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Elinor Florence (Company name) Elinor Florence

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 POW in a German prison camp. Note to readers: The following […]

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Jean Brims Hubbard, now aged 92, joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps 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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For your summertime reading enjoyment, here’s a collection of five wartime tales that are stranger than fiction – starting with this delightful picture of Samantha Kot, who re-enacted an old photo she discovered right here on Wartime Wednesdays!   Aviation Fan Recreates Wartime Photo Samantha Kot of Orangeville, Ontario comes from an aviation-mad family that restores […]

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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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The artists who created these beautiful Toronto Star Weekly covers have been mostly forgotten, so it was a delightful surprise to hear from a woman whose great-aunt, Elizabeth Cutler, was a regular contributor to the magazine. Sheree Meyer of Orlando, Florida shared with me her memories of her talented Great-Aunt Betty.   The Inside Story The old Star Weekly covers are works […]

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A group of young men from Cranbrook, British Columbia, members of the Rover branch of the Boy Scouts, built this cabin deep in the forest to use as their private clubhouse in the happy days before the Second World War. Four of them died while serving their country. Now all that remains is the stone […]

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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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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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