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 find a new life in Canada.  When the war came, Sid’s father enlisted at the age of 38, and he ended up in the Royal Canadian Engineers, working on the Alaska Highway.  Sid was finishing high school at this time, waiting to turn 18 and join up in his own right.  When the time came, Sid chose the RCAF, and he trained to become a navigator, going through the channels of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.  As it turns out, Sid excelled at navigation – so much so that they kept him on as an instructor rather than sending him overseas.  So Sid’s war took place on the home front, and when it was over he married and returned to his burgeoning career, finding his place in postwar Toronto.  Recently, Sid decided to try his hand at songwriting, and his debut as a 96-year old veteran was welcomed in his retirement community and in the Toronto press.  Sid Gladstone was interviewed at his home by Scott Masters in December 2021.