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 also a World War 1 veteran decorated at Vimy Ridge; unfortunately he passed away later during the war.   Howard saw fit to enlist in September 1942 and joined the No. 1 Canadian Army Course. Howard was originally considering the Air Force, but the No. 1 Canadian Army Course sparked his interest.  Howard spent time at the University of Toronto in Burwash Hall where he and other soldiers were studying physics and advanced math in order to better play their role in the Canadian army.  They would march to class everyday, spend hours in the lecture halls and then march back to their “barracks” where they would study.  After this phase, Howard was first sent to Camp Borden and then to a tank range in Meaford, Ontario.  He then finally went overseas to Aldershot in Britain, which was the main training camp that Canadians were sent to during World War 2.  Although Howard did not see any wartime action, he was still a soldier who was combat ready for whenever he would be called into battle, and we recognise him for being there and for dedicating three years of his life to the war and to Canada.  Howard McKay was interviewed for this project at the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing in November 2019.