John Hall was born in the Canadian West in the early 1920s. He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, though he said he was lucky to have been sheltered from the toughest times. With his brother he made his way to western Ontario, riding the rails and working the ports of Lake Superior. While his brother stayed and worked the mines, John finished school and joined the armed forces in Toronto, eventually landing in the First Hussars. After training he boarded the Queen Elizabeth troopship and headed to Britain, where he spent time in Aldershot, completing his tank crew training. John became a radio operator and main gun loader and a member of a Sherman tank crew. John went ashore in France a few weeks after D-Day and the liberation of Caen, and he saw his early action in Falaise and the ensuing Battle of Normandy. From there he moved through Belgium and the Netherlands, where he has fond memories of the civilians greeting the troops. When the war concluded, John returned to Canada and built a life for himself.
We met John at the Sunnybrook Veterans Wing in July 2017, when he was interviewed by Crestwood students Arielle Meyer and Samara Black.
Oral History Project August 9th, 2017
Oral History Project April 20th, 2015
Frank Boyd was born in Toronto in 1922. He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, though he said he was lucky to have been sheltered from the toughest times. After graduating high school, 19-year-old Frank Boyd joined the armed forces in Toronto, choosing the air force. After training he boarded the troopship Louis Pasteur and headed to Britain, where he spent time in Bournemouth and Binnington, completing his flight training. Frank became an air gunner and a member of a Lancaster crew. One mission saw them shot down, and Frank spent time as a POW, where he said he was treated reasonably well. When the war concluded, he returned to Canada and built a life for himself.
We met Frank at the Sunnybrook Veterans Wing in February 2014, when he was interviewed by Crestwood students Anthony Audette, Spencer Cohen and Braden Harris.
Oral History Project April 17th, 2014