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 part of the Royal Flying Corps in that war, and the two of them separately made their way back to Canada at war’s end, later meeting at a church service in Toronto. Philip joined the army at age 17 under a program that allowed for early entry, and when he reached the age of maturity he automatically transitioned to the regular forces. Training took place at Orillia and Camp Borden, as Philip made his way into the First Hussars (London, Ontario) of the tank corps. In 1943 they made their way down to Halifax, and the Mauretania took them to Liverpool. Philip was stationed at Aldershot, and more training took place, along with visits to London and the local pubs. He also happened to meet with Princess Elizabeth at this time, when she was serving with the ATS. D-day would take place on June 6, 1944, and Philip’s turn to cross the Channel came a few months later, when the Canadian army was moving through Belgium and into Holland. They saw some combat at that time, and ended up in northern Germany at war’s end. Philip chose to volunteer for the war against Japan, knowing it could get him home a bit earlier. Back home and with the war at an end Philip chose to make the army his career, staying in for 34 years. He would see action in the Korean War, where he was wounded, and he was also sent to Germany as part of Canada’s NATO contingent and was as well deployed on a peacekeeping mission in the Sinai. Philip Daniel was interviewed by Crestwood students at the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing in June 2023.
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