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Elinor Florence (Company name) Elinor Florence

Wartime Wednesdays

My Dear Friends — This year has been one of mingled joys and sorrows. We never know what the future holds, but from my house to yours, and with all my heart, I wish you the very best surprises in the mysterious new year that awaits us. (Note: This wreath on my front door is artificial. We can’t […]

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Plucky Iris Porter of the British Women’s Auxiliary Air Force slept in a tent for two long years, swam in the Mediterranean Sea, rode camels, and visited the pyramids – all while serving her country in the burning Egyptian desert during World War Two.   Chatting With Iris It was an absolute pleasure to chat with Iris Porter […]

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Let the bells ring out and the banners fly! After seeing this program in Ontario, I pitched the idea of honouring our local veterans by putting their photographs on individual banners. It meant months of hard work by my partner Sandi Jones and me, but the banners are now hanging downtown in our dear little town of Invermere, British Columbia. Read […]

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Four long years ago, reader Emily Tucker of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, asked me to find the owner of this Royal Canadian Air Force souvenir bracelet. After an exhaustive search, I located the owner’s brother in Cambridge, Ontario! The mystery surfaced way back in 2013 after Emily Tucker of North Battleford, Saskatchewan sent me photographs of a bracelet bearing […]

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A case of mistaken identity thwarted Jim Milne’s plans to fly against the enemy, so he spent the war in Canada as a navigation instructor instead. When not on duty, he sketched some very amusing cartoons in his flying logbook! Now 97, Jim Milne lives with his wife Betty in the pretty mountain resort of […]

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Ben Scaman of Banff, Alberta, was flying Spitfires with the Royal Canadian Air Force when the V-1 flying bombs, often called doodlebugs, began to rain down on England in 1944. Remarkably, Ben pioneered the technique in which a skilled pilot could tip one of these murderous missiles off balance, causing it to crash harmlessly into the countryside. […]

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Canadian prime minister Mackenzie King, also known as Weird Willie, gazed into his crystal ball, communed with his dead dogs, and saw images in his shaving cream. Yet many historians believe that he was our greatest prime minister ever. Mackenzie King proved that you don’t need personal charisma to be an effective leader. In fact, you don’t […]

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Thousands of lumberjacks, members of the Canadian Forestry Corps, logged the forests of Scotland during the Second World War to produce desperately-needed lumber for the war effort. Among them were Carl and Jack Jones, two brothers from Invermere, British Columbia.   The Canadian Forestry Corps In a world filled with manmade materials, it is easy to […]

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A treasure trove of photographs showing members of the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division performing their wartime duties has fallen into my hands. Although women weren’t allowed to fly or to engage in combat during the war, they filled many other valuable roles and these photographs show them hard at work. People often ask […]

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Former naval pilot Ted Davis of Toronto, now 95 years old, will never forget the night of March 17, 1945 when his minesweeper HMCS Guysborough was torpedoed twice by a German submarine. Tony Davis is a former classmate of mine from the Journalism Program at Carleton University in Ottawa. When I learned that his father Ted Davis was still living, I […]

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