Samuels, Joe

Joe Samuels was born December 31, 1930 in Baghdad, Iraq:  he was actually uncertain of his birthday but knew that he was born during Hanukkah and upon his emigration to Israel he chose the December 31 date – to coincide with an international celebration!  Joe grew up in a Baghdad that he remembers as multicultural

Snow, William

Bill Snow was born September 13, 1922 in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland.  He grew up in that small community alongside his five sisters.  Bill recalls that his father was a fisherman – but that he did many other jobs in the off season.  Bill went to school but left in Grade 8:  work was available and

Foley, Joice

Joice Foley was born April 1, 1924, in Wick, in Hampshire, England.  It was a rural area where she has fond memories of the animals in the fields – and of the long walks to school and everywhere else.  Joice’s parents were in service, an occupation they expected her to join too.  Joice consequently left

Patteson, Pat

Pat Patteson and his twin brother Morris were born November 24, 1921 in Smiley, Texas, a rural farming town. The boys mostly worked on the farm, milking cows and doing other chores; Pat also pumped gas at the local station.  For fun the brothers participated in intramurals playing sports, including football, basketball and tennis.  At

Reid, Joe

Frederick Joseph Reid – Joe – was born April 19, 1920, in Sillsville, Ontario.  He spent his early years there on the family farm, alongside his seven siblings.  The family later moved to Trenton, and that is where Joe spent his formative years.  He went to high school there, but he left early to take

Johns, Everett

Everett Johns was born September 30, 1925 in Ingersoll, Ontario.  He grew up there during the difficult years of the Great Depression, going to school and the movies – and occasionally getting in trouble.  Everett’s young family life was unfortunately not happy, so when the war came – and when he was old enough –

Kingsland, Howard

Howard Kingsland was born October 4, 1921 in Montreal, Quebec, the son of a Great War veteran.  He grew up in the city’s north end, and he recalls that while the Great Depression was difficult, the family was able to make ends meet.  Howards completed high school and went to work for the CNR, and

Waddingham, Harry

Harry Waddingham was born on October 16, 1916 in London, England.  Harry’s father was a Great War veteran who had been living in Montreal when the war broke out, so he and Harry’s uncle enlisted in the Canadian Artillery in that conflict.  When he went overseas he was deployed briefly in Northern Ireland, and that

Lakness, Ossie

Ossie Lakness was born in Govan, Saskatchewan on May 5, 1923.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression in that small farming community, the youngest in a large family.  Ossie remembers well those difficult early years, when dust storms and grasshopper plagues impacted the people of the Prairies.  When the war came

Balabanow, Bill

Bill Balabanow was born February 17, 1926 in the little town of Blue Ridge Summit in southern Pennsylvania, though the family moved to Lancaster in 1931, and that is where he spent most of his childhood.  Bill’s parents divorced when he was an infant, so his parental and family memories come mainly from his mother’s

Fischer, Bob

Bob Fischer was born July 14, 1926 in West Allis, Wisconsin.  He grew up in that industrial town in a family with five siblings including a twin brother, and he attended Catholic school – all while the Great Depression was unfolding.  Bob does remember good times from that decade, but he also remembers working –

Doherty, Pat

Pat Doherty (nee Brannigan) was born June 25, 1927 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  She recalls living a charmed early life; hers was a theater family, so she was able to live a backstage life, and the family was able to travel and see a bit of America until wartime restrictions crept in.  During that time her

Dyson, Jack

Jack Dyson was born March 23, 1926 in Lancashire, England, and he came to Canada with his family when he was 3 years old.  Nick’s father had been a coal  miner near Liverpool, and he vowed that his young son would never find himself in “the pits”, so he went to Canada and made a

Cole, Ila

Ila Cole was born March 5, 1925 in Nora Springs, Iowa.  She grew up in town there in a large family with eight siblings; Ila worked a number of jobs and she graduated from high school with algebra and shorthand as her favorite subjects.  She went on to business college, and worked for a time

McIntyre, Katherine

Katherine McIntyre was born May 20, 1923 in Toronto.  She grew up in the Forest Hill neighbourhood, where she was lucky to grow up in an affluent family.  Her father was a well-known lawyer, and the family was able to avoid the worst aspects of the Great Depression.  Katherine attended Bishop Strachan School, and after

Amelio, Ray

Ray Amelio was born August 5, 1945 in Pittsburgh.  He enjoyed what he remembers as the idyllic life of 1950s America, though he was aware of the Cold War and the ever present danger.  Still, playing in the street and early television counterbalanced those concerns.  Ray was attending Duquesne University, where he was struggling to

Instance, Tom

Tom Instance was born July 28, 1924, in Toronto’s east end.  His father was a driver for the TTC, but with four siblings to feed amidst the effects of the Great Depression, Tom left school when he was 14.  He delivered papers and groceries and found work where he could, including at a shipyard where

Cottrell, Edwin

Edwin Cottrell was born January 17, 1922 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  His parents moved to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania the next year though, and that is where he grew up.  Edwin remembers a good childhood – and one where he played all kinds of sports.  His father – a Great War veteran –  worked at the

Fejfar, Cliff

Cliff Fejfar was born May 1, 1949  in Yankton, South Dakota; when he was 3 the family moved to Sioux City, Iowa, and that’s where Cliff grew up.  It was the 1950s, and life was good:  Cliff and his friends played baseball, went to school, and watched TV – all the things that punctuated American

Jones, Dorothy

Dorothy Jones was born November 29, 1920 in Lancaster, South Carolina.  She grew up there with her five siblings, against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the early years of the war.  Her father was a barber, and as Dorothy recalls that meant that he held onto his job during the lean years, but

Duffy, Joe

Joe Duffy was born January 1, 1922 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  He grew up there in a large working class family, against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the emerging war.  Joe joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1941:  it was the “thing to do”, as he and many other veterans have noted. 

Hogg, Doug

Doug Hogg was born March 29, 1925 in London, Ontario.  He grew up in that city, mostly against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He remembers that his father worked several jobs to support the family, and that his grandmother was able to contribute as she had a pension, having lost two sons in the

Norman, Bud

Bud Norman was born October 29, 1923 in London, Ontario.  He grew up there in his grandparents’ care, attending school and doing all the other things teenagers of the day were doing – school, sports, work, and so on.  Bud was able to complete high school at an early age, and he went to work

Mitchell, Don

Don Mitchell was born December 19, 1924 in the Tower Hamlet of Poplar, in London, England.  He was an only child, as his parents had lost an older child in the aftermath of the Great War, when conditions were still poor.  Don’s father was a veteran in that conflict, having served with the artillery, though

Lieberman, Burton

Burton Lieberman was born February 8, 1926 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Burton’s parents made their way to Pittsburgh from elsewhere:  his mother was born into a large Jewish family in New York City, while his father escaped the pogroms in Russia at the turn-of-the-century, arriving in Baltimore at the age of 14.  They met and married

Tomter, Reynolds

Reynolds Tomter was born April 26, 1917 in western Wisconsin, not far from Pigeon Falls, where he lives now.  He grew up on a farm in a rural valley, where neighbors worked together to combat isolation, and then the realities of the Great Depression.  Reynolds remembers the tough economic times, but he also remembers the

Cassidy, Clyde

Clyde Cassidy was born January 31, 1925 in Barton, Vermont, not too far from where he lives today.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Depression, but as his father had steady work with the railroad conditions were not too bad for the family.  Clyde was in high school when the attack on Pearl

Gunter, Bill

Bill Gunter was born February 27, 1925  in South Hull, Quebec.  He grew up there in the 1930s, alongside his older brother.  When the war came, both brothers joined up, but Bill’s older brother was killed in a horrible elevator accident at the naval headquarters in Ottawa.  Bill joined several army reserve units while he

Davies, Cliff

Cliff Davies was born September 3, 1927 in Portsmouth, England.  By a strange twist of fate his 12th birthday happened to be the day that WW2 was declared in Great Britain, and it was a birthday that came to be characterized by gas masks and evacuation.  Cliff’s father worked at the Portsmouth shipyards, as did

Pennell, Don

Don Pennell was born October 16, 1937 in Grimsby, Ontario.  He grew up there and in Oakville, first against the backdrop of the Second World War, and the “Fabulous 50s”.  Don was young during the war, but he recalls an uncle who served, and he remembers the rationing from the time.  His father became a