Smith, Tyler

Tyler Smith was born in Calgary, Alberta, a city that had a very deep tradition for the navy, in spite of its inland location.  One of the first steps he took in order to achieve his goal of joining the military was to join the sea cadets, a program that the navy sets up in

McKee, Fraser

Fraser McKee was born on Feb. 22, 1925 in Toronto, a city where he has lived most of his life. He grew up in the city’s north end, attending UCC and living a fairly good life, even against the backdrop of the Great Depression. Fraser’s father had a significant military pedigree; he was a major

Back, Wib

Wib Back was born May 11, 1926 in Toronto. Wib’s early life had its difficulties:  his mother died when Wib was just 11, and his father was unable to care for Wib and his siblings, so they ended up going into foster care through the Children’s Aid Society.  Wib was consequently moved around, going to

Gerrard, Gerry

Gerry Gerrard was in the reserve artillery as of 1938. The day before the war broke out, he was called up and reported to the colonel, who told Gerry he needed a dozen men to go to Victoria.  Since Gerry waswas 17, he didn’t have to go, but he went anyway.  In Victoria, he joined

Bedal, Carl

Carl was born in 1925 in Brighton, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm during the Depression, and some of his earliest memories include seeing classmates in tattered clothing.  His family relocated to Belleville when it was time for Carl to attend high school, and it was after graduation that he made the decision to

Aral, Selena

Selena Aral joined the reserves to help pay for post-secondary studies after she graduated high school in 1997.  She started off in the navy as a boatswain and remained one for 7 years.  She then decided to change tracks and try out logistics; she was accepted in 2004, which allowed her to go back to

Martin, Bill

Bill Martin was born in 1925 in Toronto, into a family of four brothers.  He attended Northern High School, where he played sports and developed an interest in geography.  When the war came, Bill chose the navy, and he was assigned to the minesweeper HMCS Burlington, where he was a stoker.  He spent the war

Comisso, Amber

LCdr Amber Comisso is a member of Canada’s present day forces, serving her nation in the navy.  She visited Crestwood in April 2019, at which time she shared her experiences with Mr. Birrell’s Geography 9 class. She is originally from the GTA, and the military was not in her sights until the time for university

Hayes, Clayton

Clayton Hayes was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and he grew up in the Prairies, first in Saskatchewan and later in Brandon, Manitoba.  The Depression was a difficult time for the family; his father’s business went bankrupt, and the family moved to improve their prospects.  When the war came, Clayton’s older brother joined the navy,

Harris, Garfield

Garfield Harris was born in Newfoundland in 1923, at a time when Newfoundland was still a British colony.  But just as the Great War did so much damage to a generation of young Newfoundlanders, it also hurt Garfield’s father, who’d run a prosperous fishing fleet before the war.  He made the decision to head west

Stohn, Suzie

Suzie Stohn was born in Toronto, growing up in the “Village”, not too far from Russell Hill Road in the city’s north end.  Her family was well off, fortunately insulated from the effects of the Depression.  Suzie lived a good life, enjoying school at BSS and in a boarding school in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.   From

Kien Le

Kien Le spent his early life in Vietnam, growing up as the American phase of the war was coming to an end.  He recalls that he was not too impacted by the war in the early years, but since his father was in the navy, he and his family were on the move as the

Barber, Andy

Andy Barber is from Montreal, where he grew up during World War Two.  Not one for school, he left to find employment in the CN rail yards of Point St-Charles, where he found work as a carman’s apprentice.  But the lure of the navy proved strong, and Andy joined up just as the Korean War

Vencel, Mike

Mike Vencel served in the Canadian Navy during the Cold War era.  He joined up in the 1950s, fresh out of high school in southern Ontario, with the goal of pursuing a trade.  Mike set his sights on becoming an electrician’s mate, and he served in this capacity on several ships, notably the HMCS Assiniboine

Warford, Jim

Jim Warford was in the Canadian army during World War Two. Born in England in 1922, Jim grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, against the backdrop of the Great Depression, attending school and very active in sports. Jim and a friend joined the militia before the war, knowing that war was on the way. When his

Murphy, Paul

Paul Murphy served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War.  Paul served aboard several ships, notably the Cobalt and the Wallaceburg, and he was involved in the RCN’s convoy system in the western Atlantic, working the triangle between New York City and Newfoundland.  Paul’s ships would escort convoys in that zone, both

Kirk, Ron

Ron Kirk served in the Canadian Forces in the post-WW2 period, when Canada’s peacekeeping reputation was being established. Ron served in the navy, and he spent time in Korea during that nation’s 1950-53 war. Ron and his shipmates patrolled the Korean west coast, doing their part to counter North Korea’s efforts to export communism. He

Sanson, Bill

L Cdr Bill Sanson is a member of the present-day Canadian Forces, serving in the Canadian Navy, where he helps to respond to the many crises where intervention is necessary.  As L Cdr Sanson notes, Canada is a maritime nation, and the nature of the interconnected maritime world makes the Canadian Navy very relevant, from

The Crestwood Oral History Project

The Crestwood Oral History Project is hard at work this month. World War Two veterans and Holocaust survivors have been visiting with the CHC2D students, helping them to complete their oral history interviews.  Earlier this week Mr. Masters and Mr. Hawkins took 21 students to Sunnybrook, where 5 veterans were interviewed.  They included army, navy

Boggild, Carl

Carl Boggild originally came from Denmark, but his parents moved to Canada when he was only one year old, so his real formative experiences took place in Nova Scotia, where his parents settled.  Carl grew up in the southern part of the province, where he and his family lived a relatively good life in spite

Kerr, George

George Kerr hails from Glasgow, Scotland.  He grew up in a working class neighbourhood between the war, when he remembers a life playing football and enjoying his friendships against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  When the war came, George chose the Royal Navy, where he was trained as an engineer and became an officer. 

Ratcliffe, Richard

Richard Ratcliffe was born on the 16th of June 1928, in Haileybury, Ontario. After his father died in 1938 his family moved to St.Catharines, Ontario. He joined the Navy in 1945 when he was 17 years old. He went to Naval College in Royal Rhodes in BC and graduated as a midshipman. He went to

Gorman, Digger

“Digger” Gorman served in the Canadian Navy during the Second World War.  Originally from New Brunswick, the future geology student – that’s where the name “Digger” came from – Digger was deep in his studies when the war approached.  As a science/engineering student, Digger’s enlistment was originally deferred, but like many in his generation, he

Watt, Janet

Janet Watt was one of so many women who entered the armed forces during the Second World War.  Janet chose to go in the navy, and she became one of the WRENs.  As Janet entered the services at the end of the war, her time in the military was limited, though her experiences are very

Casey, Gord

Gord Casey served in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War Two, where he was one of many sailors playing a role in the Battle of the Atlantic.  Gord saw action on a variety of ships, where he protected convoys as cargo ships brought vital supplies to the European theatre of war.  Along the way

Kingsley, Craig

Craig Kingsley is an active member of the Canadian Forces.  He served aboard the HMCS Athabaskan in a 2000 action called Operation Megaphone, where crew from the Canadian destroyer boarded the Katie, a freighter returning Canadian military supplies to Canada after the Kosovo mission.  Craig was a member of the boarding party, and he helped

Cameron, Ray

Ray Cameron is a veteran of the Merchant Navy.  When the war came he was living in Lindsay, Ontario, where he had been on the farm and had worked on the Great Lakes as a seaman.  When Norway was pulled into the war, the Norwegian merchant marine made the decision to recruit in Canada, and

Kalev, Yitzchak

Yitzchak Kalev was born in Jerusalem, Palestine. He has lived there for all his life. During WW2 he served in the Royal Navy on a minesweeper. He remembers seeing the German paratroopers land in Crete and the bombers on D-Day. He also fought in the IDF for many years in the War for Independence. He

Glassman, Israel

Israel Glassman was born in Montreal, Quebec on April 22nd, 1924, six months after his mother landed in Canada.  He was not born in a very good period:  the Great Depression hit Canada in 1929 and 1930.  During that time, Mr. Glassman played street hockey and baseball with his friends for fun. He also did many

Oral History Project

The Crestwood Oral History Project is in the midst of its busy season! The CHCs are completing their oral history interviews – all 80+ of them. In the last week, we have had 2 in class visitors, and done one in home visit. Students from Mr. Masters’ class went to visit Kelman Cohen in his