CPC Commemorates the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Next Thursday is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and with the gracious support of Douglas Easton, we have an exhibit set up featuring uniforms and artifacts from some of the regiments (Canadian and American) who participated in the Normandy invasion of June 6th, 1944. Please take a moment during exams to view some of the

Freeman, Bradford

Bradford Freeman was born in Mississippi on September 4, 1924.  He grew up on a farm, where the family was insulated from the worst effects of the Great Depression.  Brad remembers being at a neighbor’s house when the news about Pearl Harbor broke; he ran home to find his mother crying.  Still in high school,

Larsen, Jake

“Papa” Jake Larsen was born December 20, 1922 in Hope, Minnesota.  He joined the National Guard when he was 15; times were tough, and he needed the money.  By the time Jake graduated high school, the war was underway in Europe and Asia, and the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour brought the United

Greenbaum, Don

Don Greenbaum was born March 10, 1925, in the suburbs outside Philadelphia.  He grew up in an observant Jewish family, dealing with the realities of the Great Depression and attending military school.  When the war came, Don was quickly inducted and sent into basic training.  He was assigned to an artillery unit – the 283rd

Harper, Roly

Roly Harper was born in Toronto on October 16, 1924.  He was the youngest of three children, born to parents who had emigrated from Ireland.  Roly grew up in the city’s east end, in the Danforth and Donlands neighbourhood, and he graduated Riverdale Collegiate in January 1941.  Roly grew up against the backdrop of the

CPC Oral History Project – Nursing Week

Nursing Week is the annual celebration of this critical profession.  It is held every May to coincide with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.  This year more than ever we have to be aware of the critical role these health care providers play in Canadian society, as has been true through

Picot, Ryerson

Ryerson Picot was born June 27, 1925 in Terra Cotta, Ontario.  He grew up in northern Ontario against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and the family followed the father as he moved from  job-to-job on the Canadian National Railroad.  Ryerson longed to join the army when the war came along, and he managed to

Pfeifer, Howard

Howard Pfeifer was born September 22, 1923 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, so as a teenger he worked many jobs, delivering newspapers, pumping gas, and so on.  When the war came, a cousin of Howard’s told him about the merchant marine; Howard liked what he heard,

Anderson, Clarence “Bud”

Bud Anderson hails from northern California, where he was born January 13, 1922 and grew up on a farm in the little town of Auburn, relatively insulated from the effects of the Great Depression.  Always interested in flying, Bud attended junior college and took on a job at the Sacramento Air Depot, and he was

Lett, Ken

Kenneth Lett was born July 13, 1923 in Carp, Ontario, a small farming village to the west of Ottawa.  He worked the land and would go to the Byward Market with his mother when he wasn’t playing hockey or attending school.  When the war came, Ken and his brother opted for the RCAF.  Ken went

Polowin, Alex

Alex Polowin’s official birthday is April 15, 1924 – but it was really May 15, 1925.  That’s because like many young Canadian men he was anxious to go to war, and since he was born in Europe the official records had been lost.  So with the help of a lawyer, Alex filed his new birthdate,

McLoughlin, Barbara

Barbara McLoughlin was born July 1, 1920, in Devon, England, and she grew up in and around Teignmouth.  Her father immigrated to England from Italy at the turn of the century; he grew up to be a loyal Englishman, serving in the Great War.  He married an Englishwoman from Devon – Barbara’s mother – and

Beharriel, Gertrude

Gertrude (Bibby) Beharriel was born on April 20, 1920 in the small town of Campbellford, Ontario. She was one of 7 children and was the middle child, with 3 older siblings and 3 younger siblings. During the Great Depression she and her family were hit just like everyone else but, because they had a farm,

Cash, Norm

Norman Cash was born January 1, 1920 in Russia, in the city of Odessa.  When he was one year old his family made the decision to emigrate as the anti-Semitic violence associated with the pogroms was intensifying in the wake of the Great War, where Norm’s father had been a veteran.  The family settled in

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

Bacon, Al

Al Bacon was born Dec 27, 1919 in Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s east end, attending Danforth Tech before the Great Depression forced him to quit school and go to work.  Al found a job at the Simpson’s Department Store, where he was an elevator operator.  When the war came, he and a

McIlroy, Frances

Frances McIlroy was born on June 16th, 1917, in Madoc Ontario.  She is the eldest of one brother and one sister.  She went to school in Madoc; later on she went to Kingston General Hospital to train as a nurse.  From there she became an army nurse.  Frances went overseas in June 1944, right as

Kerr, Helen

Born in Saskatchewan on August 2, 1919, Helen Louise Kerr was a former nurse who served in WWII. She is currently 99, and lives in Toronto. As a child, she lived on a farm with her family members, including six siblings, four of whom would serve in the war. Her mother was a teacher and

Peon, Bill

Bill Peon served in the Canadian army during the Second World War.  He was born in Toronto, where he grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  With the coming of the war, he enlisted, and with basic training he was assigned to the Service Corps, designated as a truck driver.  He spent additional

Jones, Robert “Bud”

Robert “Bud” Jones was born in the St-Henri District of Montreal, and educated in the school districts of St. Henri, Montreal and Verdun , Quebec. Bud Jones is a decorated career soldier of 30 yrs, and a veteran of WWII who also served in Korea. He grew up in Depression-era Montreal, where Bud remembers his

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

Gogo, Norman

Norm Gogo grew up in Toronto and Michigan, as the family moved when his father was transferred and began work in the Motor City. But the good economic times did not last, and as the Depression worsened the family returned to Canada along Hwy. 5. Back in Toronto Norm went to school in the city’s

Smith, Gordon E.

Gordon E. Smith was born in Humber Bay, Toronto, on March 19, 1925.  He grew up in Depression-era Toronto, and left school, working on the family farm and a machine shop.  In 1944, Gord joined up, knowing that he was soon to be called by the military.  Initially he joined the Artillery, and completed his

Preston, Harry

Harry Preston served in the Canadian army during World War Two.  He grew up in western Canada, in and around Winnipeg, where Harry and his family experienced the realities of the Depression.  Harry kept himself busy though, and with friends, he got involved in the militia and the Sea Cadets, where he was able to

Field, Richard

Richard Field served in Canada’s 2nd Division during World War Two. He grew up in Toronto during the Depression years, where he was able to finish school and join the prewar militia and sea cadets, two organizations that would teach him many valuable lessons in the upcoming war years. When Richard moved into the regular

Gardner, Earl

Earl Gardner is a proud member of the Canadian Forces in the postwar era.  He joined its ranks in the days of the Cold War, and he recalls the tensions of the Cuban Missile Crisis in particular, as well as the rebuilding that followed Hurricane Hazel in Toronto.  Earl’s career covered many aspects of the

Sanders, Harry

Harry Sanders sailed the oceans of the world during the Second World War.  Born in the small seaside community of South Shields, in Great Britain, he answered a Marconi company ad on the topic of wireless operators, and soon his training was underway, as he left school and South Shields behind him.  Soon named a

Bunston, Larry

Larry Bunston was born in Saskatoon, but early in his life his father made the decision to take the family to Ontario, hopefully to make a better life for his family.  Larry grew up in different parts of Ontario, notably Oshawa and Brantford, where he and his four brothers played sports and kept on their

Short, Norm

Norm Short served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War.  Born in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland, the young Norm moved to Quebec along with his family when they settled in Shawinigan Falls.  When the war came, Norm joined up in Montreal, as part of the Essex Scottish Regiment.  he completed his basic training and waited