Morgan, William

Bill Morgan was born April 23, 1925 in Consett, England, a small city on the east coast, not too far from Newcastle.  Bill’s mother passed away when he was just, and at that time he moved in with his grandparents and aunts, and his father’s role in his life diminished.  Bill grew up an only

Taylor, Donald

Donald Taylor was born in Montreal, Quebec on September 8, 1918.  There were three siblings in the family.  During the Great Depression, his parents did not lose their jobs, but they still did not have the money to pay for extras, such as college tuition.  Before the war, Donald liked sports very much, especially hockey. As a junior,

Burke, Michael

Michael Burke was born on January 5th 1921 in Montreal Quebec. As a kid he went to Westmount Academy, and in 1937 he got a degree at McGill University and then a job at the Bank of Montreal. When the war broke out he enlisted in the RCAF and eventually became a ground crew mechanic

White, Rod

Rod White was born in Trenton, Ontario in 1925. Rod’s father died when he was only four, and some of his early memories are of his mother struggling to raise her seven children in difficult economic times. Rod was a sickly child, suffering from bouts of tuberculosis and jaundice; combined with wearing glasses from an

Rees, Frank

Frank Rees is from Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s east end, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He attended Danforth Tech and served in the reserve army during the early part of the war.  When the time came for him to join up, Frank chose the RCAF – he remembers that it

Olley, George

George Olley was born May 10, 1925 in London, Ontario.  George’s parents divorced when he and his sister were quite young, and for a time George and Rose lived with their father, but work and family proved a difficult combination, and George ended up in an orphanage from age 9-14.  He went to school during

Bentley, Lloyd

Lloyd Bentley grew up in northern Ontario, in Kirkland Lake and Sault Ste Marie, during the Great Depression years; the family was on the move as Lloyd’s father searched for work.  When the war came, Lloyd joined the air force, and he began his training for the RCAF, following the BCATP training scheme from Brandon

Marshall, Margueritte

Margueritte Marshall was born April 20, 1926 in Hamilton, Ontario, the oldest of thirteen children.  The family moved to Niagara Falls, where her father ran a farm and worked at the Carborundum Plant.  Margueritte remembers wanting to be a teacher, but with a family that size and the reality of the Great Depression, she quit

Crawford, Stuart

Stuart Crawford was born on March 2, 1922, in Kingston, Ontario.  He had three brothers, and the boys all grew up playing sports and musical instruments, and they shared the same Kingston Whig Standard paper route, passed from one brother to the next.  Stuart’s family was very close, and with his parents’ sacrifices they made

Sutton, Gerald

Gerald Sutton was born in Uckfield, Sussex, England on July 23, 1925, and he attended grammar school on a scholarship in the historic county town of Lewes.  While there he watched the Battle of Britain fought overhead in 1940.  With that in mind – and despite the danger of U-boat attacks, his mother brought him

Kennedy, Frank

Frank Kennedy is a WW2 Veteran; he was born in Manitoba in 1923.  He is the 7th son in a family of 9, and he recalls some difficult early years as the family experienced the Great Depression in the Canadian Prairies.  The Dust Bowl swirled around them, and Frank’s father’s business faltered.  When the war came,  Frank and two brothers joined up.  Frank joined the

Switzer, Bill

Bill Switzer was born in 1923 in Midland, Ontario.  He grew up in a “nice town to have a family” where he played, had fun and worked after he was done school.  He came from a large family with 5 brothers and 5 sisters.  His father was a mailman throughout most of his life,and most importantly during the depression.  When the war came, Bill chose

Farquarson, Bob

Bob Farquarson hails from the Canadian Prairies; he was born on March 1, 1923, on a reservation in Alberta, where his father was the government stockman.  Bob’s early years were spent on the Prairies, right in the middle of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.  He recalls the conditions drove his father to bankruptcy

McCowan, Jack

Jack McCowan was born in 1919 in the then agricultural hamlet of Scarborough, Ontario.  His family owned a farm in the area, and Jack grew up in a large family and accustomed to the hard work of life on the farm.  When the war came, Jack enlisted in the RCAF, though he had started a

Hodgins, Richard

Richard Hodgins was born in Toronto in 1919.  He grew up in the city’s east end, in the Danforth and Jones neighbourhood.  He has been a hockey fan his whole life, and many of his prewar memories centred on the Toronto St. Pats and the Mutual Street Arena, and then the Leafs at the Gardens,

Hynds, Jim

Jim Hynds was born in Toronto in 1922.  He grew up in the city’s west end, in the Bloor-Bathurst neighbourhood that he calls “Hogtown”.  Jim attended Harbord Collegiate and he recalls that life during the Great Depression – at least for his family – was not that rough as his father was able to keep

Lamantia, Larry

Larry Lamantia was born in Toronto, growing up in the city’s east end in the Pape-Danforth neighbourhood. His father ran a grocery market, and Larry grew up in the care of his grandmother, as his mother died when Larry was only five. The family experienced some of the anti-Italian backlash that spread through Toronto at

Smith, Gordon B.

Gordon B. Smith was born in the east end of Toronto, not far from the Don Jail. He lost one brother when he was growing up in that neighbourhood, to a household accident. Gord attended Eastern Commerce, but he didn’t graduate, instead entering the work force. When the war came, Gord’s remaining older brother enlisted

Bow, John

John Bow served in the Royal Canadian Service Corps during the Second World War.   Born in Windsor in 1926, he turned 18 in 1944, as the war was getting into its final year, and it turned out that he was unable to go overseas.  John had two older siblings, an older brother who joined

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

McLean, George

George McLean is a proud member of the 48th Highlanders.  Born in prewar Toronto, George grew up in the 20s and 30s, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  When war came, George hoped to enlist alongside his comrades in the 48th, but his efforts did not come to fruition as George’s eyesight was not

Castellan, Peter

Peter Castellan was born in Toronto in 1918, making him one of the centenarians that we have interviewed for the Crestwood Oral History Project.  Peter grew up in the east end of Toronto, in the Gerrard/Broadview neighbourhood, where he remembers days spent at the YMCA and the local firehall, as well as the many local

McPhee, Jim

Jim McPhee served in the RCAF during the Second World War. Jim grew up in northern Ontario, not too far from the Sault; Jim came from a large family, and lived not too far from Bruce Mines . Jim remembers going to a one-room schoolhouse in his early years, as well as work on the

Pike, Herb

Herb Pike is a Canadian veteran of the Second World War, and a proud member of the 48th Highlanders.  Herb grew up in prewar Toronto, where he remembers living a relatively good life, even against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  When in Toronto, Herb attended Bowmore Road Public School, and then Central Tech; he

Middleton, Bob

Originally from Toronto’s east end, Bob Middleton is a proud Canadian who served in the RCAF during the Second World War. Bob grew up in the Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto, and when he visited mr. Masters’ Grade 12 history class, he shared remarkable memories of what it was like to grow up in prewar Toronto.

Warner, Joe

Joe Warner is a Canadian who joined the fighting in Israel in 1948 because he felt “it won’t be worth being a Jew elsewhere if Israel did not survive.” Joe had graduated high school in Toronto in the midst of WW2, and he had enlisted in the RCAF, and began training in different parts of

Allen, Ken

Ken Allen is a Toronto resident in his 101st year, interviewed in April 2017 by Masters at the McCowan Retirement Residence.  Ken had many stories to share about his long life in and around Toronto.  Ken was born in the then village of Todmorden, in today’s Broadview-Danforth neighbourhood.  He remembers a very different Toronto, one

Collins, Bernie

Bernie Collins was an RCAF navigator during World War 2. He started out his life in Toronto, Ontario, the only son in a large extended family. He helped his grandfather in his auto-shop, working with tin and learning to use his hands. When he got the chance, Bernie joined the RCAF, knowing that he was

Milsom, John

John Milsom was born in Toronto in 1921.  Growing up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, his hobbies included a crystal radio set and visits to Dufferin Airfield, where he developed a love for flying.  Both habits would prove invaluable in the war to come.  In the 30s, he was fortunate to attend Upper

Dinney, Stan

Stan Dinney was born in New Brunswick in 1922, near Moncton.  His father moved the family to Windsor, Ontario for a few years when Stan was young, but he took the family back to Moncton with the coming of the Great Depression, when he secured employment at a family lumber mill.  Stan enjoyed his early