accepted in 2004, which allowed her to go back to

Armitage, Roly

Roly Armitage was born February 8, 1925 in South March, Ontario, in the Ottawa area.  He was raised on a farm, with many brothers and sisters.  Roly’s father was a veteran of the Great War who saw action at Ypres:  he was gassed and while being treated in England he met a young Red Cross

Armstrong, Beatrice

Beatrice “Babs” Armstrong hails from Tring, not too far from London, England. She was the oldest of five children, born in 1923. She remembered life in Tring as being fairly commonplace, and she and her friends spent most of their time on their bicycles, or going to the cinema when they had extra change, something

Arnett, Rex

Rex Arnett was born November 12, 1924 in Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s east end, in the Danforth-Woodbine neighbourhood.  Rex and his friends kept busy playing all kinds of sports, and against the backdrop of the Great Depression Rex worked as a delivery boy for a local drugstore.  He was attending De La

Astor, David

David Astor was born September 26, 1919.  He served in the USMC during WW2. He enlisted in he early stages of the war, leaving his home in Portland, Maine for Marine training that took him all over the United States before his deployment to the Pacific theatre. David was stationed on both Guam and Guadalcanal,

Atherton, Paul

Paul Atherton was born July 15, 1921 in Hanover, New Hampshire.  The family moved around a bit when he was young, navigating the realities of the Great Depression.  Paul attended a one-room school for a time, but as his family moved to larger communities he grew accustomed to larger schools and different amenities.  Life in

Atkinson, Ken

Ken Atkinson was born April 18, 1925 in Sunderland, England.  His father was a veteran of the Great War who enrolled his son in the Air Cadet Corps between the two wars, and Ken’s father remained part of the Home Guard once the Second World War began, watching the skies for signs of the Luftwaffe. 

Back, Wib

Wib Back was born May 11, 1926 in Toronto. Wib’s early life had its difficulties:  his mother died when Wib was just 11, and his father was unable to care for Wib and his siblings, so they ended up going into foster care through the Children’s Aid Society.  Wib was consequently moved around, going to

Bacon, Al

Al Bacon was born Dec 27, 1919 in Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s east end, attending Danforth Tech before the Great Depression forced him to quit school and go to work.  Al found a job at the Simpson’s Department Store, where he was an elevator operator.  When the war came, he and a

Baker, Norman

Norman Baker was born September 1, 1916 in the west end of Toronto, where he attended Runnymede Collegiate.  Norm’s parents hailed from Riegate, England and had emigrated to Canada before the Great War, and Norm and his two brothers were raised in the British tradition.  And they were fortunate not to be impacted by the

Balabanow, Bill

Bill Balabanow was born February 17, 1926 in the little town of Blue Ridge Summit in southern Pennsylvania, though the family moved to Lancaster in 1931, and that is where he spent most of his childhood.  Bill’s parents divorced when he was an infant, so his parental and family memories come mainly from his mother’s

Barber, Andy

Andy Barber is from Montreal, where he grew up during World War Two.  Not one for school, he left to find employment in the CN rail yards of Point St-Charles, where he found work as a carman’s apprentice.  But the lure of the navy proved strong, and Andy joined up just as the Korean War

Bark, Chad

Chad Bark was born July 16, 1924 in Toronto, Ontario.  He grew up against the backdrop of the 1930s, attending Oriole Park Public School and the University of Toronto Schools and playing and excelling at many sports.  When the war came, Chad joined the army hoping to get into the action:  he began in the

Barker, Carl

Carl Barker is a lifelong Mainer.  Born June 26, 1928, he grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, which he recounts through some fascinating specific memories, including that he slept in a drawer.  As his father was a grocer, the family did not go hungry, but Carl remembers that he did not see

Barker, Robert

Major Barker joined the Canadian Forces in 2000, and graduated from the Royal Military College in 2005. In 2008, he was deployed to Afghanistan, where he worked to help rebuild the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police force. During his time in Afghanistan, he received an official mention in dispatches for his exemplary work.

Bays, Jim

Jim Bays was born January 20, 1918.  He grew up in the Christie Pitts neighborhood in Toronto, where he attended Central Tech.  Jim grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, so he and his friends made do, playing soccer and softball, and helping their parents where they could.  When the war came, Jim

Beal, Ronald

Ron Beal was born April 5, 1921.  Growing up during the depression, he enlisted in the Royal Regiment of Canada, having been in the militia before the war. After training and the overseas journey and several months of waiting, Ron was sent to Dieppe. It was the first cross-Channel raid by the Allies, and a

Beardshaw, George

George Herbert Beardshaw was born September 14, 1923 in Thorne, Yorkshire, England. He grew up in Garden Boys City, one of the Barnardo orphanages. He remembers that one day a man came into class, asking who wanted to go to Canada: George raised his hand, and in 1938 was off on the grand journey. He

Bedal, Carl

Carl was born in 1925 in Brighton, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm during the Depression, and some of his earliest memories include seeing classmates in tattered clothing.  His family relocated to Belleville when it was time for Carl to attend high school, and it was after graduation that he made the decision to

Beharriel, Gertrude

Gertrude (Bibby) Beharriel was born on April 20, 1920 in the small town of Campbellford, Ontario. She was one of 7 children and was the middle child, with 3 older siblings and 3 younger siblings. During the Great Depression she and her family were hit just like everyone else but, because they had a farm,

Bein, Don

Don Bein was born June 5, 1925 in Davenport, Iowa.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the early years of the war, graduating from high school in 1943.  He promptly received his draft notice and headed off to Fort Benning, Georgia.  As he had passed the army IQ test he

Bell, Walter

Walter Bell is the father of Mrs. Sue Brownlee, a Crestwood Staff member. As a member of Britain’s Royal Artillery in World War Two, Mr. Bell began training in England, before heading to Freetown, Sierra Leone to train African troops. He eventually took his trained troops and headed to Burma, where he fought for Britain

Bell, Wayne

Wayne Bell was born June 6, 1947, in Montreal.  He grew up on Montreal’s south shore, with a strong affinity to the United States, where Plattsburgh offered luxuries such as drive-in theatres.  Wayne and his friends would go there often, visiting the beach and escaping the 1960s political tensions that were emerging in Quebec.  While

Bentley, Lloyd

Lloyd Bentley was born August 1, 1923.  He grew up in northern Ontario, in Kirkland Lake and Sault Ste Marie, during the Great Depression years; the family was on the move as Lloyd’s father searched for work.  When the war came, Lloyd joined the air force, and he began his training for the RCAF, following

Bergstein, Bunny

Bunny Bergstein was born April 1, 1924 in Toronto.  His parents had emigrated to Canada in the period after the Great War, fleeing anti-Semitism in Lithuania and Galicia.  They raised their family in downtown Toronto, where Bunny attended school and busied himself with his friends, playing ball in the local playground.  By the time Canada

Bhullar, Bhag Singh

Bhag Singh Bhullar was born May 14, 1924 in the village of Bhullar, in the Punjab region of India.  At least that’s what his official military records say; the reality is that he was born in 1922, and his family had lied about his birthday, hoping that making him two years younger would keep him

Bihl, Clayton

Clayton Bihl was born September 9, 1923 in Buffalo, New York.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, attending Bennett High School and Canisius College.  He and some friends enlisted in the army in 1938, and Clayton went through all the regular training.  He decided though that the army life was

Blank, Ed

Ed Blank hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1943.  He was the youngest sibling in his family, and he grew up following in the footsteps of his older brothers and sisters – scouting, college and the ROTC.  The family lived a good life, replete with the luxuries of the 50s, including a

Bloom, Evelyn

Evelyn Bloom grew up in prewar Montreal, enjoying life near “her beautiful mountain”, while at the same time seeing the harsh realities of the Great depression.  When the war came, she and her sister decided to enlist.  They understood that Canada was under assault, and stories of U-Boats in the Gulf of St. Lawrence only

Blowe, Don

Don Blowe served in the Canadian forces during WWII. He enlisted in the Essex Scottish regiment at the age of 18; after training he was sent to England and he then saw action in France, Holland, and Germany. In Holland he was wounded in his leg; after he recovered he participated in Operation Veritable, where

Bluestein, Ev

Ev Bluestein served in the American Army during WW2, specifically General Patton’s armoured corps. When they made their breakout from the Battle of Normandy, Ev and his comrades fought through France and into the Netherlands and Germany, helping to bring the European war to its conclusion. Ev came to us courtesy of Len Levy, a

Boggild, Carl

Carl Boggild was born November 3, 1922; he originally came from Denmark, but his parents moved to Canada when he was only one year old, so his real formative experiences took place in Nova Scotia, where his parents settled.  Carl grew up in the southern part of the province, where he and his family lived

Bond, Levon

Major Levon Bond is a member of the current Canadian Forces, one who specializes in air force intelligence operations.  He has been deployed overseas on a number of occasions, including in Haiti, where Canada provided disaster relief after the devastating earthquake.  More recently, he was sent to Afghanistan and Qatar, where he worked to provide

Boneham, Tom

Tom Boneham was born March 21, 1923 in Warwickshire, England, where he grew up on a farm in the village of Shotteswell in the Stratford-upon-Avon district, not too far from the town of Banbury.  His father Tom worked that farm with Tom’s mother Hilda; the two of them had met after Tom’s father was discharged

Boon, Art

Art Boon was born November 12, 1924 in Peterborough, England, emigrating to Canada when he was a baby.  Art’s father had come to Canada for the first time in 1912, but with the outbreak of the Great War Art’s father and uncle returned to Europe to fight in that war.  Art grew up in Stratford,

Borisko, Nick

Nick Borisko was born December 10, 1925 in the little village of Hubbard, Saskatchewan.  He grew up in that very small community, the third of eight children of immigrants from the Ukraine who had left the Austro-Hungarian Empire looking for a better life.  His father was a farmer, and although the family grew up in

Bow, John

John Bow served in the Royal Canadian Service Corps during the Second World War.   Born in Windsor in 1926, he turned 18 in 1944, as the war was getting into its final year, and it turned out that he was unable to go overseas.  John had two older siblings, an older brother who joined

Boyd, Frank

Frank Boyd was born in Toronto in 1922.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, though he said he was lucky to have been sheltered from the toughest times.  After graduating high school, 19-year-old Frank Boyd joined the armed forces in Toronto, choosing the air force. After training he boarded the troopship

Boyd, John

John Boyd was born January 26, 1913 in Alberta.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, though he said he was lucky to have been sheltered from the toughest times.  The harsh conditions did push his politics to the left, and John was attracted to the leftist ideals of the time.  After

Boyer, Michael

Michael Boyer is a veteran born in Toronto, into a big family.  Fairly well-to-do, Mr. Boyer and his family were less affected by the depression than many. He joined the army at a young age and became part of the Fourth Field Royal Canadian Artillery. Travelling to Europe, Mr. Boyer fought along allied forces such

Bozek, John

John Bozek was born August 16, 1924 in Detroit, Michigan.  His parents had emigrated from Poland at the turn-of-the-century, and John was the youngest in a family of four siblings.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, but John remembers that his father always had a job, and that the family even

Bradley, Tom

Tom Bradley is an American veteran of the Second World War, having served with the 29th Infantry Division in Europe.  Tom hails from New Jersey, where he grew up during the Great Depression.  When the war came, he was in school in Massachusetts, expecting to go on to college.  But the government had other ideas,

Braithwaite, Leonard

Leonard Braithwaite was born October 23, 1923 in interwar Toronto, growing up in the downtown neighbourhood of Kensington Market. As the Great Depression took hold, the young Leonard went to school and helped his family out by selling newspapers. When World War Two came along, Leonard decided to enlist, only to be put off by

Branchaud, Georges

Georges Branchaud was born June 12, 1941 in Cornwall, Ontario.  His father moved the family to Valleyfield, Quebec during the war, in order to work in the war industries that were booming in that city.  The family relocated to Ontario later though, and Georges grew up in Cornwall, where he decided to join the navy

Bray, Stewart

Stewart Bray was born October 7, 1921 in Raglan, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm, with nine siblings; they all attended the local one room schoolhouse and managed to have occasional fun times, but as Stewart recalls there was always work to be done on the farm.  When the war began in September 1939

Braybrook, Chelsea

Chelsea Braybrook was born in the city of Sarnia, Ontario, where she spent the majority of her childhood with her both her parents as well as her younger little brother.  She never intended on being a soldier at young age but instead had aspirations of becoming a star like her childhood singing idol Cher.  As

Brewster, George

George Brewster was born April 5, 1923.  He grew up in New Brunswick, the son of a Great War veteran who had enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps.  After the war his father worked for the railroad, managing to keep food on the table even during the difficult days of the Great Depression, a time

Brodie, Hugh

Hugh Brodie was born October 13, 1926 in Montreal, Quebec.  He grew up in the city against the backdrop of the Great Depression, attending school and playing football and hockey.  Hugh’s father was a doctor who passed away young, so Hugh was raised by his mother.  When the time came to choose his next step

Brooker, Odie

Odie Brooker was born in 1929 in Toronto’s Cabbagetown neighbourhood. In the midst of the Depression, Odie was placed in the care of the Children’s Aid Society. He spent the next nine years in foster homes in the Caledon region. At age 15, he snuck into the Canadian Army and spent the next year training

Brooks, Douglas

Douglas Brooks was born in 1921 in Toronto, the middle child out of all his four brothers.  Douglas is currently 92 years of age.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Like many men, the reason Douglas joined the army was simply because there was no work; also all his friends and

Bryans, Wilbur

Wilbur Bryans was born April 3, 1922 in Sullivan Township, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm, attending the local two-room school house before moving on to business school in Owen Sound.  While there Wilbur picked up critical skills that would impact his time in the military.  Wilbur was called up in 1941, reporting to

Bunston, Larry

Larry Bunston was born March 25, 1923 in Saskatoon, but early in his life his father made the decision to take the family to Ontario, hopefully to make a better life for his family.  Larry grew up in different parts of Ontario, notably Oshawa and Brantford, where he and his four brothers played sports and

Burke, Michael

Michael Burke was born on January 5th 1921 in Montreal Quebec. As a kid he went to Westmount Academy, and in 1937 he got a degree at McGill University and then a job at the Bank of Montreal. When the war broke out he enlisted in the RCAF and eventually became a ground crew mechanic

Burningham, Grant

Grant Burningham served in Canada’s mission to Afghanistan in 2013, helping to train the Afghan national police force and working alongside fellow police officers from an array of nations.  Deployed for thirteen months, he was able to experience the many facets of this country in crisis, reminding us that military and overseas service remains a

Burrowes, Jim

Jim Burrowes was born March 29, 1923 in Port Melbourne, Australia.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression:  he remembers those difficult days where his father could not find work and where he and his four brothers and sisters had to make do.  Jim was able to attend high school for a

Burston, Ben

Ben Burston was born November 29, 1924 in Kielce, Poland.  Ben’s parents made the decision to emigrate to Canada – to escape anti-Semitism and to find better economic opportunities.  They settled in downtown Toronto, in the Kensington Market neighbourhood.  Ben’s mother died when he was quite young, so he was raised by his father in

Butts, Charles

Charles Butts was born in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1926.  He spent his early years on the outskirts of Boston, growing up against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  After graduating from high school, Charles attended Middlebury College, as he was given an educational deferment from the draft.  He did end up in the U.S. Navy, but

Byrne, Jack

Jack Byrne was born March 13, 1925 in Sydney, Nova Scotia.  His parents had to come to Canada – from Newfoundland – just before his birth.  Jack grew up in the Whitney Pier area of Sydney, and he remembers it fondly.  When he saw footage of the Russo-Finnish Winter War, he was motivated to join

Caliva, Narce

Narce Caliva was born on September 7, 1929 in Salinas, California.  His father originally came from the Philippines and had emigrated to California via Hawaii.  In California he met his soon-to-be wife, daughter in a family who had come to the United States from Yugoslavia.  Narce grew up in California against the backdrop of World

Callowhill, Jack

Jack Callowhill was born in Hamilton, Ontario on April 13, 1923.  He grew up in that industrial city against the backdrop of the Great Depression, where he attended school and choir, and was as well a “Saturday Night Soldier” in the reserves.  That saw him sent off to Valcartier Camp in Quebec at the outset

Cameron-Kelly, Mary

Mary Cameron-Kelly was born January 5, 1962 in North Sydney, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  Her father had served in the CAF during the Korean War, and she made the decision to enlist herself after she completed high school.  Her air force career began when she became an airframe technician, and at this time Mary

Cameron, Gord

Gord Cameron was born September 4, 1921 in Toronto, Ontario. Gord lived in the west end with his dad, mom, and sister. Gord went to the University of Toronto school. When the war came, his medical school and internship were accelerated, as the army wanted him in their service.  By the time he was ready,

Cameron, Ray

Ray Cameron is a veteran of the Merchant Navy.  When the war came he was living in Lindsay, Ontario, where he had been on the farm and had worked on the Great Lakes as a seaman.  When Norway was pulled into the war, the Norwegian merchant marine made the decision to recruit in Canada, and

Campbell, William

William Campbell is from Lossiemouth, Scotland. He served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, mainly aboard the battleship King George V. In this interview he painted a detailed portrait of what life was like on the ship, from the weather to the food to the uniform. William was able to travel all

Card, Albert

Albert Card was born March 12, 1924 in Hastings, England.  He grew up there in a big family, and Bert remembers they did well even during the Depression, because of his father’s food allotment.  Life in Hastings was good:  Bert grew up on the beach, going to school, playing sports – all the normal things. 

Carmichael, John

John Carmichael was born March 29, 1948, and he grew up in southwestern Ontario, living in the London and Chatham areas.  John was a student-athlete in high school, with a keen interest in math and physics.  Wanting to attend MIT, he made the decision to first go to Canada’s Royal Military College.  He was there

Carrigan, George

George Carrigan is Mr. Masters’ grandfather. He was a veteran of the Great War, who went off to fight in that conflict with five of his brothers. George was born in rural Nova Scotia, and he often spoke of the war as an opportunity to escape the limited opportunities that awaited him. He was among

Carter, George

George Carter was born August 1, 1921 in Toronto, Canada, and was the first of 14 children of John Carter and Louise Braithwaite Carter, who were from Barbados.  Carter excelled in sports as a cricket player, and he was a strong student as well. He was also very social and from an early age he

Casey, Gord

Gord Casey was born July 20, 1923 in Toronto, Ontario. While working in many different capacities during his life such as a cab owner, bus driver, transport truck driver, scuba diver and bar manager at O’Malley’s Tavern, Casey is best known as a Navy man. In 1941, Gordon Casey proudly joined the Canadian War effort

Cash, Norm

Norman Cash was born January 1, 1920 in Russia, in the city of Odessa.  When he was one year old his family made the decision to emigrate as the anti-Semitic violence associated with the pogroms was intensifying in the wake of the Great War, where Norm’s father had been a veteran.  The family settled in

Cassidy, Clyde

Clyde Cassidy was born January 31, 1925 in Barton, Vermont, not too far from where he lives today.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Depression, but as his father had steady work with the railroad conditions were not too bad for the family.  Clyde was in high school when the attack on Pearl

Cassot, Art

Art Cassot hails from New Jersey, where he grew up in the northern part of the Garden State.  Art came of age in the Vietnam era, and wondered what his future might hold.  He considered the navy or the air force, but had long waiting lists at the time, so Art opted for the army,

Castel, Jean-Gabriel

Jean-Gabriel Castel is a man who has lived an exciting and varied life, filled with unique stories and experiences. Born in Nice, France in 1928, he spent part of his youth in the French Resistance in World War 2, challenging Germany’s wartime occupation of his homeland. He and his family survived all the difficult experiences

Castellan, Peter

Peter Castellan was born in Toronto in 1918, making him one of the centenarians that we have interviewed for the Crestwood Oral History Project.  Peter grew up in the east end of Toronto, in the Gerrard/Broadview neighbourhood, where he remembers days spent at the YMCA and the local firehall, as well as the many local

Chandler, Leland

Leland Chandler was born on January 3, 1923 in Table Grove, Illinois.  He grew up in a rural area, working the family farm and attending the local schools, swimming at the local river and playing ball when he was able.  Leland grew up in the tough times of the 1930s, but he remembers the people

Chartre, Bob

Bob Chartre grew up in prewar Quebec, one son in a very large family. He remembers well the difficulties of the Great Depression, and even recalls that his father was happy when he and two of his brothers were called up for the war as that meant fewer mouths to feed! When Bob went into

Chrysafidis, Constantine

Constantine Chrysafidis was born August 13, 1925 in Leonidia, Greece, born of an American mother and a Greek father.  He was raised in Athens, and when his parents divorced he came to the United States with his mother in 1939, beginning his American journey.  They settled in Maysville, Kentucky, where Constantine adapted to life in

Chu, Henry

Henry Chu was a captain in the South Korean army during the Korean War of 1950-53. When his family was separated with the designation of the 38th Parallel, he found himself in the south. With the coming of the war, he became involved in a commando unit whose job it was to inflitrate enemy forces

Clack, Tommy

Tommy Clack was born March 9, 1947, and was raised in Decatur, Georgia.  His parents were members of the “Greatest Generation”, and both served their country in World War Two.  Tommy was a 1965 Honor Graduate and Most Outstanding in Track and Field, from Decatur High School. He attended the University of Houston on a

Claggett, Rick

Rick Claggett was born March 19, 1947,  not too far from Philadelphia.  Rick grew up against the backdrop of the “Fabulous 50s” – and the Cold War.  By his account he lived a good life, enjoying the outdoor life and just being a child in postwar America.  Vietnam entered the American consciousness in 1964-65; initially

Clarry, Richard

Richard Clarry was born October 23, 1936 in Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s west end during the Second World War, when his father was a pilot in the RCAF.  Richard’s wartime years were spent in school and in High Park, where he played baseball and hockey and everything else.  He left school at

Cohen, Kelman

Kelman Cohen, born in 1925, was the son of Morris Cohen and Esther Minden of Toronto. Morris Cohen was a Russian immigrant.  Kelman grew up in the Great Depression and in his own words, ‘we all suffered’.  Kelman had a colourful childhood in downtown Toronto, and he shared many of his recollections from the neighbourhood

Cohen, Norman

Norman Cohen was born in the east end of Toronto in 1923.  Growing up Jewish in the Beach neighbourhood, Norman dealt with the anti-Semitism of the era, as well as the economic pressures that led him to quit school at age 16.  Norman found work around the neighbourhood, and he fondly remembered working for Charlie’s

Cohn, Frank

Frank Cohn was born August 2, 1925 in Breslau, Germany.  Born into a Jewish family, Frank began to understand the realities of Nazism when he was a young boy:  an uncle was murdered by stormtroopers, and he saw violence in the streets outside his home.  He also compellingly remembers the day his Grade 2 teacher

Cole, Ila

Ila Cole was born March 5, 1925 in Nora Springs, Iowa.  She grew up in town there in a large family with eight siblings; Ila worked a number of jobs and she graduated from high school with algebra and shorthand as her favorite subjects.  She went on to business college, and worked for a time

Collens-Smith, Audrey

Audrey Collens-Smith played her own role during the Second World War…the accordion. Her job was to keep Canadians’ morale high – and to keep them entertained. Teenagers at the time, she and her sister Mary toured military bases on the home front, and played all kinds of events to keep Canadians smiling and dancing. Audrey

Colleran, John

John Colleran was born March 21, 1924 in Saintfield, Ontario.  He grew up in the Ontario countryside near Port Perry, attending a one room schoolhouse on nearby Scugog Island.  The family was hard hit by the Great Depression and John left high school in Grade 9 because the books were too expensive.  By then the

Collins, Ann

Ann Collins was born November 27,1925 in Nottingham, England. She was only 13 when WWII broke out; it ended her schooling, and sent her to work, and forced her to endure the Blitz and everything else associated with the war. Ann joined the ATS when she was 17; she expressed that her time in the British

Collins, Bernie

Bernie Collins was an RCAF navigator during World War 2. He started out his life in Toronto, Ontario, the only son in a large extended family. He helped his grandfather in his auto-shop, working with tin and learning to use his hands. When he got the chance, Bernie joined the RCAF, knowing that he was

Comber, Vera

Vera Comber grew up in London; when she was 12 she was evacuated with her school from London to the countryside. When she returned, she endured the Blitz and remembers spending nights in the Underground. While living in London, her sister enrolled in the land army, and soonafter Vera did as well. She was sent

Comisso, Amber

LCdr Amber Comisso is a member of Canada’s present day forces, serving her nation in the navy.  She visited Crestwood in April 2019, at which time she shared her experiences with Mr. Birrell’s Geography 9 class. She is originally from the GTA, and the military was not in her sights until the time for university

Cooke, Kenneth

Kenneth Cooke was born August 8,1925 in East Kirkby, Nottinghamshire, a coal mining district.  He indicated that he had a rough early life growing up:   there was a general strike, and there was no income.  He attended school at age 5 and completed his education at age 14, and then had to find employment. 

Corbett, Raymond

Raymond Corbett was born September 3, 1934 in Bass River, Nova Scotia.  He grew up in that small community against the backdrop of the Second World War, where he attended school and church and did all the things that were normal in small town Canada at the time.  Ray left school in Grade 10, and

Cosgrove, Stephen

Stephen Cosgrove was born June 5, 1926 in Liverpool, England.  He was 13 when the war began, and he remembers the schools shutting down in the early days of the war:  there were fears of a German attack, and authorities did not want a school to get hit.  Stephen remembers classrooms set up in people’s

Cossman, Howard

Howard Cossman was born on November 3rd, 1925 in Montreal, Canada and is here today in Toronto, retelling his courageous life stories. Growing up as a Jewish Canadian in the 30’s wasn’t always easy. Howard thought that one day he would have to show his appreciation of his religion and demonstrate his patriotism to his

Cottrell, Edwin

Edwin Cottrell was born January 17, 1922 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  His parents moved to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania the next year though, and that is where he grew up.  Edwin remembers a good childhood – and one where he played all kinds of sports.  His father – a Great War veteran –  worked at the

Cournelisson, Rene

Rene Cournelisson’s World War Two story is one we have not previously heard at Crestwood. Rene was born October 6, 1926 into a family of thirteen, and he grew up in prewar Holland, a nation that found itself occupied by Germany in 1940. Rene like so many Dutch chafed under the restrictions of occupation, and

Cournoyea, Joe

Joe Cournoyea was born in the Tweed, Ontario in the early 1920s.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, in a large family in a rural area of eastern Ontario.  While four of his older brothers served in the Second World War, Joe and the younger children worked the family farm, though

Cracknell, Joan

Joan Cracknell was born July 3, 1923 in Ottawa.  Her father worked for the federal government, and Joan grew up there in the interwar years, attending Ottawa Ladies’ College.  Times got tough when her father lost his job as the Depression set in, but he was able to pick up some work on the side. 

Crawford, Stuart

Stuart Crawford was born on March 2, 1922, in Kingston, Ontario.  He had three brothers, and the boys all grew up playing sports and musical instruments, and they shared the same Kingston Whig Standard paper route, passed from one brother to the next.  Stuart’s family was very close, and with his parents’ sacrifices they made

Crowe, Leanne

Commander Leanne Crowe is a currently serving member of the Canadian Forces; she is on staff at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto and visited Crestwood twice during the 2022-23 school year.  She was born in Vancouver in 1964 and grew up in different parts of Canada, including Montreal and Oakville, Ontario.  In high school

Cuccaro, Joe

Joe Cuccaro hails from Plainfield, New Jersey. Born March 21, 1937, he spent his early years growing up against the backdrop of World War Two, though for Joe his earliest memories of boyhood center on the New York Yankees. In the 1950s Joe went on to higher education, and the ROTC became part of his

Curtis, Des

Des Curtis was born July 16, 1923 in Caterham, England.  He was born in the Guards’ Depot there, as his father was a member of the Irish Guards, one of the foot guards for the monarchy.  Des’s father also happened to be a Great War veteran who served in the trenches and the major campaigns

Curtis, Jim

Mr. Curtis was in the military from 1939-1945. He was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Mr. Curtis was in Communications, he was in charge of operating a radio as well as knowing Morse Code.He spent 3 years in basic training before going off to fight in Europe. His campaigns were in Italy, and

Daniel, Philip

Philip Daniel was born July 24, 1925 in Toronto.  He grew up on a farm in the Leaside neighbourhood, where his father – a Great War veteran – delivered dairy goods.  Philip’s father was part of the Canadian Engineers in the First World War, working with horses and keeping the supplies moving; his mother was

Dantsig, Benjamin

Benjamin Dantsig was a pilot in the Soviet Air Force during WW2. He fought in a number of battles during the war, including the final Soviet attack on Berlin. He also protected the convoy routes through the Arctic. He was shot down several times and was lucky to survive a partial amputation of his leg.

Davies, Cliff

Cliff Davies was born September 3, 1927 in Portsmouth, England.  By a strange twist of fate his 12th birthday happened to be the day that WW2 was declared in Great Britain, and it was a birthday that came to be characterized by gas masks and evacuation.  Cliff’s father worked at the Portsmouth shipyards, as did

Davies, Daryll

Daryll Davies is in the present day RCMP. He has served in many UN peacekeeping missions, reminding that not only soldiers take part in these missions. Daryll has visited many troubled regions in this capacity, among them Bosnia, East Timor, Jordan, and Afghanistan. His roles included police training and dealing with cold cases and war

Davies, Fred

Fred Davies was born May 6, 1923 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, into a family of six brothers and one sister. He graduated high school and volunteered for the RCAF, choosing the air force because he wanted to be a pilot. After enlisting, he was sent to Manning Depot in Montreal for training, after which he

Davis, Frank “Tex”

Frank “Tex” Davis was born August 24, 1926 in Sackville, Nova Scotia.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, second youngest of eight children, and Tex’s mother died when he was only ten years old.  Tex remembers his father doing what he could to keep”the wolf from the door”.  Tex’s family

Davis, Howard

Howard Davis was born July 7, 1925 in Wentworth County, Ontario.  His father was a veteran of the Great War, and his mother was a “country girl” as he recalls.  Howard had two brothers and a sister, and they grew up in a rural community, attending the one room schoolhouse in Valens, Ontario.  Howard did

Dawe, Andrea

Major Dawe joined the Canadian Forces a little later than the average recruit, making the big decision when she turned 30.  After initial training, she focused on the logistical and personnel side of the military.  In this regard she was deployed to Afghanistan, where she was stationed at Kandahar Airfield.  While there she was responsible

Dayton, Charles

Charles Dayton was born in the Prairies, but his family moved to Vancouver when he was a baby, and that is where he would grow up. When he finished high school in 1941, he joined the airforce, and he eventually became a navigator. With the war underway, Charles was stationed in many areas in Canada

Denham, Ronald

Ronald Denham served with the Canadian Forces during the Cold War years. In addition to his in Canada deployments, which included a stay in the Arctic, Ronald was stationed on the frontlines of the European Cold War, where he was part of the British Army on the Rhine. He was able to offer thePolitics 12

Dennis, Scott

At a young age Major Dennis was interested in aviation. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and obtained his glider pilot license and private pilot license while in high school in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  After attending university at Mount Saint Vincent University, he obtained his commercial pilot license and flew as a flight instructor

DeVries, Jan

Jan De Vries was born January 24, 1924; he was 18 years old when he decided to enter the war. He joined the army and passed basic training, choosing to enlist in the paratrooper – or Para – battalion. He went overseas in 1943; in England the Paras continued their training. On June 5, 1944

Dias, Ricardo

Major Dias joined the Canadian Forces as a reserve Radio Teletype Operator with 745 (Edmonton) Communication Squadron in 1993. While he was attending the University of Alberta, he was accepted into the Reserve Entry Scheme for Officers and was commissioned in 1996. While at 745 Comm Sqn he served in a variety of positions: Troop

Diltz, Charles

Charles Diltz was born July 28, 1927 in Lindsay, Ontario.  His family relocated to Bronte, and as a teenager Charles attended the University of Toronto Schools.  Charles grew up against the backdrop of the war and he remembers well the rationing and the propaganda that accompanied Canada’s declaration.  When the time came, Charles went into

Dingle, Durwin

Durwin Dingle was born August 6, 1926 in northern Saskatchewan, though he grew up in Wawota, in the Qu’Apelle Valley in the southern part of the province.  Durwin was one of six children, so he grew up doing many chores around the family property, especially during the difficult Depression years. Durwin’s father was an educational

Dinney, Stan

Stan Dinney was born in New Brunswick in 1922, near Moncton.  His father moved the family to Windsor, Ontario for a few years when Stan was young, but he took the family back to Moncton with the coming of the Great Depression, when he secured employment at a family lumber mill.  Stan enjoyed his early

Dobbs, Bill

Bill was born in Winnipeg in 1923. Bill joined the air force in the early 1940’s where he would later become a bomb aimer . After his term as a bomb aimer, he went to university to pursue an education in electrical engineering. Bill married Betty Cooperstock. They had 5 children and have 11 eleven

Dodds, Richard

Richard Dodds was born November 22, 1925 in Toronto, Ontario.  He grew up in the city’s west end, where he attended Humber Park Public School and later Humberside Collegiate, where he played sports in all seasons.  His father raised horses – racing was popular in interwar Toronto – so the family was insulated from the

Doherty, Pat

Pat Doherty (nee Brannigan) was born June 25, 1927 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  She recalls living a charmed early life; hers was a theater family, so she was able to live a backstage life, and the family was able to travel and see a bit of America until wartime restrictions crept in.  During that time her

Doyle, T.J.

On May 7, 1924 Theodore Joseph Doyle was born to Irene and William Doyle in Belleville, Ontario. He was the second of five children:  Bill Doyle, Ted Doyle, John Doyle, Sheila (Doyle) Jewson, Kevin Doyle.  Ted attended St. Michael’s Academy and then completed his high school education at the Belleville Collegiate Institute.   In 1942,

Drake, Emily

Emily Drake was born July 4, 1925 in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania.  Her parents had emigrated from Vilna in the period before the First World War, and Emily remembers growing up speaking Polish at home.  Her childhood took place during the Great Depression, but – too young to be aware of pressing economic and political matters- she

Duckworth, Doug

Doug Duckworth was born in England in 1923. He moved from England to Canada in 1930. Like most young people, he dropped out of school to join the war effort. He learned to march like a soldier and be part of a group; pilots were never taught how to use parachute in case of emergency!

Duffy, Joe

Joe Duffy was born January 1, 1922 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  He grew up there in a large working class family, against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the emerging war.  Joe joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1941:  it was the “thing to do”, as he and many other veterans have noted. 

Dvorchak, Bob

Robert Dvorchak was born December 24, 1949, and he grew up on a farm in Appalachia, the third of nine children.  He was an excellent student, and was able to win an academic scholarship to attend university, at which he also took a job writing for the local paper.  It was a tumultuous time, and

Dwyer, Liam

We met Liam Dwyer at the Castle Peak Retirement Suites in Bracebridge, where he presently lives.  Liam is one of several authors/editors who assembled At Your Age, a collection of stories of those who live there.  The residents felt it was important for them to record their stories, which serve as a great entry point into

Dyson, Jack

Jack Dyson was born March 23, 1926 in Lancashire, England, and he came to Canada with his family when he was 3 years old.  Nick’s father had been a coal  miner near Liverpool, and he vowed that his young son would never find himself in “the pits”, so he went to Canada and made a

Earle, Roy

Roy Earle was born in 1924 in Montclair, New Jersey, and he grew nearby in the city of Bloomfield, where he graduated from high school in 1942. Knowing he would soon be drafted, he made the decision to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps in late 1942, eleven months after the U.S. joined the conflict.

Eddy, Jim

Mr. Jim Eddy served in the RCAF during WWII, when he was connected to Bomber Command. While on a mission over Germany, his Lancaster was shot down, and Jim went on to be a POW in German prison camps for the remainder of the war. We first visited Mr. Jim Eddy in his room at

Eisenhauer, Harry

Harry Eisenhauer was born on July 9, 1920, at Lower La Have, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, one of the nine children of John and Lillian Eisenhauer.  His family ties to Lunenburg County go back to 1753, when the German immigrants to Halifax in 1751 were moved to the site of Lunenburg to establish a new

Ellers, Lyall

Lyall Ellers was born September 7, 1923 in Perth, Australia.  He and his three siblings grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, going to school and doing all the things typical of Australian youth at the time.  Lyall’s father was a Great War vet who worked in the mines – and who certainly

Elliott, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Elliott was born July 20, 1924; she grew up in Toronto during the 1930s and 1940s.  Even with the Great Depression, she remembers her father as a driven man, one who always took his family to the countryside, even during the tough times.  As a result, Elizabeth recalls that she and her siblings were

Eyres, Ardwell

Ardwell Eyres served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War.  Born in Cameron, Ontario, Ardwell grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  His father was a farmer, so Ardwell remembered that they always had food to eat, but he was aware of the economic circumstance that befell others.  Ardwell did go

Fairbrook, Paul

Paul Fairbrook was born into a Jewish family on August 21, 1923 in Berlin, Germany.  His first ten years were spent in that country, but his father saw the writing on the wall and made arrangements for his young family to get out in 1932.  First they made their way to France, and then to

Fan, Meng

Meng Fan was born in 1926 in Sumatra, Dutch East Indies, which now is Indonesia. Later he moved to Hong Kong.  When war came, Hong Kong had to support in war efforts. However, Hong Kong was lacking resources such as food. Meng Fan volunteered to join the army. He started with training and was barely

Farquarson, Bob

Bob Farquarson hails from the Canadian Prairies; he was born on March 1, 1923, on a reservation in Alberta, where his father was the government stockman.  Bob’s early years were spent on the Prairies, right in the middle of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.  He recalls the conditions drove his father to bankruptcy

Fassbender, Edmund

Edmund Fassbender was born in Germany in 1925. He moved to Cologne, where he spent the rest of his years leading up to the war. Edmund joined the Hitler Youth at a young age. Like most young men, he was conscripted at age 18. He was a private, who trained as a sharpshooter. He was

Fejfar, Cliff

Cliff Fejfar was born May 1, 1949  in Yankton, South Dakota; when he was 3 the family moved to Sioux City, Iowa, and that’s where Cliff grew up.  It was the 1950s, and life was good:  Cliff and his friends played baseball, went to school, and watched TV – all the things that punctuated American

Fentum, Albert

Albert Fentum was born April 6, 1925 in London, England, in the Lewisham neighbourhood. He attended school, and like the rest of the family, he lived day-to-day during the Great Depression. Early in the war, Albert experienced the Blitz. It prompted him and a friend to join the Royal Marines. After going through vigourous training,

Ferris, John

John Ferris grew up in Ontario in the prewar era, alternating between the country and the growing city of Toronto.  He experienced the two worlds of Canada, and had positive memories of both.  With the war, John enlisted, recalling it to be a duty and an expectation.  John chose the air force, and he began

Field, Richard

Richard Field served in Canada’s 2nd Division during World War Two. He grew up in Toronto during the Depression years, where he was able to finish school and join the prewar militia and sea cadets, two organizations that would teach him many valuable lessons in the upcoming war years. When Richard moved into the regular

Finnigan, Jim

We met Jim Finnigan at the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing in the fall of 2012, where he was interviewed by Grade 12 students Katherine Charness, Julie Cho, and Emma Myers.  Jim served in the Royal Air Force in the Second Wolrld War, where he was connected to transport details that were deployed largely in the Middle

Fischer, Bob

Bob Fischer was born July 14, 1926 in West Allis, Wisconsin.  He grew up in that industrial town in a family with five siblings including a twin brother, and he attended Catholic school – all while the Great Depression was unfolding.  Bob does remember good times from that decade, but he also remembers working –

Fish, Lawrence

Lawrence Fish was born in Crowle, England in 1923. He was the eldest of four siblings. In school he went to seventh grade and then started to work in farming and driving trucks. Most of his childhood was spent working as well as helping with his siblings. In 1941, once he was old enough to enlist,

Fisher, Mervin

Mervin Fisher was born May 7, 1926 in Collingwood, Ontario.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Depression in Collingwood, Dixie and Toronto, moving around after his parents’ divorce and some family difficulties.  Mervin went into service at the midway point of the war, and trained for the Armoured Corps.  He was only 17

Fitzsimmons, Douglas

Douglas Fitzsimmons was born July 22, 1924 in Toronto.  He grew up in a large family in the city’s east end, in the Gerrard and Woodbine neighbourhood and attended the local Catholic school.  Doug’s father was a Great War veteran who went on to a successful career as a salesman, so the family was sheltered

Foley, Joice

Joice Foley was born April 1, 1924, in Wick, in Hampshire, England.  It was a rural area where she has fond memories of the animals in the fields – and of the long walks to school and everywhere else.  Joice’s parents were in service, an occupation they expected her to join too.  Joice consequently left

Fontaine, Les

We met Les Fontaine at the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing in the fall of 2012, when he was interviewed by grade 11 students Sarah Mainproze, Steph Erdman, and Kristen Stribopoulos.  Les served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War, and he shared with the girls his memories of the Great Depression, as well

Foote, Jack

Jack Foote was born December 2, 1921.  He served on a Motor Torpedo Boat in the Royal Canadian Navy during WW2, and it was his task to patrol the coastal areas from France to the Netherlands, keeping them clear of enemy threats. He was there on the night of June 5-6, 1944, engaging German E-boats

Forbes, Harry

Harry Forbes was born April 11, 1918 in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.  Harry grew up on a farm, the oldest of 11 children.  He remembers the 1920s as being a dry decade where farming became increasingly difficult, topped off by the crash and Great Depression.  Harry in fact had to quit school when he was 15

Ford, Jack

Jack Ford was born in 1921 and is currently 92 years old.  He was born in Oklahoma City, in the United States but grew up in Canada.  When the war broke out in 1939, he decided to enlist in the Canadian forces, even though it was not yet an American war.  Jack joined the RCAF,

Foreman, Stephen

Stephen Foreman was born August 3, 1946; he grew up near Pittsburgh, in the small town of Jefferson, Pennsylvania.  Life was good in that small, racially-mixed town; Stephen’s father worked at the steel mill, and the family raised its own chickens. Stephen was a boy scout, and later played football and other sports in high

Forster, Alan

Alan Forster was born in Toronto, growing up in the city’s east end during the Great Depression.  From a military family, he joined up as soon as he was able, heading off to training and then to England.  Shortly after the D-Day invasion, Alan headed to France, to begin his “baptism under fire”.  They were

Forster, Wolfram

Wolfram Forster was born October 22, 1925, in Berlin, Germany.  He grew up in that city during the interwar years, witnessing the political changes that were taking place around him as he attended school.  Wolfram’s father was a Great War veteran who became a police officer, and who later fired when he refused to join

Forsyth, Ed

Ed Forsyth is a Canadian veteran of WW2, having fought his way through France, the Netherlands, and Germany. We met Ed through the Royal Canadian Legion, where he is a proud member of the Brigadier O.M.Martin Branch at Peard Road. Ed is one of many members at that branch who have taken part in this

Fowler, Jim

Jim Fowler served in the Canadian Forces during the Cold War era, and as such he participated in a number of peacekeeping missions from the period. Jim was deployed in Germany, and was posted to a number of bases in Canada; most notably he served in the Suez in the early 70s, during the period of

Fox, Bill

William Joseph Fox was born in Timmins, Ontario on June 28, 1926. The Great Depression did not affect Bill’s childhood as he lived a comfortable life during those years. Before the war he was very sports oriented and mostly played hockey for teams with players older than him – he was even able to get

Foy, John

John Foy was born October 12, 1925 in Rochester, New York.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, in a large family of ten children where four of the brothers would serve during the war.  In the 30s John went  to school and did all the normal things for a teenager

Foyle, Gerry

Gerry Foyle served in the Canadian Forces from the 1950s to the 1990s, building a career during the period that corresponded to Canada’s “Golden Age” of foreign policy and peacekeeping.  Gerry joined up in the 50s, still a teenager, when Canada was involved in the Suez Crisis, and he went on to supply the Canadian

Fraser, Bill

Bill Fraser hails from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, where he was born in 1940.  His father and uncles served in the Second World War, and Bill would follow them into the service, albeit in a very different time.  Bill was part of the Canadian Forces during the Cold War;  he joined the RCAF out of

Freeman, Bradford

Bradford Freeman was born in Mississippi on September 4, 1924.  He grew up on a farm, where the family was insulated from the worst effects of the Great Depression.  Brad remembers being at a neighbor’s house when the news about Pearl Harbor broke; he ran home to find his mother crying.  Still in high school,

Funge, Noel

Noel Funge was born December 26, 1929 in Melbourne, Australia.  He grew up against the backdrop of the 1930s economic crisis, where he was fortunate to win a scholarship to an elite school.  He also grew up during World War Two, when Australia was under severe threat from Japan; as such Noel completed his military

Gallant, Alyre

Alyre Gallant was born December 23, 1923, in Piusville, Prince Edward Island.  He grew up during the time of the Depression, and when his father died when he was quite young, Alyre left school and began working on the family farm.  And that was the theme for the rest of the decade and into the

Gardner, Earl

Earl Gardner is a proud member of the Canadian Forces in the postwar era.  He joined its ranks in the days of the Cold War, and he recalls the tensions of the Cuban Missile Crisis in particular, as well as the rebuilding that followed Hurricane Hazel in Toronto.  Earl’s career covered many aspects of the

Garnet, Sam

Sam Garnet was born March 28, 1923; he served in the RCAF during WWII. After training that took him across Canada and to the Bahamas, Sam was eventually seconded to the RAF, where he joined Coastal Command. Sam was a wireless air gunner who served on B-24 Liberators; he spent most of his war doing

Gerquest, Peter

Peter Gerquest is from Saddle River, New Jersey, where he was born in 1932 and spent his early years.  When it came time to leave that rural community, Peter attended Hamilton College, and it was about that time when his impending military commitments began to affect his plans, with war in Korea underway.  Peter was candid

Gerrard, Gerry

Gerry Gerrard was in the reserve artillery as of 1938. The day before the war broke out, he was called up and reported to the colonel, who told Gerry he needed a dozen men to go to Victoria.  Since Gerry waswas 17, he didn’t have to go, but he went anyway.  In Victoria, he joined

Gibeau, Philippe

Major Philippe Gibeau is a member of the current Canadian Forces, one who specializes as an aerospace engineer.  He has been deployed overseas on a number of occasions, including in Afghanistan and Kuwait, where he worked to provide support to coalition forces in their battles in the ongoing war on terror. In May of 2018,

Gladstone, Sidney

Sidney Gladstone was born July 18, 1925 in Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s old Ward neighbourhood, though he remembers moving around a lot when he was young, and attending many different schools.  Sid’s grandparents had emigrated to Canada at the turn of the century, leaving behind the limitations and pogroms of Poland to

Glassman, Israel

Israel Glassman was born in Montreal, Quebec on April 22nd, 1924, six months after his mother landed in Canada.  He was not born in a very good period:  the Great Depression hit Canada in 1929 and 1930.  During that time, Mr. Glassman played street hockey and baseball with his friends for fun. He also did many

Glazier, Jack

Jack Glazier was born on February 14,1920 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His family later moved to Regina. After studying engineering, Jack got a job designing diesel engines for a company in Athabasca, Alberta. At the age of 21, he joined the RCAF. After his pilot training had concluded and after being posted in England, he was

Gleeson, Mark

Mark Gleeson was born May 11, 1927 in Kokomo, Indiana, though he grew up largely in the Pittsburgh area, where his father worked for PPG after his return from the Great War.  Mark grew up in the 30s, against the backdrop of the Great Depression, but still enjoyed the typical American adolescence of the time. 

Glenn, Roland

Roland Glenn was born June 5, 1924; he grew up in small town Pennsylvania, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He recalls a good childhood, where his family raised him with love and positive energy, in a time when that was in short supply for many Americans.  His father and grandfather had instilled him

Gogo, Norman

Norm Gogo grew up in Toronto and Michigan, as the family moved when his father was transferred and began work in the Motor City. But the good economic times did not last, and as the Depression worsened the family returned to Canada along Hwy. 5. Back in Toronto Norm went to school in the city’s

Goldie, Tom

Major T.J. (Tom) Goldie was born in Halifax, NS. After completion of high school he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and enjoyed several years serving as an Airframe Technician maintaining aircraft before being selected in 1999 for a military sponsored university training plan through which he completed his studies toward a Bachelor of

Goldman, Ralph

Ralph Goldman was born in Iwaniska, Poland on July 25, 1921.  He came to Canada as an infant, early in the 1920s, and he grew up in downtown Toronto against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  The economic situation forced him to leave school when he was only 14, and he went to work to

Goldstein, Ronald

Ron Goldstein was born August 16, 1923 , in London, England.  His parents, looking to escape the anti-Semitism and lack of opportunity, had immigrated to England from Poland in the years before the Great War.  They went on to raise a large family, and Ron was the 10th in a family of 11.  Ron left

Gondek, Zbigniew

Zbigniew Gondek served in the Polish Army during World War Two.  Born in Szemysyl in 1923, he and his family found themselves in the Soviet Zone of occupation after the 1939 Nazi Soviet Pact.  Zbigniew’s father, a police officer, was murdered, and Zbigniew and his mother were transported to Siberia, where they ended up in a

Goobie, Myer

Myer Goobie is from East York in Toronto. He visited us in October 2012, when he was interviewed by students Antony Cook and George Giannopoulos. Myer served in the Canadian Forces during the Second World War, specifically the Devil’s Brigade, a commando unit made up of American and Canadian soldiers. Myer saw action in Sicily,

Goodbody, Harry

Harry enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces when he was eighteen years old. Harry was sent to fight in Italy after his training in England. He was there when the Allied troops bombed and destroyed the abbey at Monte Cassino. This was one of the darker memories he has of the War. Some of Harry’s

Gord, Marvin

Marvin Gord was born December 31, 1920 in Toronto, Ontario.  Marvin grew up with his mother, raised in a secular Jewish family, first in New York and then back home in Toronto.  Marvin delivered papers and worked at a local Loblaw’s, and after he graduated high school he began an apprenticeship to prepare for a

Gorman, Digger

“Digger” Gorman served in the Canadian Navy during the Second World War.  Originally from New Brunswick, the future geology student – that’s where the name “Digger” came from – Digger was deep in his studies when the war approached.  As a science/engineering student, Digger’s enlistment was originally deferred, but like many in his generation, he

Goss, Warren

Warren Goss was born February 9, 1925 in Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, where he grew up in a large farm family.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, working around the farm and delivering papers and being a Boy Scout.  When the attack on Pearl Harbor happened, Warren recalls selling many newspapers – and

Goulet, Raymond

Raymond Goulet was born January 14, 1923 in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  His parents were French-Canadian, so Ray and his brothers grew up speaking French and English, and attending Catholic schools, all against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  When the war came, Ray chose to volunteer, while his two brothers were drafted.  He went through basic

Gower, Harry

Harry Gower was born in Toronto in 1922.  He grew up in the city’s west end, where he attended Western Tech.  With the death of his father and the coming of the Great Depression, Harry had to leave high school after one year, and he took a job at Eaton’s, where he operated the elevator

Graham, Arnold

Arnold Graham was born December 12, 1925 in Lakefield, Ontario.  He grew up in a large family:  there were 12 children, and Arnold was the youngest.  Arnold grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression; life was tough for the family, especially when Arnold’s father died.  His older siblings and his mother managed to

Graham, John

John Graham was born February 25, 1921 in Toronto.  He grew up in a large family in the western end of Toronto’s downtown, attending the public schools and playing ball at Christie Pitts.  John was able to graduate Grade 13 at Bloor Collegiate, after which time he went into the RCAF.  Basic training followed, and

Gransden, Fraser

LCdr Fraser Gransden hails from Maitland, Ontario, and is a currently serving member of the Canadian Forces.  He joined the forces in 2001, attending Mt. Allison University while doing ROTP, and he trained during the summers.  His first posting was the HMCS Halifax, and he also served on the HMCS St. John’s and was involved

Greenbaum, Don

Don Greenbaum was born March 10, 1925, in the suburbs outside Philadelphia.  He grew up in an observant Jewish family, dealing with the realities of the Great Depression and attending military school.  When the war came, Don was quickly inducted and sent into basic training.  He was assigned to an artillery unit – the 283rd

Gregerson, Pete

Pete Gregerson served in Canada’s armed forces in both World War Two and Korea.  Born and raised in the west end of Toronto, Pete grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, attending public school and then Central Tech, where he studied to be a draftsman.  Pete enlisted in the army as WW2 came

Grizzle, Stanley

Stanley Grizzle has led an illustrious life, and Crestwood students were fortunate to meet him in the spring of 2013 – on several occasions – and we are indebted to Kathy Grant and the Legacy Voices Project for setting up that introduction. Stanley Grizzle was born in Toronto in 1918, to Jamaican parents who immigrated

Grosberg, Bill

Bill Grosberg was born on September 21st 1924; he was only 5 years old when the Depression hit. During the Depression Bill had to work so he could afford to go to school; he worked at a boys camp, an experience that helped him a great deal in later life.  Bill was still in school

Grossmann, Gerry

Gerry Grossmann was born May 8, 1925 in Dusseldorf, Germany, into a prosperous Jewish family.  Gerry remembers his childhood in fond terms, as his parents created a home where he and his brother had so many opportunities.  1933 saw a dramatic change though; with the election of Hitler, things changed for the Grossmanns and for

Grubb, Alfred

Alfred Grubb was born October 25, 1921 on a farm near Hanover, Ontario.  Alfred’s father had been a farmer, but when Alfred was three years old the family relocated to nearby Teeswater, where his father took a job at the local creamery.  Alfred attended school up to Grade 8, but he was not fond of

Gulko, Norman

Norman Gulko served in the Canadian army in World War Two, where he saw action on several fronts. After training and the overseas journey, he was deployed to Italy. When that campaign was nearing its conclusion, he was sent to the Netherlands, where he fought through northern Europe and into Germany itself. Norman brought many

Gunter, Bill

Bill Gunter was born February 27, 1925  in South Hull, Quebec.  He grew up there in the 1930s, alongside his older brother.  When the war came, both brothers joined up, but Bill’s older brother was killed in a horrible elevator accident at the naval headquarters in Ottawa.  Bill joined several army reserve units while he

Gutierrez, Eugene

Eugene Gutierrez was born September 14, 1921 in Harlingen, Texas.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and remembers well the tough times that the family went through.  His parents had a grocery store that went out of business since customers rarely had the money to pay for groceries.  Eugene graduated high

Haley, Frank

Frank Haley was born January 25, 1925 in Cheadle, Alberta. He grew up in that small rural community, going to a one room school and having fun however and whenever he and his friends could. As Cheadle was a farming community, the impacts of the Depression were severe; the price of wheat crashed, and dust

Haliburton, Margaret

Margaret Haliburton joined the RCN in WW2, where she served as a WREN. She has spoken at Crestwood for several years, and she has brought a number of other women with her, including her sister Barbara Yule and her friend Francis Todd. All three women give students an insight into life on the home front

Hall, John

John Hall was born in the Canadian West in the early 1920s.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, though he said he was lucky to have been sheltered from the toughest times.  With his brother he made his way to western Ontario, riding the rails and working the ports of Lake

Hall, Phil

Phil Hall was born March 9, 1945 in Eagle, Wisconsin.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the “Fabulous 50s”; life was good coming out of World War Two – though Phil does remember plenty of after school jobs to pick up spending money, not to mention the early days of television.  He graduated

Hallett, Julie

Julie Hallett was born and raised in London, England. Before the war broke out, life was very good for Julie. She was an honor student at her private school and was given a scholarship to continue her studies there before the war. When the war broke out, she was evacuated with her school to a

Halpenny, Francess

Francess Halpenny hails from eastern Ontario, where she grew up in the 20s and 30s.  The family relocated to the Toronto area early on, and it was there that the young Francess fell in love with books, as she made her way through the Great Depression and built upon her education, which would take her

Halvorsen, Gail

Gail Halvorsen was born October 10, 1920 in northern Utah, where he grew up on a sugar beet farm, enjoying the great outdoor life the state had to offer.  Gail worked hard during those years, and he decided to look into a civilian pilot training program that he had heard about.  When the Pearl Harbour

Hammond, Cy

Cy Hammond was born in Toronto in 1921. He lived in East York, in a working class family, with his mother and father. Cy used to play near the Don River with his friends and cricket at church. In 1941, Cy joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. After six months, Cy was sent to Halifax

Harbula, Bob

Bob Harbula was born January 2, 1931 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He grew up in a working class area there, and he expected to work on the railroad, as had his father and grandfather.  As a young boy he saw the Second World War unfold all around him, and he was inspired by the stories of

Harmon, Phil

Phil Harmon is an American veteran of the Second World War from Maine, where he presently lives in the town of Hollis.  Originally from the Cape Elizabeth area, Phil grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, though his family was fortunate to be spared many of its most negative impacts.  By 1939, as

Harper, Roly

Roly Harper was born in Toronto on October 16, 1924.  He was the youngest of three children, born to parents who had emigrated from Ireland.  Roly grew up in the city’s east end, in the Danforth and Donlands neighbourhood, and he graduated Riverdale Collegiate in January 1941.  Roly grew up against the backdrop of the

Harris, Garfield

Garfield Harris was born in Newfoundland in 1923, at a time when Newfoundland was still a British colony.  But just as the Great War did so much damage to a generation of young Newfoundlanders, it also hurt Garfield’s father, who’d run a prosperous fishing fleet before the war.  He made the decision to head west

Harrison, Reginald

Reginald “Crash” Harrison was born August 16, 1922 in Pheasant Forks, Saskatchewan, not too far from Regina.  Reg’s parents had come to Canada from Yorkshire not long before the Great War, and Reg’s father returned to Europe as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force to fight alongside his brothers still in England.  He returned and

Harvey, Frederic

Major Harvey has over 20 years of experience in the Canadian Armed Forces, having joined the reserves in 1992. While serving in the reserves and completing his university education, Major Harvey was deployed as a part of Canada’s peacekeeping missions in Haiti (1996) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (1999). In 2000, Maj. Harvey transferred to regular forces as

Hawker, Kitty

We met Kitty Hawker at the Sunnybrook Veterans Wing in April 2017.  Kitty was born in 1920 in Windsor, Ontario, and she and her family spent Kitty’s early years in southwestern Ontario and the Detroit area.  The family saw tough economic times during the Depression years, but they made it through, and by the time

Hayes, Clayton

Clayton Hayes was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and he grew up in the Prairies, first in Saskatchewan and later in Brandon, Manitoba.  The Depression was a difficult time for the family; his father’s business went bankrupt, and the family moved to improve their prospects.  When the war came, Clayton’s older brother joined the navy,

Heller, Danny

Danny Heller was born June 16, 1925 in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.  He grew up on a farm, working hard and helping out the family during the Great Depression.  Danny also attended the local school, and made the most of life in a small town.  Danny’s parents were of German descent and had emigrated from the

Heller, Mickey

Mickey Heller was born November 3, 1921 in Toronto. Born into a large Jewish family, he grew up in the city’s Bathurst-Harbord neighbourhood against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the prevalent antisemitism of the time. When the war came, Mickey opted for the RCAF. He went through the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

Henderson, Vic

Vic Henderson was a tank man in the war. he went ashore in France on D-Day + 7 and fought through Normandy, the Netherlands, and into Germany. We met him in the Brookbanks neighbourhood, and he was kind enough to share his memories with Crestwood student John Shahidi.

Hennessy, Tom

Tom Hennessy was born May 31, 1922 in Dublin, Ireland.  His father was transferred to Liverpool when Tom was quite young, and then the family returned to Ireland, relocating to the small town of Scarriff, in County Clare.  Tom attended a boarding school – Windermere – in northern England, and when he completed that he

Hertelendy, Joseph

Joseph Hertelendy served in the Hungarian army in World War Two. When Hungary found itself in an alliance with Nazi Germany, he was forced into action on the eastern front, where he saw action at Stanislaw and Stalingrad. He returned home after being wounded on the battlefield. After the war, Joseph was sent to a

Hewlett, Tom

Tom Hewlett was born October 18, 1938 in Toronto.  He grew up during wartime and the “Fabulous 50s”, where he has memories of Elvis Presley and the arrival of television; Tom also attended school, but at Forest Hill Collegiate he decided that he had enough.  He chose to leave and enter the RCAF.  Vision prevented

Hines, Audrey

Audrey Hines was born April 1, 1921 in Surrey, England, and she grew up in and around the village of Hindhead.   Audrey had 4 siblings, and her father worked in the iron business.  When the war came Audrey was already 18, and in the early years she did war work, working at a factory

Hirschmann, Werner

Werner Hirschmann was a U-boat officer in the German Navy during the Second World War. He served on several U-boats and saw action in both the Mediterranean and Atlantic theatres. When the war came to an end, he and his crew surrendered to Canadian forces, and he became a POW in Canada, later to be

Hishon, John

John Hishon and his mother lived in the Yonge & Bloor area of Toronto, where his Mom worked extremely hard to make a living during the Great Depression..  When the war broke out, John trained on the Canadian Exhibition grounds, where at first they did not have any equipment and were laughed at.  He eventually

Hoare, Edward

Edward “Ted” Hoare grew up against the backdrop of mid 1930s London. Ted received a scholarship to attend a uniform school, but he wasn’t able to attend due to a lack of financial resources. He eventually got a job and registered for the military at the age of fourteen, and he subsequently joined the Home

Hobbs, Murray

Murray Neil Hobbs was born in 1921 in Pickering, Ontario. He was born on a milk farm with his mother, father, and brother. At the age of seven his family moved to Toronto because of the Great Depression. Murray left school early and worked a series of jobs, including being a delivery boy.  He joined

Hodgins, Richard

Richard Hodgins was born in Toronto in 1919.  He grew up in the city’s east end, in the Danforth and Jones neighbourhood.  He has been a hockey fan his whole life, and many of his prewar memories centred on the Toronto St. Pats and the Mutual Street Arena, and then the Leafs at the Gardens,

Hoffe, Lance

Major Lance Hoffe is a member of the current Canadian Forces, one who specializes in combat engineering.  As such he performs a diverse array of duties, from base set up to IED disposal.  He has been deployed overseas on a number of occasions, including three tours in Afghanistan, where he worked to provide crucial tactical

Hogg, Doug

Doug Hogg was born March 29, 1925 in London, Ontario.  He grew up in that city, mostly against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He remembers that his father worked several jobs to support the family, and that his grandmother was able to contribute as she had a pension, having lost two sons in the

Howells, Ray

Ray Howells was born February 26, 1941 in Trenton, Ontario.  He grew up near the air base there, and as his uncle was in the RCAF Ray too was motivated to join, which he did right out of high school.  He spent most of his time at RCAF stations in Quebec, where he was connected

Hoy, William

William (Bill) Hoy was born in Welland, Ontario on January 30, 1924.  His family had emigrated to Canada from Britain and settled in the Ottawa area, but by the time of Bill’s birth they had settled in Welland, where Bill’s father did his Great War service, guarding the Welland Canal.  Bill grew up against the

Hunter, Gordon

Gordon Hunter is from north Toronto, a graduate of Lawrence Park, where he finished his diploma at the midpoint of the war.  It was at that time that he was made aware of his military options, and Gordon opted for the RCAF.  He went into an extended period of training, where he settled on being

Hutton, Edward

Edward Hutton was born March 4, 1926.  Crestwood students Max Saunders and Alex Ross visited Edward Hutton in his room at the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing in November 2010 – one of our very first visits there. Edward talked to the boys about his wartime experiences and memories from the Royal Canadian Navy, and of his

Hynds, Jim

Jim Hynds was born in Toronto in 1922.  He grew up in the city’s west end, in the Bloor-Bathurst neighbourhood that he calls “Hogtown”.  Jim attended Harbord Collegiate and he recalls that life during the Great Depression – at least for his family – was not that rough as his father was able to keep

Ikeda, Koiichi

Ikeda Koiichi was connected to the Japanese military during the Second World War, serving in a procurement capacity for the overseas army. He was born in the Maijuru region, where he remembers growing up poor. When the opportunity came, he began his time overseas, originally serving in Manchuria, and that is where he spent most

Iler, Harley

Harley Iler grew up in Essex County, in southwest Ontario.  Harley spent his formative years on a farm, where he remembers his parents struggling through the difficult years of the Great Depression.  Harley attended school in a one-room schoolhouse, and at home he tinkered with his HAM radio, developing the passion and technical know-how that

Instance, Tom

Tom Instance was born July 28, 1924, in Toronto’s east end.  His father was a driver for the TTC, but with four siblings to feed amidst the effects of the Great Depression, Tom left school when he was 14.  He delivered papers and groceries and found work where he could, including at a shipyard where

Isaacs, Ike

Welby “Ike” Isaacs was born January 20, 1939; he grew up on the Six Nations reserve in southwestern Ontario, where he was raised by his grandmother.  She died when Ike was 16, and neighbours took him in, allowing Ike to avoid the fate that would have awaited him otherwise – a residential school.  Ike didn’t

Jacobs, Murray

Murray Jacobs grew up in prewar Toronto, where he saw some of the city’s growing pains in the 1930s. That included the infamous Christie Pitts Riots of the 1930s, in which he was involved and was forced to confront the reality of local anti-Semitism. He enlisted in World War Two, where he would serve in

James, Alex

Alex James was born in 1920s Toronto, and he grew up largely in the city’s east end.  Alex shared with us his memories of interwar Toronto, and what it was like growing up against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He remembered it as a time when everyone was the same, not knowing that they had

Jarvis, Mary

Mary Jarvis grew up in Ontario in the prewar era, in the Markham area just north of Toronto.  She grew up in a conservative, church-going family, in what was then a largely rural community, and Mary recalls chafing just a bit against those restrictions; like her friends, she would have loved to enjoy the movies and

Jeffery, Fred

Fred Jeffery is a lifelong Mainer. Born in 1918, he grew up in South Portland, and when World War Two began, he was able to graduate from college before entering the Coast Guard Academy. Unhappy with his experiences there, he decided to try something new, making the decision to enter the Marine Corps. Training took him to

Jennings, Lara

Lara Jennings was born and raised in Grimsby, Ontario, and lived a sound childhood. She attended a plethora of high schools prior to graduation and deciding to pursue a military path.  Jennings studied and graduated from Engineering at RMC prior to her choice of field in the military, which was the airforce. Beginning with regular bootcamp, she

Jensen, Eric

„Eric Jensen grew up living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. When he was 16 years old, he moved to Toronto. „When Eric first joined up they sent him to Windsor, Ontario where he was a part of the sea cadets. „After basic training Eric was sent to Halifax for a cooking course; two Montreal based chefs helped

Johns, Everett

Everett Johns was born September 30, 1925 in Ingersoll, Ontario.  He grew up there during the difficult years of the Great Depression, going to school and the movies – and occasionally getting in trouble.  Everett’s young family life was unfortunately not happy, so when the war came – and when he was old enough –

Johns, Stuart

Stuart Johns was born February 11, 1925 in Walkerville, Ontario.  He grew up in and around Windsor, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Stuart recalls his family being affected by that calamity – but also that they were not living in poverty.  His father, a veteran of the Great War, worked at the nearby

Johnson, Wallace

Wallace Johnson was born in Taft, California on April 18, 1925.  His father worked for the Standard Oil Company, and he worked in Havana, Cuba, where Wallace spent his early years.  Political instability fell over Cuba in the early 30s though, and the family relocated to Houston, where they found themselves in the midst of

Jones, Dorothy

Dorothy Jones was born November 29, 1920 in Lancaster, South Carolina.  She grew up there with her five siblings, against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the early years of the war.  Her father was a barber, and as Dorothy recalls that meant that he held onto his job during the lean years, but

Jones, Robert “Bud”

Robert “Bud” Jones was born in the St-Henri District of Montreal, and educated in the school districts of St. Henri, Montreal and Verdun , Quebec. Bud Jones is a decorated career soldier of 30 yrs, and a veteran of WWII who also served in Korea. He grew up in Depression-era Montreal, where Bud remembers his

Joyner, Mac

Mac Joyner was on May 24th, 1923 in Hamilton, Ontario. As a small child, he and his family moved all around North America, mainly in the southern United States, including California, Florida and Georgia. With all the moving, school life was quite difficult for Mac. After settling back into Canada, Mac grew up living the

Kaneko, Eishi

Kaneko Eishi served in the Japanese Imperial Army during World War Two.  From a working family near Kyoto, he grew up learning the traditions of interwar Japan, and he was imbued with the Shinto faith and an ardent athlete.  When the war came, he was identified as a strong math student, so the army prepared

Katz, Eugene

Eugene Katz was born in Dyszna, Poland in in 1927.  He was one of five children, growing up in a Jewish family not too far from Vilna; he recalls a difficult life, beset by hunger and poverty, but also filled with family and friends.  When war came in 1939, Eugene’s family was in eastern Poland,

Kearl, Harold

Harold Kearl was born December 10, 1922 in Cardston, Alberta, where he grew up on a farm with nine siblings.   He attended school in that town, where he did well, and all the while he kept busy doing chores on the farm.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and while

Keeping, Andrea

Major Andrea Keeping grew up in the small farming community Russell, Manitoba and entered the University of Manitoba with the intention of studying to be an architect. Instead, she would end up finishing her education at Kingston’s Royal Military College and embark on a career that has seen her deployed in support roles to Afghanistan,

Kelley, Travis

Major Travis Kelley had a family background in the military, so he was interested at a young age.  He studied Engineering at the University of Waterloo and joined the Army Reserves when he was finishing his undergrad.  He then did basic training at the Wolseley Barracks and completed other training as a Combat Engineer in

Kendall, Fred

Fred Kendall was born in Woodstock, Ontario on March 7, 1927.  His father was a Great War veteran who ran a cartage company, so even against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the large family (Fred had eight siblings) did well.  Fred joined up when he was in Grade 10 – and only 16.  Three

Kennedy, Frank

Frank Kennedy is a WW2 Veteran; he was born in Manitoba in 1923.  He is the 7th son in a family of 9, and he recalls some difficult early years as the family experienced the Great Depression in the Canadian Prairies.  The Dust Bowl swirled around them, and Frank’s father’s business faltered.  When the war came,  Frank and two brothers joined up.  Frank joined the

Kerr, George

George Kerr hails from Glasgow, Scotland.  He grew up in a working class neighbourhood between the war, when he remembers a life playing football and enjoying his friendships against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  When the war came, George chose the Royal Navy, where he was trained as an engineer and became an officer. 

Kerr, Helen

Born in Saskatchewan on August 2, 1919, Helen Louise Kerr was a former nurse who served in WWII. She is currently 99, and lives in Toronto. As a child, she lived on a farm with her family members, including six siblings, four of whom would serve in the war. Her mother was a teacher and

Kersh, Mervyn

Mervyn Kersh was born December 20, 1924 in South London. He grew up with two older siblings in a middle class Jewish family in the neighbourhood of Brixton; he experienced significant anti-Semitism at school, until his parents moved him to a Jewish school. They also enrolled him in the Jewish Lads’ Brigade, and Mervyn too

Kewen, Charlie

When the war first broke out, Mr.Kewen was a young man from Saskatoon who was still in school. On Oct 10, 1940, with support from his family, he joined the army after all of his friends had joined. Like his younger brother, he wanted to be an navigator, but instead worked as a mechanic on

Kilpatrick, John

John Kilpatrick joined at the age of 18 and became an officer at 20. He operated between Newfoundland and Londonderry, the North Sea, the Bay of Biscay, and D-Day.— His family believed that joining the war was a duty of being a Canadian citizen and they strongly supported his enlistment. John served honourably and then

King, Bill

Bill King served in the Canadian Forces from 1951-56.  Bill  grew up in Nova Scotia, against the backdrop of WW2.  He remembers well the sacrifices of other family members who served in that conflict, and he considers them the real veterans.  Bill’s service coincided with the Korean War, and although he did not go to

King, Wallace

Wally King was born October 31, 1923 in Cortland, Ohio.  He grew up in that rural part of the Buckeye state, not too far from the Pennsylvania border.  Wally recalls a pretty normal childhood, growing up against the backdrop of the 1920s and the Great Depression 1930s.  His father had two sons from his first

Kingsland, Howard

Howard Kingsland was born October 4, 1921 in Montreal, Quebec, the son of a Great War veteran.  He grew up in the city’s north end, and he recalls that while the Great Depression was difficult, the family was able to make ends meet.  Howards completed high school and went to work for the CNR, and

Kingsley, Craig

Craig Kingsley is an active member of the Canadian Forces.  He served aboard the HMCS Athabaskan in a 2000 action called Operation Megaphone, where crew from the Canadian destroyer boarded the Katie, a freighter returning Canadian military supplies to Canada after the Kosovo mission.  Craig was a member of the boarding party, and he helped

Kinnaird, Daphne

Daphne Kinnaird was born in London, England in 1921.  She grew up in the Kensington neighbourhood, raised by her father and grandmother.  She recalls a relatively good life before the war, with fond memories of friends and school.  When the war came, she remembers listening to the declaration of war on the BBC, followed by

Kirby, Larry

Larry Kirby was born June 21, 1924, in Brookline, Massachusetts.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, dealing with the deprivation and circumstances that were part of the era.  Still, Larry doesn’t remember that time in a negative way; it was just the reality that all families in his neighbourhood encountered.  Larry’s

Kirk, Ron

Ron Kirk served in the Canadian Forces in the post-WW2 period, when Canada’s peacekeeping reputation was being established. Ron served in the navy, and he spent time in Korea during that nation’s 1950-53 war. Ron and his shipmates patrolled the Korean west coast, doing their part to counter North Korea’s efforts to export communism. He

Kowalishen, Gord

Gord Kowalishen was born February 14, 1950 in Toronto.  Gord grew up in 1950s Toronto, against the backdrop of a time of prosperity where new technology such as TV and cars were beginning to affect Canadians’ lifestyles.  Gord grew up in the west end of the city, attending school and playing baseball, but when he

Kreamer, Louis

Louis Kreamer was born October 25, 1934 in Welland, Ontario.  He grew up during the Second World War, the eldest of eight children.  Lou’s father worked for Ontario Hydro, and was deemed an essential worker, and as Lou recalls his mother took care of them all.  Lou played softball and rugby and attended Welland Vocational;

Kucher, Nicholas

LCdr Nicholas Kucher hails from the Canadian Prairies, where he was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta.  He made the decision to join the Canadian Forces (CAF) coming out of high school and college.  He made his way to St-Jean, Quebec for basic training, and as a future naval officer he saw advanced training and

LaJeunesse, Jeremy

Major LaJeunesse was born in Timmins, Ontario and graduated from Sudbury’s Laurentian University prior to enlisting in the Canadian Forces in 2003. In 2009, he was deployed to Afghanistan as part of OP Athena. In February of 2016, Major LaJeunesse visited Crestwood as part of a delegation from the Canadian Forces College, where he was

Lakness, Ossie

Ossie Lakness was born in Govan, Saskatchewan on May 5, 1923.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression in that small farming community, the youngest in a large family.  Ossie remembers well those difficult early years, when dust storms and grasshopper plagues impacted the people of the Prairies.  When the war came

Lakrits, Michael

Michael Lakrits is a veteran of the Soviet Red Army who fought on the eastern front during WW2. He attended an air force academy and was at first a machine gun and radio operator in a bomber. He joined when he was 19 and first faced the Nazis in Estonia in 1941. In December of

Lamantia, Larry

Larry Lamantia was born in Toronto, growing up in the city’s east end in the Pape-Danforth neighbourhood. His father ran a grocery market, and Larry grew up in the care of his grandmother, as his mother died when Larry was only five. The family experienced some of the anti-Italian backlash that spread through Toronto at

Lang, Sydney

Sydney Lang was born in Montreal on February 7th, 1923.  He currently resides in Toronto and is 92 years of age.  Sydney grew up during the Great Depression, in the city of Montreal.  He attended public school and was a Canadiens fan.  When the war broke out, Sydney was originally denied from the army because

Larsen, Jake

“Papa” Jake Larsen was born December 20, 1922 in Hope, Minnesota.  He joined the National Guard when he was 15; times were tough, and he needed the money.  By the time Jake graduated high school, the war was underway in Europe and Asia, and the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour brought the United

Lavergne, Guy

Guy Lavergne is a veteran of the Korean War, where he fought alongside United Nations troops in the early 1950s. Guy’s stories remind us that there is an important legacy to capture about one of the 20th century’s “forgotten wars”, not to mention Canada’s important role in the U.N . We met Guy at Sunnybrook

Lawr, Sheldon

Sheldon Lawr was born March 31, 1922 in Brampton, Ontario, and he grew up in nearby Georgetown. He is the second of three brothers. Due to the economic difficulties of the Great Depression, Sheldon never completed high school; instead he worked on farms (including a memorable journey to the Prairies via boxcar) and at an

Lefrancois, Olivier

Major Olivier Lefrancois  joined the Canadian Forces in 1997, having made the decision to attend Royal Military College.  After initial training, he was deployed in Quebec, where he helped in the recovery efforts after the ice storm.  From there, Major Lefrancois was stationed in different parts of Canada, including North Bay, Resolute Bay and Cold Lake,

LeFresne, Tony

LCdr LeFresne enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces as a MARS (Maritime Surface-Subsurface) Officer in June 1997. After 4 Years at the Royal Military College (RMC), he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Military and Strategic Studies and was posted to Victoria, BC to complete bridge officer training. Upon completion of this training, LCdr LeFresne

Leggatt, Charles

Charles Leggatt served in the British army during WW2.  Charles visited us at Crestwood several times, and on our final visit with him we visited him in his home.  Charles was a magnificent storyteller, and he shared with Crestwood students his numerous wartime exploits:  the Home Guard, his memories of his brother Kenneth, the Battle

Lett, Ken

Kenneth Lett was born July 13, 1923 in Carp, Ontario, a small farming village to the west of Ottawa.  He worked the land and would go to the Byward Market with his mother when he wasn’t playing hockey or attending school.  When the war came, Ken and his brother opted for the RCAF.  Ken went

Levy, Larry

Larry Levy served in the Canadian Army in northern Europe during the war. After enlisting, training, and the overseas journey, Larry went ashore at Normandy and fought his way through northern France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Larry served with Signal Corps, and it was his task to locate enemy artillery. Larry brought many personal insights

Levy, Leonard

Mr. Leonard Levy was a pilot in the RCAF during WW2, where he completed 32 bombing runs with his Lancaster crew, including the raid on Dresden. A Jewish Canadian, Mr. Levy also gives students insights into the anti-Semitism of the period, both in Canada and in Europe. Mr. Levy is one of the original Memory

Lewis, Jack

Jack Lewis was born in Montreal in 1925, the youngest in a family where both parents were war veterans.  His father was a doctor, and his mother was a nurse, and they’d met in the battlefield hospital near Boulogne.  They spent much of the Great War in that one location, and Jack remembers that in

Liddle, Albert

Albert Liddle was born October 1, 1933 in Toronto, Ontario, later moving to nearby Woodbridge.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression and then World War Two.  Albert recalls the impacts of the Depression, which were tough on his family; he remembers being less impacted by the war, even with his older

Lieberman, Burton

Burton Lieberman was born February 8, 1926 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Burton’s parents made their way to Pittsburgh from elsewhere:  his mother was born into a large Jewish family in New York City, while his father escaped the pogroms in Russia at the turn-of-the-century, arriving in Baltimore at the age of 14.  They met and married

Lightstone, Mort

Mort Lightstone was born Nov. 13, 1932.  He joined the Canadian Air Force when he was 18, during the Cold War years. He was trained as a navigator and graduated as an officer in April, 1952. His career continued for 28 years and totalled more than 6,600 hours of flying missions.  During the Korean War

Linde, Walter

Walter Linde was born April 28, 1928 in Wiesbaden, Germany.  Like all young boys in his day, he went into the Hitler Youth. . Walter elected to go with the bicycle brigades – he remembered that the emphasis on propaganda and singing was downplayed, and Walter was happy to do without that.  The family left

Lister, Jim

Jim Lister was born January 5, 1928 in Toronto.  He grew up in the tough days of the Great Depression and well remembers that the family lost their home.  He also remembers exploring the Don Valley, and how different a city Toronto was at the time.  Jim had older brothers and two of them enlisted

Littell, Jeff

Jeff Littell was born February 8, 1922 in Hundred, West Virginia.  He grew up on a farm in a large farm family – 12 children in total, where Jeff was the oldest.  Times were difficult for them, as the Great Depression began to intensify.  Jeff left school after Grade 8, and he worked to support

Loweth, Gerald

Gerald Loweth came to us courtesy of the Royal Canadian Military Institute, where he has been a featured speaker. Gerald continues to teach at University of Toronto’s Trinity College. Gerald brought a different perspective to Crestwood’s interviews. As an American, growing up in New Jersey against the backdrop of the Great Depression and war, Gerald

Lucas, Alison

Alison Lucas was born in Ottawa to parents that moved around frequently, since her father was in the Air Force.  Her mother was an Emergency Room nurse who took a “break” to manage the 3 kids and all the moves.  By the time she was in high school, she had moved 8 times, but was

Luckadoo, John

John Luckadoo was born March 16, 1922 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  He grew up living a good life:  his father was a stockbroker who raised horses, and new clothes and good food were the norm.  1929 changed much of that though; the stock market crash brought about a different kind of life for John’s family.  All

Lummiss, William

William Lummiss was born April 21, 1929 in Toronto, where he grew up in the Beaches neighbourhood of the city.  He attended Adam Beck Public School, and then Danforth Tech, and then pursued an apprenticeship in graphic design.  Impacted by the events of the war, the young William remembers scrap metal drives and rationing, and

Lunn, Rae

Rae Lunn was born March 29, 1920, on a farm outside of Edmonton, Alberta.  He grew up during the difficult years of the Great Depression; he remembers that his family was fairly self-sufficient, but he wanted to help, so he left school early to work at another farm.  War clouds were forming in Europe during

Lustgarten, Michael

Michael Lustgarten was able to get out of Poland as the Nazi onslaught began in 1939. He made his way to Russia, where he was on the move, sought by both German and later Soviet authorities. His travels eventually took him to a Soviet work camp and later to Kazakstan and then finally on to