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Elinor Florence (Company name) Elinor Florence

Veteran Stories

Royal Canadian Air Force veteran Dot Proulx was so modest about her wartime service that she wouldn't allow me to publish this until after her death. She passed away on November 20, 2022 at the age of ninety-nine, and I am honoured to share her story at last.

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These ten wonderful wartime women, four of them still living, volunteered to serve their countries in World War Two. Please read their stories and remember our veterans, today and always.

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Willa Walker rose rapidly through the ranks in 1941 to become head of the newly-formed Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division. Only 28 years old, grieving the recent death of her baby son, her husband locked away in a German prison camp, Willa rose to the challenge with courage and dignity, breaking down barriers for future generations of women […]

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Named for the future British prime minister, 100-year-old Winston Churchill Parker of Okotoks, Alberta, joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, served as a Wireless Air Gunner in a Wellington bomber, was shot down on his unlucky thirteenth mission, and spent the rest of the war as a WW2 POW in a German prison camp. Note […]

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Jean Hubbard, now aged 92, joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC) on her day she turned eighteen. Wearing her red and white polka-dotted dress, she is likely the only recruit ever welcomed into the armed forces with a birthday cake! In all my years of interviewing veterans, both male and female, I have never […]

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Here is one of the reasons they call it The Greatest Generation. Canadian Army veteran Russell Thompson of Seeley’s Bay, Ontario, who will turn 99 in a few months, embodies the values that made this country great. The sons of Russell Thompson, Earle and Steve, collaborated to prepare this blog post about their father, a role […]

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When I discovered this photograph online, I was struck with the lovely elegance of RCAF Women’s Division member Dorothy Chapman Garen in her blue uniform. I was even more thrilled to find that Dorothy, now aged 95, is living not far from me in Canmore, Alberta, where I was able to thank her in person for […]

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After a bullet from a Japanese machine gun tore through her body, Australian nurse Vivian Bullwinkel floated face down in the sea and feigned death. She was the sole survivor of the 1942 Bangka Island Massacre, in which 22 nurses were forced to wade into the ocean at gunpoint and then shot in the back. It’s […]

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Plucky Iris Porter of the WAAF, 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.

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Four long years ago, reader Emily Tucker of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, asked me to find the owner of this RCAF 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 the […]

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