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Betty Metcalfe: “I lost my brother to a Nazi executioner”

The last words Betty Metcalfe’s brother Jack ever spoke to her still haunt her almost 80 years later. It was 1940 and the Metcalfe family of Glace Bay, N.S.—mother, father, their two girls and two boys—had just spent their last Christmas together. Betty and her younger sister Yvonne would join the Women’s Army Corps....
  • The golden days of peacekeeping have not returned

    March 7, 2019 by David J. Bercuson
    The Canadian contribution to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) officially began on Aug. 1, 2018. The mission consists of three Chinook helicopters equipped for medical evacuation as well as transport missions, five Griffon helicopters to fly escort for the bigger...
  • I’ve got your back

    March 6, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    There is an adage that is embraced by all the military, but especially the infantry: I’ve got your back. It’s fundamental to any successful endeavour against an enemy in battle. But who’s got your back when the battlefield is life and the enemy is yourself?...
  • The medic’s trauma book

    February 27, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    “They cannot knock on your house door, take you by the hand and bring you to the clinic. If you don’t ask for help, nobody will come.” Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne As a member of 5 Field Ambulance in Afghanistan, medic Macha...
  • Always the first one to know

    February 20, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    “Sometimes it’s going to be a smell. Sometimes it’s going to be a sound,” says Hélène LeScelleur. “And then it reminds me of the horror that we’ve been through.” Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne “Seeing people decapitated, it’s not that usual for anyone,”...
  • For all the talk of the talking in director Peter Jackson’s First World War documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, it’s a scene in which those featured in the film don’t say anything that resonates perhaps more than any other. It comes at the storyline’s...
  • Ernie Verhulst (Part 2): Growing up fast in occupied Holland

    January 30, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    This is the second of two stories on Ernie Verhulst’s childhood in occupied Holland. To read part one, published on Jan. 23 click here. A wide-eyed boy when the occupation of the Netherlands started, Ernie Verhulst had witnessed widespread atrocities, death and destruction. The sound of...
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