MacDonell, George

George MacDonell was one of Canada’s last survivors of the Battle of Hong Kong. He was born August 5, 1922, and he grew up in and around Listowel, Ontario against the backdrop of the Great Depression. He made the decision to enlist early in the war, and was shipped overseas early in the war; he

Magan, Aaron

Col. Aaron Magan joined the American Army in 1991, following his undergraduate ROTC at Western Kentucky University.  He went into the Army Corps of Engineers and soon found himself rising through the ranks.  He attended a series of schools and courses in the American military, all the while furthering his training.  They included: the Ranger

Mahon, Albert

Albert Mahon was born into a large family in south London, England in 1923. He grew up in a working class neighbourhood, where school was not a top priority.  Instead Albert went to work, and much of his childhood and early years were spent working a variety of jobs, as well as helping with his

Manestar, John

John Manestar was born in 1922 in Croatia.  He came to Canada with his mother because his father had come 6 years earlier, looking for work.  The depression hit in 1929 right after they moved into their house.  His family along with others had trouble with money, but they learned to make ends meet.  John met

Mann, Charles

Charles Mann is a Canadian veteran of World War Two who served with the Black Devils.  Originally from Port Hope, Charles and his family were affected by the Great Depression, like so many other Canadian families.  Charles left school for work, but with the coming of the war, he enlisted in the army, and when

Margol, Hilbert

Hilbert Margol was born February 22, 1924, just ten minutes before his twin brother Howard, in Jacksonville, Florida.  Their father had immigrated from Lithuania not too long before, as had their mother.  The boys grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, learning about the war that seemed to be happening a world away.

Markow, George

George Markow was born April 14, 1921 in Russia, just outside the city of Leningrad.  He was born just four years after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and George remembers the impacts it had on his family and early life.  Food especially was in short supply during those years, and the Party’s reach was growing. 

Marshall, Margueritte

Margueritte Marshall was born April 20, 1926 in Hamilton, Ontario, the oldest of thirteen children.  The family moved to Niagara Falls, where her father ran a farm and worked at the Carborundum Plant.  Margueritte remembers wanting to be a teacher, but with a family that size and the reality of the Great Depression, she quit

Marshall, Orville

Orville Marshall was born July 24, 1922 in Woodstock, Ontario.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, developing an interest in automotive mechanics and radio.  He also joined the Oxford Rifles Reserve, and when the war came he decided to join the RCAF.  He reported for Manning Duty at Lachine, Quebec,

Martin, Bill

Bill Martin was born in 1925 in Toronto, into a family of four brothers.  He attended Northern High School, where he played sports and developed an interest in geography.  When the war came, Bill chose the navy, and he was assigned to the minesweeper HMCS Burlington, where he was a stoker.  He spent the war

Martin, Donald

Don Martin was born June 9, 1933 in Toronto, and he attended Danforth Tech in the city’s east end.  Don grew up during the war years, and two of his older brothers served in the Second World War.  That includes Jack, who stormed Juno Beach on D-day, and whose story also appears in the Crestwood

Martin, Jack

Jack Martin is from Toronto.  He grew up the city’s east end, dealing with the realities of the Great Depression.  From a military family, Jack was in it from the beginning; he enlisted in the Queen’s Own Rifles, and set about training.  A training accident left him deaf in one ear, but as his officer

Martini, Wilfred

Wilfred Martini grew up in a little mining town in Germany called Hamm. He was 11 years old when the war started. He enrolled in the Hitler Youth Program and was drafted into the Artillery at 15 years old. He was then sent home for a year then drafted into the infantry. He fought Americans

Maslen, Ken

Ken Maslen grew up in prewar London. When the war broke out he served on a tugboat, until he saw his chance to join the RAF’s Air Sea rescue branch. He served there in a variety of English Channel postings through the first half of the war, where he was involved in many rescues. Later

Matheson, Dan

Major Daniel Matheson is a current member of the Canadian Forces, who hails from Indian Harbour, Nova Scotia, a small fishing community just outside Halifax.  He joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1997 right out of High School under the Regular Officer Training Plan and attended Royal Military College in St Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC and

Maxwell, Martin

Martin Maxwell was born in 1924, in the city of Vienna. He grew up amidst difficult circumstances in the 1930s, when Hitler come to power. On December 31, 1938, Martin and his brother left Austria to go to Great Britain on the Kindertransport. Martin was adopted by a family there. In 1942, he joined the

May, Ken

Ken May was born November 19, 1921 in Toronto’s East York neighbourhood.  He grew up there, against the backdrop of the Great Depression, doing all the normal things for a young boy during that time.  Ken left school when he was 15, going to work for Weston’s Bakery, where his father had worked.  When the

Mayer, Frank

Frank Mayer was born January 22, 1927 in Pittsburgh’s 27th Ward.  His father was a First World War veteran who died when Frank was just seven, so Frank grew up in the care of his mother, grandparents and uncles.  He remembers growing up against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the early years of

McBride, Willard

Willard McBride was born on January 23, 1924 in west Texas.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and was forced to leave school in 5th Grade so he could help support the family.  Willard worked on farms, fought forest fires, picked cotton, dug ditches…in short he did what he had to

McCallum, Neal

Neal McCallum was born March 10, 1927, not too far from Greensboro, North Carolina.  His was a large family, supported by his father’s job as a locomotive engineer even during the dark days of the Depression.  Neal had just started high school when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and he grew up against the backdrop

McConnell, Lorne

Lorne McConnell was born February 9, 1924 in Central Butte, Saskatchewan.  He grew up in that small community, helping his father to run the town’s water and telephone systems.  He also did very well in school, which Lorne credits to early lessons from his sister, and he developed as an athlete too, even being offered

McCowan, Jack

Jack McCowan was born in 1919 in the then agricultural hamlet of Scarborough, Ontario.  His family owned a farm in the area, and Jack grew up in a large family and accustomed to the hard work of life on the farm.  When the war came, Jack enlisted in the RCAF, though he had started a

McDonald, Kelvin

Kelvin McDonald served in the Canadian Forces from the 1970s to the 1990s.  During that time he was deployed as a peacekeeper on multiple occasions, helping to set a high bar for Canadians serving overseas.  Kelvin was first deployed to Egypt, maintaining the peace along the Sweetwater Canal during the time of the Egypt-Israel 1973

McGeach, Hugh

Hugh McGeach was born May 8, 1921 in London, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm, and later in the city of London, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Hugh’s father was a Great War veteran whose health had deteriorated, necessitating the move.  Lloyd graduated from a technical high school and became an automotive

McIlroy, Frances

Frances McIlroy was born on June 16th, 1917, in Madoc Ontario.  She is the eldest of one brother and one sister.  She went to school in Madoc; later on she went to Kingston General Hospital to train as a nurse.  From there she became an army nurse.  Frances went overseas in June 1944, right as

McIntyre, Katherine

Katherine McIntyre was born May 20, 1923 in Toronto.  She grew up in the Forest Hill neighbourhood, where she was lucky to grow up in an affluent family.  Her father was a well-known lawyer, and the family was able to avoid the worst aspects of the Great Depression.  Katherine attended Bishop Strachan School, and after

McKay, Howard

Howard was born in the Scotch settlement of Bradford on July 11, 1923; his English and Scottish ancestors had settled there long before.  Growing up on a farm meant that Howard and his family were self sufficient and were able to provide for themselves; slaughtering animals for food was not uncommon on the farm.  Howard’s uncle was

McKee, Fraser

Fraser McKee was born on Feb. 22, 1925 in Toronto, a city where he has lived most of his life. He grew up in the city’s north end, attending UCC and living a fairly good life, even against the backdrop of the Great Depression. Fraser’s father had a significant military pedigree; he was a major

McLean, George

George McLean is a proud member of the 48th Highlanders.  Born in prewar Toronto, George grew up in the 20s and 30s, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  When war came, George hoped to enlist alongside his comrades in the 48th, but his efforts did not come to fruition as George’s eyesight was not

McLean, Roger

Roger McLean was born in Scituate, Massachusetts.  An avid baseball fan and player, he went to Andover and Princeton, and went on to serve as a forward artillery observer in Korea and after the Armistice worked with the local Korean population building a primary school with materials sent from the U.S.  He received his discharge

McLoughlin, Barbara

Barbara McLoughlin was born July 1, 1920, in Devon, England, and she grew up in and around Teignmouth.  Her father immigrated to England from Italy at the turn of the century; he grew up to be a loyal Englishman, serving in the Great War.  He married an Englishwoman from Devon – Barbara’s mother – and

McMichael, Reginald

Major Reginald McMichael joined the Canadian Forces in 2001, having made the decision to attend Royal Military College.  After initial training, he was deployed in Alberta as a member of the PPCLI, and he rose through the ranks as an officer.  From there, Major McMichael was sent on several overseas deployments, serving in Afghanistan at

McPhee, Jim

Jim McPhee served in the RCAF during the Second World War. Jim grew up in northern Ontario, not too far from the Sault; Jim came from a large family, and lived not too far from Bruce Mines . Jim remembers going to a one-room schoolhouse in his early years, as well as work on the

McTaggart, Phil

Phil McTaggart served in the coastal patrols during World War Two, on the watch for German U-Boats. He presently lives in the Sunnybrook Residence for World War Two veterans, where he was interviewed by Crestwood students Andrew Spanton and Brandon Kleshch.

Mecca, Pete

Pete Mecca was born on January 15, 1947 in Memphis, Tennessee.  His father was a World War Two air force veteran, so Pete’s decision to enlist in the air force during the Vietnam War did not come as a surprise to his parents.  Pete served in air force intelligence, flying on B-52s and other aircraft. 

Mendham, Frank

Frank Mendham was born in Toronto in 1924; like many his age he grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, dealing with the realities of day-to-day life.  When the war came, Frank went into the cavalry, like his father before him.  By the time of the Second World War, tanks had replaced horses. 

Metcalfe, Walter

We met Walter Metcalfe on a field trip to the Sunnybrook Veterans Wing in the fall of 2012. Walter served in the RCAF in World War Two, when he flew numerous missions as part of Bomber Command.  He enlisted and served in the infantry in the Korean War as well.  Walter’s memories went beyond the

Middleton, Bob

Originally from Toronto’s east end, Bob Middleton is a proud Canadian who served in the RCAF during the Second World War. Bob grew up in the Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto, and when he visited mr. Masters’ Grade 12 history class, he shared remarkable memories of what it was like to grow up in prewar Toronto.

Miller, Harry

Harry Miller was born July 2, 1928 in Columbus, Ohio. He would serve in the American Army in the Second World War, when he was not yet 18 years old. Harry’s mother died when he was only 3, so it would be his father and sister who guided the family through the difficult days of

Miller, Keith

Keith Miller was born March 11, 1946 in Pittsburgh.  He grew up in small town America in the 1950s, enjoying what life had to offer, from TV to baseball to playing in the street.  It was also the time of the Cold War, and Keith remembers that his childhood was also interrupted by “duck and

Miller, Robert

Bob Miller was born December 7, 1923 in New York state.  He grew up in Bellmore, Long Island, not too far from Jones Beach, an area that Bob remembers fondly.  The Great Depression impacted Bob and his three older sisters, but the family managed to get by, with everybody pitching in.  The family moved a

Millhausen, Bill

Bill Millhausen was born on January 10, 1918 in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan.  He went to university, where he studied math and engineering and this led him on his World War Two path.  He became an engineer who built bridges in the war.  He was recruited by the head of CN rail, a World War 1

Milsom, John

John Milsom was born in Toronto in 1921.  Growing up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, his hobbies included a crystal radio set and visits to Dufferin Airfield, where he developed a love for flying.  Both habits would prove invaluable in the war to come.  In the 30s, he was fortunate to attend Upper

Mitchell, Don

Don Mitchell was born December 19, 1924 in the Tower Hamlet of Poplar, in London, England.  He was an only child, as his parents had lost an older child in the aftermath of the Great War, when conditions were still poor.  Don’s father was a veteran in that conflict, having served with the artillery, though

Mizwa, Robert

Robert Mizwa was born April 3, 1947 in Oil City, Pennsylvania.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the idyllic 1950s – but also in the shadow of the Cold War.  When he went to college Bob enrolled in the ROTC, making him a 2nd Lieutenant and setting him up for two years of

Mockers, Michel

Michel Mockers was born December 17, 1922 in Nantes, in the northwest of France.  His father was a successful director of casinos, both in Nantes and Cannes, so Michel had a positive childhood.  He attended school at the Abbaye de Calcat, where he received an excellent education, and as a teenager he was even learning

Moczulski, Edward

Edward Moczulski was born in Brest, Poland.  Edward’s family ended up in the Soviet zone of occupation after Poland was divided in the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.  Life continued in these new circumstances, but then in 1940 a Red Army officer appeared at the family’s door, looking for Edward’s older brother.  The family did not

Moore, Chris

Chris Moore was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in the years after World War Two.  He grew up against the backdrop of the 1950s, seeing the civil rights movement and the Cold War unfold during those years.  As Chris came from a military family, when he came of age in the 60s he volunteered for

Moore, Dalton

Dalton Moore was born August 2, 1931 in the hamlet of Horning’s Mills; when he was four the family moved to Toronto – right in the midst of the Great Depression. Dalton’s early years happened against that economic backdrop, as well as the subsequent war. When World War Two came along, Dalton’s older brothers went

Morgan, Allen

Allen Morgan was born May 10, 1927, and he grew up on a farm near Hudson, New Hampshire.  Allen remembers working hard on that farm, all of it against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He had a good childhood though, attending school and playing baseball and hockey and occasionally catching a movie.  The war

Morgan, Don

Don Morgan is a Canadian World War Two veteran who grew up in rural Ontario.  When the time came to enlist, Don chose the air force, and after considerable training in different locations across Canada, he was ready to be a pilot.  Further training in England ensued, and Don and his crew were ready to

Morgan, William

Bill Morgan was born April 23, 1925 in Consett, England, a small city on the east coast, not too far from Newcastle.  Bill’s mother passed away when he was just five, and at that time he moved in with his grandparents and aunts, and his father’s role in his life diminished.  Bill grew up an

Moritsugu, Frank

When WW2 broke out, all Japanese-Canadians were labeled as enemy aliens were sent to the internment camps. Mr. Moritsuguand his brother were separated from his family; while Mr. Moritsugu’s family were sent to Tashme camp, he and his brother Ken were sent to Yard Creek Road. Despite the treatment accorded his family by their own

Morrow, Art

Art Morrow was born May 5, 1923 in Butler, Pennsylvania.  He and his younger brother Jack (whose story can also be found in the Crestwood OHP) grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the emerging war.  Art graduated high school, and as he was a strong student he went to Penn

Morrow, Jack

Jack Morrow was born December 6, 1925 in Butler, Pennsylvania, though he grew up mainly in the nearby community of Kittanning, on the Allegheny River.  Jack’s father had worked for Pullman, but he lost that job as the Depression took hold, though he did find work with Metropolitan Life.  Jack remembers that the times were

Mowbray, Clint

Lt.-Col. Clint Mowbray is an active member of the Canadian Forces, serving with the RCAF in the Air Sea Rescue division.  He has served all over Canada and has been involved in numerous rescue missions across the country; he has also served overseas in Afghanistan as part of the ISAF force. Lt.-Col. Mowbray was stationed

Moyen, Leon

Leon Moyen is a Korean War veteran who came from the small country of Luxembourg. He was born in 1930 and he enlisted in the army at the age of 16. When Leon first arrived in Korea, his main task was to do patrols. According to him, this job wasn’t always dangerous. Eventually he was

Moyes, Ron

Ron Moyes was born February 11, 1926 in Vancouver, B.C.  His father was a veteran of the Great War who came back to Canada with a war bride and baby daughter, and who built a successful business in 1920s Vancouver before buying a farm.  Ron was only 13 when the war began, but as he

Murphy, Paul

Paul Murphy served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War.  Paul served aboard several ships, notably the Cobalt and the Wallaceburg, and he was involved in the RCN’s convoy system in the western Atlantic, working the triangle between New York City and Newfoundland.  Paul’s ships would escort convoys in that zone, both

Myatt, George

George Myatt served in Canada’s merchant marine during WW2. As such, George was a crewman aboard a number of cargo vessels, and he visited many ports of call around the world, especially in Europe and Africa. George saw his share of danger working in this often neglected part of canada’s military force; one ship he

Negra, Andy

Andy Negra was born May 28, 1924.  He grew up in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as the family dealt with the realities of the Great Depression.  They ended up in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, where Andy’s father was a coal miner.  Andy graduated from high school there, the first in his family to do so.  As he

Neville, Charles

Charles Neville served with the British Royal Engineers during World War Two.  In earlier days he grew up in southern England, near Kent, where he attended the prestigious Cranbrook School.  He studied languages, and Charles recalls that his parents a life in the diplomatic corps, but even as a young boy engineering proved to be

Newman, Jack

Jack Newman served in the Canadian Armed Forces during the war. After signing up, he was at Manning Depot at the Ex, followed by training at Brantford and Petawawa. He was assigned to the 4th Battery, 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment and shipped off to England. After time in Aldershot, he was sent with his regiment to

Newton, Fred

Fred Newton was born in Sarnia, Ontario in 1925. He attended Sarnia Collegiate Institute, and lived in ‘luxury’ throughout his childhood. In May of 1943, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. After completing training he was stationed overseas but the whole draft was pulled in Halifax due to

Noddle, Jim

James Noddle was born over a bakery in the East End of Toronto to a poor large family. Growing up, he became particularly fond of trucks, and this interest continued on post-war. When the war began, he wasn’t too interested in it; however, soon he joined. His main duties in the war in Italy included

Norberg, Bill

William (Bill) Norberg was born November 13, 1922 in Lemington, Wisconsin.  The circumstances in Bill’s early life were difficult; his mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis when he was quite young, and when she was sent to a sanitarium Bill’s father was forced to break up the large family.  Bill and a brother were sent to

Norman, Bud

Bud Norman was born October 29, 1923 in London, Ontario.  He grew up there in his grandparents’ care, attending school and doing all the other things teenagers of the day were doing – school, sports, work, and so on.  Bud was able to complete high school at an early age, and he went to work

Novak, Joseph

Joe Novak was born September 10, 1923 in Montreal, into a Polish family in the city’s Frontenac neighborhood. Both of Joe’s parents were teachers, though his father later worked for Canada Customs. Joe’s father passed away in 1934, and times were difficult for the family as the Great Depression wore on. Joe did manage to

Nussbaum, Jule

Jule Nussbaum has lived in Toronto his entire life. Jule enlisted in the Canadian Air Force against his father’s wishes and decided to become a wireless radio operator. He served honourably in the RCAF and returned to build a life in canada after the war. Jule was interviewed in his room at Sunnybrook by Zack

O’Donnell, Robert

Major O’Donnell joined the Canadian Forces after completing his Bachelor’s Degree in English and History.  After initial training, he was deployed in western Canada, where he worked at avalanche control in the Rockies.  In 2005, he was asked to go to Afghanistan, where he led 30 soldiers in an artillery unit, providing support to coalition

O’Henly, John

John O’Henly was born March 15, 1923, and he grew up in the east end of Toronto.  He attended RH MacGregor Public School, and after one year at East York, he opted to go to Danforth Tech, as he was interested in their art course.  He spent much of his spare time with his friends

O’Leary, Gerry

Gerry O’Leary was born December 3, 1924 in Tottenham, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm there, one of ten children, doing chores such as milking the cows and spreading manure.  When the time for war came, both Gerry and his older brother joined up, and they were on their way overseas in 1944.  Gerry

O’Pray, Gerry

Gerry O’Pray served in the Canadian Forces during the Cold War era, and as such he participated in a number of peacekeeping missions from the period. Most notably Gerry was deployed in the Congo in the early 60s, where he was part of the Signals Corps, and in Gaza and the Suez in the mid-60s,

Olley, George

George Olley was born May 10, 1925 in London, Ontario.  George’s parents divorced when he and his sister were quite young, and for a time George and Rose lived with their father, but work and family proved a difficult combination, and George ended up in an orphanage from age 9-14.  He went to school during

Ortega, Sandra

Sandra Ortega was born March 29, 1937 in Baltimore, Maryland.  She grew up against the backdrop of 1950s America, when the Jim Crow Laws governed life all across the south, a truth that was in evidence in her own city of Baltimore, where segregation ran deep.  From an early age Sandra learned the virtue of

Otterman, Bob and Shirley

Robert Otterman was born January 24, 1925, outside Fisherville, Ontario, where he grew up on the family farm.  When the war came, Robert recalls that he did not want to be a soldier; his village was largely German-Canadian, and while the locals disliked what Hitler and Nazism represented, they did not want to fight their

Paley, Jack

Jack Paley was born December 2, 1921 in a Yorkshire village.  His father was a veteran of the Great War, one who had seen action at the Somme and who had been a POW of the Germans.  Jack attended school until he was 14; he went to work at that time as a keymaker, and

Palimaka, Jozef

Jozef Palimaka was born May 9, 1926, in Czaple Male, a village not too far from Krakow, Poland.  His parents had a small farm there, though they made the decision to relocate to Czarne Konce, near Lviv, a few years later, when they purchased a larger farm with an orchard.  As Jozef was the oldest

Palmer, Charlie

Charlie Palmer was born December 5, 1925.  His father was a doctor, and Charlie grew up in Toronto.  The family navigated the Great Depression, and Charlie’s childhood was typical.  He remembers seeing baseball games with his uncle, who was a Great War veteran.  When WW2 came along, Charlie was not enthusiastic about going to the

Parker, Ted

Edward (Ted) Parker was born March 30, 1925 in Haverhill, Massachusetts.  He grew up in Massachusetts and Florida, as the family moved back and forth during those years.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Depression and the early years of the war, by which time he was attending the Governors’ Academy in Massachusetts. 

Parks, Jim

Jim Parks was born September 22, 1924, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He grew up there during the hard days of the Great Depression, making money anywhere he could, selling magazines and blocks of ice.  When the war came along, Jim was in high school, and he remembers learning about the war in history class. He joined

Parsons, Julia

Julia Parsons was born March 2, 1921 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Her father was an instructor at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and her mother was a kindergarten teacher.  Julia recalls her childhood as being a traditional one, as dictated by the Victorian mores of the time.  The family was not heavily impacted by the Depression,

Parucha, Alejo

Alejo Parucha fought against the Japanese Military Forces in World War II, under the United States Armed Forces in the Far East USAFFE. Captured at Bataan, he joined the Infamous Death March and was held as a Prisoner of War for 9 months, only released on December 25, 1942 as a Gift of Christmas. From

Patrick, Ian

Ian Patrick was born January 29, 1938, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.  He and his siblings grew up in the shadow of war, as St. John’s was a busy port city during the Second World War.  His father was a railroad machinist who worked in the dockyards:  his war was spent on the home front, working

Patterson, Hugh

Hugh Patterson was born December 30, 1921 in Seneca Township, just outside Caledonia, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm:  there was plenty of food as Hugh remembers, but money was tight in the days of the Great Depression.  Hugh worked on the farm when he was young, but as he put it “milking those

Patteson, Pat

Pat Patteson and his twin brother Morris were born November 24, 1921 in Smiley, Texas, a rural farming town. The boys mostly worked on the farm, milking cows and doing other chores; Pat also pumped gas at the local station.  For fun the brothers participated in intramurals playing sports, including football, basketball and tennis.  At

Pegg, Mary

We met Mary Pegg at the Castle Peak Retirement Suites in Bracebridge, where she presently lives.  Mary 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

Pennell, Don

Don Pennell was born October 16, 1937 in Grimsby, Ontario.  He grew up there and in Oakville, first against the backdrop of the Second World War, and the “Fabulous 50s”.  Don was young during the war, but he recalls an uncle who served, and he remembers the rationing from the time.  His father became a

Peon, Bill

Bill Peon served in the Canadian army during the Second World War.  He was born in Toronto, where he grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  With the coming of the war, he enlisted, and with basic training he was assigned to the Service Corps, designated as a truck driver.  He spent additional

Person, Charles

Charles Person was born November 13, 1943 in Atlanta, where he grew up in the Buttermilk Bottom neighbourhood, not too far from Martin Luther King’s birth home. Charles grew up in the era of Jim Crow, confronting the racial restrictions that were still in place even after the Second World War. With his parents’ blessing

Peterburs, Joe

Joseph Peterburs was born November, 25, 1924 in St. Paul, Minnesota, though he grew up mainly in Wisconsin, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He comes from a family with a military tradition; his father emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1906, and joined the army that same year, completing overseas service

Pfeifer, Howard

Howard Pfeifer was born September 22, 1923 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, so as a teenger he worked many jobs, delivering newspapers, pumping gas, and so on.  When the war came, a cousin of Howard’s told him about the merchant marine; Howard liked what he heard,

Pham Cong Lien

Pham Cong Lien lives outside Hanoi, Vietnam, in a state-sponsored home for the veterans of what the Vietnamese call the “American War”.  Mr. Pham turned eighteen and was conscripted by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) in 1967-68, just as the American involvement was reaching its apex.  Forced to leave school and his family behind, he

Phillips, Russell

Russell Phillips was born November 9, 1922 in Toronto.  He grew up in the Lansdowne-St. Clair neighbourhood, attending local schools and doing all the things typical for a teenager in 1930s Toronto.  In high school Russell joined the cadets, and then the Irish Regiment MIlitia, and when the war came he lied about his age

Picot, Ryerson

Ryerson Picot was born June 27, 1925 in Terra Cotta, Ontario.  He grew up in northern Ontario against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and the family followed the father as he moved from  job-to-job on the Canadian National Railroad.  Ryerson longed to join the army when the war came along, and he managed to

Pike, Herb

Herb Pike is a Canadian veteran of the Second World War, and a proud member of the 48th Highlanders.  Born February 12, 1924, Herb grew up in prewar Toronto, where he remembers living a relatively good life, even against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  When in Toronto, Herb attended Bowmore Road Public School, and

Pitt, Thomas

Thomas Pitt was born January 12, 1931 in London, Ontario. He grew up there against the backdrop of the Second World War, watching his older brother and father go off to war.  Tom stayed home with his mother and sister, and in 1945 he was able to greet his brother and father on their homecoming. 

Polowin, Alex

Alex Polowin’s official birthday is April 15, 1924 – but it was really May 15, 1925.  That’s because like many young Canadian men he was anxious to go to war, and since he was born in Europe the official records had been lost.  So with the help of a lawyer, Alex filed his new birthdate,

Pond, Garry

Garry Pond was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland on January 22, 1952 – just three years after it became Canada’s 10th province.  He spent his early life there doing all the normal things – school, sports and so on – and he came to appreciate the culture and people of the place he still calls

Popov, Mark

Major Mark Popov is an active member of Canada’s armed forces. He has served in Yugoslavia and has just completed his second tour in Afghanistan. He knows the region very well and has built a strong connection with his troops and the local community. As a Major he has to maintain a positive attitude to

Pouder, George

George Pouder was born February 18, 1923 in New York City.  He grew up in the Bronx during the difficult times of the Great Depression, a period that impacted his family and the neighborhood.  George recalls that the quality of his schooling varied,  but that he took full advantage of the city, exploring it with

Prescott, Mary

Mary Prescott was a CWAC during the war, reminding us of the many varied and important roles that Canadian women played during the years 1939-45. Mary was an entertainer, and as the war wound down, she sang and danced her way through Europe, keeping the troops entertained as they brought peace to the liberated nations

Pressnail, Lloyd

Lloyd Pressnail grew up during the times of the Great Depression in Canada. He was considered “wealthy” because his father had a job. He always loved sailing, so when he was 16 he joined the Royal Canadian Navy as a seaman. But the thrill of the service ran out fast for him and it helped

Prestia, Guy

Guy Prestia was born April 26, 1922 in Pennsylvania.  The son of an Italian immigrant and a Pennsylvanian, he grew up alongside his siblings against the backdrop of the Great Depression. Guy recalls that his father worked hard, supporting the family during the economic downturn and then doing war work once the United States entered

Preston, Harry

Harry Preston served in the Canadian army during World War Two.  He grew up in western Canada, in and around Winnipeg, where Harry and his family experienced the realities of the Depression.  Harry kept himself busy though, and with friends, he got involved in the militia and the Sea Cadets, where he was able to

Preston, Joan

Joan Preston was born in London, England. She was a tap dancer since she was very little. Joan now is 94. During the war, she spent 5 and a half years in the WAAF, the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. This was from 1941-1946, during which time she worked for Bomber Command in England and Sri

Price, Randy

Randy Price was born May 29, 1953 in the Neutral Hills area of Alberta, and attended school in the small community of Consort.  He chose to join the Canadian Forces in the early 1970s, opting for the infantry.  During that phase of his career he was deployed to Cyprus as part of the United Nations’

Prideaux, Mel

Mel Prideaux was born in Regina, Saskatchewan.   He grew up during the Great Depression, and had to face many challenges that an average family had to face.  He enlisted in the army with a couple friends before they were to go to university , but Mel was encouraged to become a training officer instead of

Procto, George

George Procto served in Canada’s military in the years after World War Two, the “Golden Age” of peacekeeping and diplomacy. George hails from rural New Brunswick, and as he recalls, he was anxious to leave the farm and school. The military represented a different life, so he enlisted and began his travels across Canada, from

Prymack, Alexander

Major Alexander Prymack is a currently serving member of the Canadian Forces.  Born in 1985, he grew up in the Calgary area.  His military career began in 2003, when he attended RMC in Kingston, Ontario.  From there he became an artillery troop commander and forward observer, and was deployed to Afghanistan during Operation Attention, where

Purvis, Rob

Rob Purvis was born May 16, 1947 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He grew up in a working class neighbourhood, against the backdrop of Canada’s postwar boom and the emerging Cold War.  He and 3 of his friends, the sons of World War Two veterans, made the decision to head south to join the American army –

Quan, Gordon

Gordon Quan was born Jan. 14, 1926 in Cumberland, B.C.  His father died when Gordon was very young, so his mother decided to take her young family back to China, where they lived in a village in Guangdong Province for several years.  The Japanese invasion of China forced them to return to Canada though; the

Queen, Lloyd

Mr. Lloyd Queen served in the Canadian Army during the war. After training, he was commissioned as a ieutenant and sent to England. He went ashore in the first wave of the Normandy invasion and was in France for about a month before being deployed to the Netherlands and the Battle of the Scheldt. He

Ratcliffe, Richard

Richard Ratcliffe was born on the 16th of June 1928, in Haileybury, Ontario. After his father died in 1938 his family moved to St.Catharines, Ontario. He joined the Navy in 1945 when he was 17 years old. He went to Naval College in Royal Rhodes in BC and graduated as a midshipman. He went to

Reece, Oswald

Oswald Reece – Ozzie – was born March 17, 1951 in Guyana.  He came from a military tradition, with a number of relatives having served alongside British troops in the world wars.  He came to Canada when he was young, and completed his schooling in Toronto.  As Ozzie recalls, he always wanted a kilt, so

Rees, Frank

Frank Rees is from Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s east end, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He attended Danforth Tech and served in the reserve army during the early part of the war.  When the time came for him to join up, Frank chose the RCAF – he remembers that it

Regan, John

John Regan was born March 22, 1950, in the Channel Islands.  His parents were both from there, and had experienced the Second World War firsthand.  John’s mother was a teenager, and she endured German occupation during those years; John’s father – a few years older – enlisted in the British military, first as a gunner

Reid, Brenda

Brenda Reid (nee Cruikshank) was born August 24, 1924 in Beirut, Lebanon.  Her father was a doctor at the American University in Beirut, and Brenda attended the community school there; the family – including her mother and two younger sisters –  lived there in relative peace until the war.  In 1940 France came under the

Reid, Jack

Jack Reid was born in Toronto, and joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1943. Working as a depth charge operator on the HMCS Longueil, Mr. Reid participated in numerous convoys of military and supply ships making the treacherous journey across the north Atlantic. After the end of the war (and one last convoys across the

Reid, Joe

Frederick Joseph Reid – Joe – was born April 19, 1920, in Sillsville, Ontario.  He spent his early years there on the family farm, alongside his seven siblings.  The family later moved to Trenton, and that is where Joe spent his formative years.  He went to high school there, but he left early to take

Reid, Roy

Col. Ernest “Roy” Reid was involved in one of the famous moments – and photographs – of the Second World War, after he landed his B-17 at Hickam Field, Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941.  Col. Reid is deceased, so his story is told here by his daughter Joan Ahrens and her husband Buzz, showing

Remembrance Day

In November 2020 Crestwood’s annual Remembrance Day commemoration has gone virtual.  Unable to meet as a community as we normally would, we have made this film highlighting our relationship with the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing.  We welcome you to watch it as part of your own virtual ceremony.

Reynolds, John

John Reynolds served in the Canadian Forces during WW2. He had tried to join the Air Force in 1940 but was considered too young, so a year later he tried to join the Navy but was unable to go because his work was considered essential. When they actually let him join the forces, he joined

Rhind, Jack

Jack Rhind was born May 1, 1920 in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale.  His father was a successful dentist, and Jack grew up in pretty good circumstances, attending UTS for high school, and then the University of Toronto itself.  The family’s fortunes did change with the Great Depression, but Jack went to work, and began

Richard, Cliff

Major Richard was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1976. As a rural kid, he played the mandatory minor hockey until age 14 when he joined the Air Cadets and became hooked. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces as an Artillery Officer in 1994 under the Regular Officer Training Plan. He completed a degree in mechanical

Riesinger, Frank

Frank Riesinger was born August 20, 1926 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He recalls moving around the American Midwest during the Depression years, as the family went where work was available.  Still, Frank doesn’t remember being poor; he said everyone was, and that’s what they were all used to.  Frank describes his childhood in positive terms, remembering

Roberts, Earl

Earl Roberts was born November 24, 1923 in Madoc Ontario.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, but Earl doesn’t remember it as a period where he and his family wanted for anything; rather he remembers the family house, and the time he spent on his bicycle, riding the country roads. 

Roberts, Jim

Jim Roberts grew up an air force brat in the 1950s and 60s, when his father was a Master Sergeant in the USAF.  The family was always on the move, as Jim’s father served on many bases in the U.S., and was stationed in Panama as well.  Jim grew up in the Cold War era,

Robus, Wally

Wally Robus was originally from England. He immigrated to Canada before WWII. Wally was in the Canadian air force during the war, and was posted to a number of bases in Canada.  After the war, he got married and raised a family in Canada. Wally presently lives in the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing, where he was interviewed

Rodriguez, Ben

Ben Rodriguez was born May 13, 1969 in Peru, emigrating to the United States at the age of two with his parents.  The family moved around a bit, ultimately settling in the Baltimore, Maryland area, where Ben grew up.  Coming out of high school in the late 80s, he chose to enlist in the Marines

Rohmer, Richard

Richard Rohmer was born January 24, 1924 in Hamilton, Ontario.  His parents divorced when he was young, so Richard recalls growing up between the two households and dealing with the consequent difficulties.  He attended several schools in southwestern Ontario and by his teen years – coinciding with the start of the war – he was

Roles, Fred

Fred Roles was born in 1920s London, the son of a firefighting family.  He vividly remembers the beginning of the Blitz in 1940; when his neighbourhood was bombed, he and his mother had the good fortune to be at the back of the family home.  He vowed to shoot down those German planes as soon

Rowe, John

John Rowe was born in 1925 in Toronto, and he grew up in the city’s east end, in the Beach. John 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

Rubinstein, Len

A South African Jew, Mr. Leonard Rubinstein volunteered to fight with the British 8th Army the “Desert Rats” in WW2. After seeing action in Bardia, he was captured and spent the remainder of the war in Axis POW camps, where he was fortunate to keep his religious identity secret from the Gestapo. Mr. Rubinstein came

Rudd, June

June Rudd was born in Northumberland, England and raised in Manchester in 1924. June shares her story of wartime life in England, including evacuations, air raid shelters and rationing. Like many young British women, June contributed directly to the war effort by serving as a WREN, or member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service, beginning

Russo, Ralph

Ralph Russo was born July 7, 1917 in Newcastle, Pennsylvania.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, when times were tough.  Ralph’s father was able to hold on to his job during that time, and Ralph picked up work at a local foundry.  When 1941 and the attack on Pearl Harbour

Saint-Laurent, Henri

Henri Saint-Laurent was born February 5, 1926 in Ottawa.  His father was a veteran of the First World War, later a civil engineer who worked for the federal government.  Because of his father’s work, the family was sheltered from the worst impacts of the Great Depression, and Henri grew up in relative comfort, and at

Sander, Gunter

Gunter Sander grew up in Germany in the 1930s. Like virtually all German teenagers of the time he joined the Hitler Youth and later became a part of the national work force. When he was brought into the military, he was initially sent to guard islands off the coast of the Netherlands, against a potential

Sanders, Harry

Harry Sanders sailed the oceans of the world during the Second World War.  Born in the small seaside community of South Shields, in Great Britain, he answered a Marconi company ad on the topic of wireless operators, and soon his training was underway, as he left school and South Shields behind him.  Soon named a

Sanford, Chuck

Chuck Sanford was in the USAAF in World War Two. A B-17 pilot, he trained all across the United States before being shipped to Europe. Stationed in England, he flew a number of missions before an injury sent him back to the US. The army kept him on for period, using him to look at

Sanson, Bill

L Cdr Bill Sanson is a member of the present-day Canadian Forces, serving in the Canadian Navy, where he helps to respond to the many crises where intervention is necessary.  As L Cdr Sanson notes, Canada is a maritime nation, and the nature of the interconnected maritime world makes the Canadian Navy very relevant, from

Sayers, Pete

Pete Sayers was born January 9, 1933; he grew up on Canada’s west coast, in Nanaimo, British Columbia.  Pete remembers growing up in a time of war, watching the soldiers practice live fire exercises, and he also remembers the internment of Japanese-Canadian neighbours as wartime paranoia grew.  Blackouts and the reality of total war were

Scot-Brown, Charles

Born into a military family, Charles Scot-Brown said there was never a doubt about his enlistment. After growing up during the Depression, Charles joined the army and was trained as an infantryman. He was sent overseas to England and went across the Channel on June 6, 1944, as part of the second wave of Allied

Scott, Al

Al Scott grew up in 1930s Britain. He joined the Home Guard, and he remembers them having no weapons, so they inserted the WW1 Ross Rifle bayonets into gas pipes. Al was called up to enlist in 1942 and went to the infantry depot and spent eight months there, until he was posted to a

Scott, Cliff

Cliff Scott was born March 4, 1926 in Toronto.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the early years of the war itself, when he attended Humberside Collegiate in the city’s west end.  Cliff’s early life was marked by the death of his father, a Toronto police officer, while Cliff was

Scott, Doug

Doug Scott was born in Toronto.  He graduated from Upper Canada College and the University of Toronto.  From there, Doug enlisted in the Canadian army, where he stayed  for five years.  During that time, the Korean War took place, and Doug was deployed overseas.  While in Korea, Doug served in the unique position of sports

Settle, Gwen

Gwen Settle was born August 16, 1944 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  She was born into a military family; her father had served aboard a corvette during World War Two, and her mother had been a nurse, and her aunt was a WD.  The family relocated several times in early years, but upon completion of high

Shaw, Jimmy

Jimmy Shaw was born in 1925 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He attended St. John’s College.  His father was in World War I and fought at Vimy Ridge. His mother was a teacher.   As a kid he played many sports, his favorite being hockey.  When the war started he joined the RCAF at a Bloor and Spadina

Shinwell, Bert

Bert Shinwell was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on June 28th, 1925. Bert has two sisters and one brother; he was the third child. Unfortunately, the Great Depression took away his father’s job as a tailor. Bert left school at the age of 14 and started working to earn money. When the war came, he and

Shontaler, Jim

Jim Shontaler was born in the Canadian west, growing up in the difficult days of the Great Depression.  As there were some family problems, Jim spent many of his early years in an orphanage.  With the war underway and with no firm direction before him, he joined up as soon as he was able, heading

Short, Norm

Norm Short served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War.  Born in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland, the young Norm moved to Quebec along with his family when they settled in Shawinigan Falls.  When the war came, Norm joined up in Montreal, as part of the Essex Scottish Regiment.  he completed his basic training and waited

Sienkiewicz, Henry

Henry Sienkiewicz was born January 4, 1923 in Syracuse, New York.  He grew up in a working class neighborhood, where his father worked in the local foundry.  Henry worked a variety of jobs himself in the prewar years, helping the family to make ends meet during the Great Depression.  When the war came Henry knew

Sinclair, Reuben

Reuben Sinclair was born December 5, 1911, and students had the chance to do a zoom interview with him in October 2021, making him the oldest veteran we have interviewed for this project – 109 years old at the time!  Reuben grew up in the small farming community of Lipton, born to Jewish parents who

Slater, John

John Slater was born in Toronto in 1922. He grew up during the Great Depression, and his father had to take care of the family. Mr. Slater didn’t enlist in the war at first; he was asked to join. When he was in Europe he made some friends in Scotland and Britain. Mr. Slater and

Slook, George

George Slook was born August 14, 1946, and he grew up in Darby, Pennsylvania.  From a military family, George attended college and consequently had several draft deferments, but the army caught up with him after he graduated in 1968, and he was inducted.  He went to Fort Bragg and Fort Benning and soon after was

Small, Larry

Larry Small was born in Toronto in 1920.  He grew up in the neighbourhoods of the city’s downtown core, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  The son of Jewish immigrants, Larry had to leave school when he was 14, when he went to work to help support his family.  He worked as a newsboy,

Smith, Doug

Doug Smith  served in the Canadian Forces during the Cold War era, and as such he participated in a number of peacekeeping missions from the period. Most notably Doug was deployed in the Suez in the late 50s, during the period of Nasser’s presidency. As such Doug followed the actions of the initial UN peacekeeping force,

Smith, Gordon B.

Gordon B. Smith was born in the east end of Toronto, not far from the Don Jail. He lost one brother when he was growing up in that neighbourhood, to a household accident. Gord attended Eastern Commerce, but he didn’t graduate, instead entering the work force. When the war came, Gord’s remaining older brother enlisted

Smith, Gordon E.

Gordon E. Smith was born in Humber Bay, Toronto, on March 19, 1925.  He grew up in Depression-era Toronto, and left school, working on the family farm and a machine shop.  In 1944, Gord joined up, knowing that he was soon to be called by the military.  Initially he joined the Artillery, and completed his

Smith, Mike

Mike Smith was born in the USSR, in the former republic of Belarus.  He grew up near Pinsk, in a traditional Jewish family.  When the war came to the USSR in 1941, he joined the Soviet Red Army, where he became a member of the Scouts’ Brigade.  Doing some of the most dangerous work behind

Smith, Percy

Percy Smith was born May 10, 1923 in Ceylon.  His father worked in the British civil service there, and that is where Percy spent his early years.  The family returned to England in the late 1930s, as the clouds of war were closing in on Europe, and the world.  Percy was 16 at the start

Smith, Russell

Russell Smith was born in 1919 in Toronto, and he grew up in Toronto during the interwar years.  Russell remembers well the difficulties of those Great Depression years, especially as he grew up in a family of eleven children, and his single mother needed all the help she could get.  The third eldest, Russell left

Smith, Ted

Crestwood has been fortunate to visit the Sunnybrook Veterans Wing many times since we started our partnershipin 2008. Many Sunnybrook veterans have shared their impressions of the war and of the surrounding period. None has been able to do more effectively than Ted Smith, who we met in May 2012. Ted was a pilot in

Smith, Tyler

Tyler Smith was born in Calgary, Alberta, a city that had a very deep tradition for the navy, in spite of its inland location.  One of the first steps he took in order to achieve his goal of joining the military was to join the sea cadets, a program that the navy sets up in

Snider, Charlie

Charlie Snider was born August 26, 1919, in Woodbridge, Ontario.   He was one of nine siblings, growing up on a farm amidst the realities of the Great Depression. Charlie remembers working very hard, doing all sorts of chores on the farm, and going to school too. The family had food in the dark days

Snider, Chris

Chris Snider was born March 19, 1932 in Sunbury, Pennsylvania.  His parents were Canadian but were living in the U.S. at the time, and as the 1930s unfolded they moved a few more times, eventually landing in Oakville, Ontario.  The realities of the Great Depression had kept them on the move, as Chris’s father looked

Snow, William

Bill Snow was born September 13, 1922 in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland.  He grew up in that small community alongside his five sisters.  Bill recalls that his father was a fisherman – but that he did many other jobs in the off season.  Bill went to school but left in Grade 8:  work was available and

Snyder, Ben

Ben Snyder was a bombardier on a B-24 in the USAF during World War Two. When the war broke out, Ben was in school, but like most of his classmates he quickly found himself in uniform in the days after Pearl Harbour. Ben ended up in the air force, and training took him all over

Speedie, Bob

Bob Speedie was born in 1926 in Crieff, Scotland. Bob’s father was a building contractor and due to his job, Bob’s family moved to London, England on May 2, 1926; he was 3 months old at that time. He grew up in London as a Cockney and attended the London Public School. Bob was in

Spiridigliozzi, Marc

Marc Spiridigliozzi was born May 11, 1948 in Altoona, Pennsylvania.  He grew up in a large family, in a largely rural area, and he remembers well the idyllic days of his boyhood, which he experienced against the backdrop of the 1950s-60s postwar boom.  His father was a member of the WW2 US Army National Guard;

Squigna, Victor

Victor Squigna hails from the west end of Toronto, where he grew up in the interwar years.  Victor recalls that conditions in the Great Depression were not too bad for his family; he in fact had a car, and worked at the local gas station.  When his 18th birthday came in 1942, Victor made his

Stachevich, Ron

Ron Stachevich was born September 5, 1936 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He grew up against the backdrop of World War Two and the emerging Cold War, and when he finished high school he resolved to join and do his part.  Ron dreamed of becoming a pilot so he chose the air force, and headed off to

Stafford, Ed

Ed Stafford was born in Toronto on January 31, 1921.  He grew up in the city’s west end, during the Great Depression.  Ed attended school until Grade 10, when he decided to apprentice as a tool and die maker at GE.  When the war came along, one of Ed’s friends joined the Governor General’s Horse

Standing, Gord

Gord Standing was born June 23, 1921 in Ottawa.  His father was a city fireman, so Gord remembers that the Great Depression was not as difficult for his family as it was for so many others.  He had a typical childhood from the time; Gord played ball and went swimming and cycling and fishing with

Stephen, John

John Stephen was 22 when the war broke out. He had just became a carpenter after 5 years of training. He was in the Merchant Navy doing Trans-Atlantic runs from Halifax to England. John did 31 Trans-Atlantic runs through the whole war. He was never in a ship that was attacked. John Stevens served in

Stevens, Larry

Larry Stevens was born July 10, 1924 in Alhambra, CA. He attended school up to the 8th grade, leaving early because of the reality of the Great Depression. The family needed to make ends meet, and saving spare change – even a nickel – was a lot of money.  When Pearl Harbor was attacked December

Stewart, Donald

Donald Stewart was born in Vancouver B.C. He served with the Royal Canadian Navy Merchant fleet. Growing up Donald had been a sea cadet and he always admired sailors.  As it was wartime and all of his friends had signed up, he wanted to do his part. So Donald had to go through basic training

Stewart, Harry

Harry Stewart was born July 4, 1924 in Newport News, Virginia.  When he was 2 years old his parents relocated to Queens, N.Y.C., not too far from North Beach airport.  Harry grew up in that neighborhood, attending school and having a good time, all against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Harry understood that the

Stohn, John

John Stohn originally came from the U.S., but he moved to Canada at a young age, when his father’s work led the family to Granby, Quebec.  The family did well there, and they were largely insulated from the devastating impacts of the Great Depression.  John remembers his youth with some fondness, and that it prepared

Stohn, Suzie

Suzie Stohn was born in Toronto, growing up in the “Village”, not too far from Russell Hill Road in the city’s north end.  Her family was well off, fortunately insulated from the effects of the Depression.  Suzie lived a good life, enjoying school at BSS and in a boarding school in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.   From

Summersides, Jim

Jim Summersides was born in Welland, Ontario, and grew up with his mother, father and siblings. When the war broke out, Jim decided to join his classmates and enlist in the infantry. He became a part of the Canadian 48th Highlanders and was then shipped overseas to England. Having arrived in England, he was then

Sutton, Gerald

Gerald Sutton was born in Uckfield, Sussex, England on July 23, 1925, and he attended grammar school on a scholarship in the historic county town of Lewes.  While there he watched the Battle of Britain fought overhead in 1940.  With that in mind – and despite the danger of U-boat attacks, his mother brought him

Swirski, Walter

Walter Swirski was born in Poland on May 7, 1922.  His family lived in a small village, where they were prosperous farmers; Walter’s father owned a share in a flour mill, and had been an officer in the Soviet-Polish war.  Walter had one brother and was going to school when the Second World War broke

Switzer, Bill

Bill Switzer was born in 1923 in Midland, Ontario.  He grew up in a “nice town to have a family” where he played, had fun and worked after he was done school.  He came from a large family with 5 brothers and 5 sisters.  His father was a mailman throughout most of his life,and most importantly during the depression.  When the war came, Bill chose

Talbot, Bill

Bill Talbot grew up against the backdrop of 1930s Toronto.  When his father, a World War One veteran, passed away, Bill dropped out of school to help his mother make ends meet.  When the war came along, Bill enlisted, eventually finding his way into the First Canadian Parachute Regiment.  Training took place in both the

Taylor, Donald

Donald Taylor was born in Montreal, Quebec on September 8, 1918.  There were three siblings in the family.  During the Great Depression, his parents did not lose their jobs, but they still did not have the money to pay for extras, such as college tuition.  Before the war, Donald liked sports very much, especially hockey. As a junior,

Taylor, Heber

Heber Taylor was born in Carbonear, Newfoundland and Labrador.  When the war came along, Heber began working for Bell.  In 1941 he decided to enlist.  Heber volunteered so that he would be able to choose where he would serve. With the decision in his hands, he chose to fight as part of the Royal Canadian

Tinsley, Brenda

LCol. Brenda Tinsley  was born in Hamilton, Ontario. She grew up in a military family and as a teen was a member of the Sea Cadets. After high school she attended the Royal Military College of Canada where she obtained a degree in Military and Strategic Studies. She began working in the NORAD Operations Centre

Tipple, Graham

Graham Tipple was born March 1, 1924 in Burin, Newfoundland.  His father was a fish merchant in that small town, but his mother longed to get away from the area, having lost multiple male relatives to the sea.  The family – with their young son Graham – resettled in Toronto in 1925, and Graham grew

Tomter, Reynolds

Reynolds Tomter was born April 26, 1917 in western Wisconsin, not far from Pigeon Falls, where he lives now.  He grew up on a farm in a rural valley, where neighbors worked together to combat isolation, and then the realities of the Great Depression.  Reynolds remembers the tough economic times, but he also remembers the

Trull, Madge

Madge Trull was born July 22, 1922.  Madge is a Londoner, though she was born in Chile; her father was involved in the import-export trade.  He brought his young family back to England as his children were growing up, as he wanted them to be raised and educated in the proper English tradition.  Madge attended

Tymchuk, Bill

Bill Tymchuk was born in Ukraine, when it was under Polish control; he went to school there  for 2 years and immigrated to Canada in 1930 (his father had settled down in Canada in 1928). His family was on the farm, and he started school and learned English quickly. Later his family went to Stayner, Ontario and

van Taack, Emma

Emma van Taack lived in Holland when the war broke out. She witnessed the German assault on Rotterdam and lived through the occupation. Becoming a teenager during the war, Emma joined a Dutch resistance cell, where she actively fought against the German forces. She assisted Allied soldiers, acted as a messenger, and risked her life

Van Tine, Joshua

Major Joshua Van Tine is a currently serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).  He hails from Burns Lake, B.C., where he remembers that an outdoors lifestyle where he was a scout and a Sea Cadet led him to the CAF.  He has been involved in numerous deployments, including in Afghanistan as part of

Van Wart, Jean

Jean Van Wart presently lives at Sunnybrook, where she was interviewed by Charlie Nogas, Gabe Hirson, and Jacob Hanning, in her room in the Veterans’ Wing in February 2017.  Jean was born in Quebec, and when the war came around she was attending Carleton University in Ottawa.  Like many women in her day, she enlisted

Vassair, John

John Vassair  served in the Canadian Forces during the Cold War era, and as such he participated in a number of peacekeeping missions from the period. Most notably John was deployed in Korea and the Suez in the 50s, during and after the conflicts in both of those nations. As such John followed the actions of the

Vencel, Mike

Mike Vencel served in the Canadian Navy during the Cold War era.  He joined up in the 1950s, fresh out of high school in southern Ontario, with the goal of pursuing a trade.  Mike set his sights on becoming an electrician’s mate, and he served in this capacity on several ships, notably the HMCS Assiniboine

Villiger, Ken

Ken Villiger was born October 19, 1930 in Montreal, Quebec.  He joined the Canadian Forces right out of high school, just as the Cold War was heating up.  Ken would see service in Korea, and during his long military career he played on just about every sports team the army had.  Ken was a paratrooper

Voitinsky, Evgeny

Evgeny Voitinsky served in the  Red Army in the Great Patriotic War.  Evgeny grew up in Leningrad before the war, but after the German invasion of June 1941, Evgeny and his mother relocated to Kazakstan, where the teenaged Evgeny adapted to the new realities of wartime life. He worked at this time in a factory,

Waddell, John

John Waddell served in the RCN as WW2 came to a close. His overseas duty came late in the war, so John was fortunate to avoid combat and the dangerous convoys that made up so much RCN duty. He was able to see many places though, literally going around the world and visiting the ports

Waddingham, Harry

Harry Waddingham was born on October 16, 1916 in London, England.  Harry’s father was a Great War veteran who had been living in Montreal when the war broke out, so he and Harry’s uncle enlisted in the Canadian Artillery in that conflict.  When he went overseas he was deployed briefly in Northern Ireland, and that

Wagar, Karl

Karl Wagar served in the Canadian Forces during the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. Karl hails from the town of Deseronto, in Prince Edward County; he enlisted at the suggestion of a veteran he met at the local Legion, recalling that the decision set him on a better life path. He boarded that jet airplane

Wallace, Al

 Al Wallace was born in Toronto in1920 on Brock Avenue (which was off Bloor Street).  Al and his family lived on Gladstone Avenue.  He went to Dovercourt  Public School, which was on Hallam Street,  and he graduated in 1938.  After this, he went to Central Tech for one year.  However, Al was unable to go

Warford, Jim

Jim Warford was in the Canadian army during World War Two. Born in England in 1922, Jim grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, against the backdrop of the Great Depression, attending school and very active in sports. Jim and a friend joined the militia before the war, knowing that war was on the way. When his

Warner, Joe

Joe Warner is a Canadian who joined the fighting in Israel in 1948 because he felt “it won’t be worth being a Jew elsewhere if Israel did not survive.” Joe had graduated high school in Toronto in the midst of WW2, and he had enlisted in the RCAF, and began training in different parts of

Washabaugh, Brad

Brad Washabaugh was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 15, 1954.  The son of a Marine, Brad too chose to enlist, giving himself a goal in the wake of a serious motorcycle accident.  He became an officer, commanding a platoon and then a company, and visiting crisis spots around the world.  Brad learned the cost

Watson, Earl

Earl Watson was born April 15, 1930 in Brantford, Ontario.  The family relocated to Owen Sound during the Depression, as Earl’s father found work as a welder.  Earl’s childhood was typical; he went to school and more importantly enjoyed his time with friends, playing baseball and whatever else.  Earl was too young for the Second

Watson, Jack

Jack Watson was born March 9, 1924 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His mother died when Jack was only 10, and family circumstances saw Jack and his siblings put into an orphanage.  The times were difficult for the family, but Jack worked hard there and at the monastery school he attended during most of his teen years,

Watt, Janet

Janet Watt was one of so many women who entered the armed forces during the Second World War.  Janet chose to go in the navy, and she became one of the WRENs.  As Janet entered the services at the end of the war, her time in the military was limited, though her experiences are very

Webb, Betty

Betty Webb was born May 13, 1923, near the town of Ludlow in Shropshire, England.  She grew up in the countryside, where she remembers long walks picking wildflowers, and she was home-schooled – so she also remembers cataloguing those same flowers!  Betty’s mother had had German housekeepers in the 1930s, so Betty learned to speak

Weber, Rick

Rick Weber was born July 8, 1946, and he grew up in 1950s Pittsburgh, the son of a WW2 veteran.  His childhood was typical of the time, enjoying the abundance of the “Fabulous 50s”.  He played football in high school, where he injured himself, something he aggravated in university.  He consequently failed the army medical

Weiss, Arthur

Arthur Weiss was born in Philadelphia in 1925.  Growing up against the backdrop of war, Arthur was singled out by the military for his mathematical prowess.  The military was grooming him for a role in the Manhattan Project, but as Arthur recalls, there was a surfeit of physicists by 1945, and with the war winding

Wentzell, Tyler

Major Tyler Wentzell is a currently serving member of the Canadian Forces, one who hails from Nova Scotia.  He comes from a family with a military and especially a policing tradition, and as a teenager he worked on an oral history project that involved interviewing some of the same veterans that we have met here

White, Don

Don White was born in Oshawa, Ontario on August 9, 1924.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, attending school in Oshawa and then enlisting after Grade 12.  He had joined the militia at the age of 16, and at 18 he joined the regular forces, and was quickly sent out to

White, Rod

Rod White was born in Trenton, Ontario in 1925. Rod’s father died when he was only four, and some of his early memories are of his mother struggling to raise her seven children in difficult economic times. Rod was a sickly child, suffering from bouts of tuberculosis and jaundice; combined with wearing glasses from an

White, Tom

Born in 1926, Tom White grew up in Toronto against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He remembers his mother’s recipes from that time period, and the afternoons spent at Saturday matinees.  He also remembers his schooling, and the lessons from an Oakwood Collegiate geography teacher that were imparted to students who thought they’d soon

Wildman, Yvonne

Yvonne Wildman was born August 1, 1923 in Portland, Oregon.  Her parents were from Canada, and the family returned to Saskatchewan when Yvonne was 4.  She grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  When the war came, Yvonne and four of her brothers joined up.  Yvonne and a friend chose the RCAF

Willard, Garry

Garry Willard was born June 24, 1939 in Cornwall, Ontario.  He grew up largely in the town of Winchester, not too far from Ottawa.  As a young boy, Garry remembers the soldiers coming home after the Second World War; he also remembers the cadets and drum and bugle corps from the time, and summers spent

Willcocks, Jim

Jim Willcocks celebrated his 100th birthday not too long ago, and an article in his local Orillia newspaper notes, he still likes to go out dancing. We met Jim courtesy of the Royal Canadian Legion in Orillia, and Scott Masters interviewed Jim in July 2018. Jim Second World War service took place in Canada, as

Willett, Dallas

Dallas Willett was born August 3, 1930 in Rouge Hill, Ontario.  Third child in a family of 12, he grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, working the family farm and delivering newspapers when he wasn’t at school or playing soccer or hockey.  They would also go into the nearby town of

Williams, Don

Don Williams served in the Canadian army during the Korean War.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Second World War, experiencing the ups-and-downs alongside fellow Canadians during that changing time.  As the Cold War escalated, he enlisted for his own war, and with basic training he was assigned to the PPCLI, designated as

Williams, Durwood

Durwood Williams was born November 24, 1921 in Godwin, North Carolina.  He grew up in that state, playing on the banks of the Cape Fear River, and looking for lost Confederate treasures.  The Great Depression impacted Durwood’s family; his father went to Fayetteville to work, and Durwood had to work his way through college.  He

Wilson, Bill

Bill Wilson was born in Winnipeg on November 5, 1924 to Scottish parents Thomas and Marion Wilson. Bill was 14 when the Second World War began and he planned to follow in his father‘s footsteps as he had served in the First World War. When Bill couldn’t get  a place with the Highlanders cadet corps

Winer, Lorne

Lorne Winer was born November 7, 1917; he passed away in May 2023, at the age of 105. Lorne first visited Crestwood in February 2012, at the age of 95. He sat down with Canadian History 10 students Maxime Bernier and Nathan George, and told them about his life both before and after the war.

Wood, Anne

Anne Wood was born in Langford, Ireland; she married John Wood, aCanadian bomber pilot and together they had four children. Anne voluntarily entered the war, not to fight, but to be of help and to defend her country. She entered with one of her best friends, who became a nurse. Anne wanted to be more

Woods, Larry

Larry Woods was born December 17, 1947 in Pittsburgh.  Larry grew up there against the backdrop of the 1950s, which he remembers as an idyllic time.  His father worked in a steel mill, supporting Larry and his many siblings as best he could.  Life in the 50s was good, and Larry recalls games with his

Wortley, Colin

Colin Wortley was born January 18, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario.  His father was a decorated World War two veteran, having been awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for RAF service in North Africa.  When he returned to Canada Colin’s father left the air force, but he decided to re-enlist in 1950, as the Cold War was

Wozniak, Stanley

Stanley Wozniak was born January 9, 1928 in Warsaw, Poland.  He was born into a large family of 11 children, and they grew up in a positive environment in the 1930s, though the coming of war in 1940 impacted the family dramatically.  They had been living in western Poland, but the aftermath of the German

Wright, Ben

Ben Wright was born on July 25, 1946, and he was raised in Texas’s Big Bend country, where he and his siblings grew up in 1950s America.  Ben graduated high school in 1964, as American involvement in Vietnam was beginning to escalate.  Knowing the draft board would soon be after him, Ben opted for the

Yaphe, Wilf

Mr. Wilf Yaphe was born in Toronto Canada in 1920. He went to school in Toronto and Montreal. He worked in a drug store and he later went to enlist in the war effort but he didn’t have the university credit to be a pilot in the air force, so they sent him to a

Yatabe, Minoru

Mr. Minoru Yatabe served in Canada’s armed forces during WW2, while his family and other Japanese-Canadians were battling racism and internment on Canada’s home front. Mr. Yatabe originally was from British Columbia, but he was sent to Ontario for the early part of the war, where he worked on a farm. When he turned 18,

Young, Bob

Bob Young was born on October 29, 1924, on Pittsburgh’s south side.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and he remembers that it was a difficult time, and that the family made do with hunting game, as well as occasional scraps Bob’s father would bring home from work.  Bob attended school

Zarembo, Michael

Michael Zarembo is a Lithuanian Jew, one of so many overwhelmed with the terrible events that befell his people and region during the war.  1941 saw the initiation of that horror…Germany initiated Operation Barbarossa, and within days Michael’s family was under the heel of the Nazi regime.  Life became increasingly difficult in the ghettos that were

Zavitz, Jack

Jack Zavitz was born June 18, 1924 in Windsor, Ontario.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the early part of the war, and when he finished high school he found himself in the RCAF, where he was pegged as a mechanic and trained for ground crew duty.  Jack spent time

Zipperer, Carl

Carl Zipperer was born on May 4, 1950 in Savannah.  He grew up in that part of Georgia, and most of his early years were spent in the country on the family farm.  Carl learned to be self-reliant there, a character trait that would serve him well in future years.  Coming out of high school,

Zuber, Pieter

Pieter Zuber  served in the Canadian Forces during the Cold War era, and as such he participated in a number of peacekeeping missions from the period. Most notably Pieter was deployed in the Suez in the late 50s, during the period of Nasser’s presidency. As such he followed the actions of the initial UN peacekeeping force,

Zwaagstra, George

George Zwaagstra was born August 9, 1933, in Friesland, a northern and low-lying province in the Netherlands.  George grew up in this largely agricultural area, and when the Second World War was about to begin, George was just starting school.  When the Germans did invade, the Dutch surrendered after five days of fighting, and the