Letters to Mom

During the Second World War, 21-year-old Allan Coburn was one of a million young men and women whose sense of duty and hankering for adventure drew them to serve in the Canadian Army. He was “the second son of a farmer, with no passion for farming,” said his son Douglas Coburn of Winnipeg. “So,...
  • Cross Border Doctor

    July 4, 2019 by Murray Brewster
    It can be extraordinary who and what you will find when digging into family history. In an article for Legion Magazine last year, CBC journalist Murray Brewster wrote about the Battle of Ridgeway and the eyewitness account of his great-great-grandfather, a doctor and United States...
  • Pépère’s war story

    February 2, 2019 by Michelle T. Lambert
    Hormidas Odilon (Henry) Goulet enlisted with the 22nd Battalion in Montreal in 1914. When he gave his name, the officer apparently told him, “We’ll call you Henry.” He fought in France and Belgium until he was wounded in 1916. He was discharged in 1917. His...
  • Battlefield doctor

    May 11, 2018 by Murray Brewster
    My great-great-grandfather was a surgeon who treated soldiers at the Battle of Ridgeway in 1866 It is a largely forgotten battle, even though it was one of the few ever fought on Canadian soil. By the standards of the time, it wasn’t an enormous fight...
  • Canada’s man in Havana

    October 16, 2017 by John W Graham
    The story of a young Canadian diplomat spying on the Soviets in Cuba on behalf of the CIA with the blessing of our prime minister is improbable, but no more so than its context. This was the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when the world...
  • Buried alive at the Somme

    October 13, 2017 by Claudia Berry
    When I was a young child of four or five, my grandfather would say to me in his cockney accent, “Swee’ar’, fetch me legs for me,” and I would dutifully bring him what he called “his legs”—steel rods screwed into the heels of his shoes...
  • My dad, the air force doctor

    August 14, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The nooks and crannies of my parents’ red-brick house in Halifax held many secrets and, as a child, my insatiable curiosity took me into closets, drawers, attic and basement, most often in search of my father’s past. Edward Lefferts (Ted) Thorne III was born on Friday, June...
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