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 dances that were making their appearance.  With the war, Mary enlisted, recalling it to be a duty and an expectation – and a way to escape those familial restrictions.  She chose the CWACs, and her training took her to Ottawa, where she learned to become a driver.  After time on the home front, she was sent off to England to play her role ferrying troops and equipment to the Channel ports.  Mary remembers driving the roads in the dead of night, and the talks she had with the wounded soldiers in her charge.  She also remembers fulfilling the rebellious streak that led her into the army, and the loss that was part of life – her fiance died on D-Day.  Soon back in Canada, she fell into the rhythm of civilian life, marrying and raising a family, and finding her way in postwar Canada

We met Mary at the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing, where Mary met with Crestwood students in April 2017.