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 school when she was 15, but she decided to pursue her own path:  she was initially a waitress, but the coming of the war set her – and her whole generation – in new directions.  Joice decided to join the Royal Navy, and she became a WREN, serving initially at Portsmouth and later at the Isle of Wight.  Her duties included work in the officers’ club, and later the Fleet Postal Service, where Joice took on the role of letter carrier during her time on the Isle of Wight.  Along the way she met a Canadian soldier named Fred, who was stationed at Camp Bordon.  The two of them began a relationship and were married in 1944, and by VE Day 1945 Joice was pregnant.  The decision was made to go to Canada:  Fred went first and found work and a place to live, and Joice and thousands of other war brides and children followed in 1946.  Joice and Fred raised their young son and created a life for themselves in Montreal, helping to build postwar Canada in the process.  Joice Foley was interviewed by Scott Masters at her home in Brighton, Ontario in February 2024; we thank Zach Dunn for the introduction, and you can see his interviews here –