Firstborn son KIA @ the Battle of the Somme

As the National Archives continue to digitize their WWI Military Personnel Files, I have been able to learn quite a bit about the sacrifice of my ancestors. We always knew about the contribution… Continue reading

More WW2 keepsakes!

These past two months have been pretty emotional for the family; the time finally came for my grandma Betty to sell the family home.  It was built in the early 1960s by my… Continue reading

My Great Uncle William – Part 2: Zombie was he…

In reviewing my Great Uncle Bill’s Second World War military personnel file, I’m struck by the number of leaves he took and how many times he was transferred and posted to different places.  … Continue reading

My Uncle the “zombie”, Part 1.5

Nearly two years ago, I wrote a piece on my Great Uncle William – I was trying to understand the Canadian WW2 term “zombie” and to understand if he met the definition and… Continue reading

A blacksmith’s son from Millbank, Ontario – also known as Grandpa Norm

The past few years, I have tried to complete my own Week of Remembrance by sharing something from my family’s rich military history. Despite receiving three WW2 personnel files for family members, this… Continue reading

Grandpa’s Letter Home in 1945, Part II

After thinking it over for a few days, I have decided to share most of the contents of my grandfather’s letter home, dated January 3, 1945.  As mentioned in the earlier post on… Continue reading

How much does 711 days of service earn an Able Seaman during WW2?

While reviewing my Gpa Mike’s and my great uncle Jimmy’s WW2 personnel records, the document I find most shocking is the “Department of National Defence Statement of War Service Gratuity” form.  Jimmy gave… Continue reading

My Grandpa’s Letter Home: 3 January 1945

One of the greatest surprises of the year was to learn from my Great Uncle Jimmy that a letter my Gpa Mike had sent to their aunt, had come into his possession.  He… Continue reading

My Remembrance Day Connections to UofT

I’m pretty sure the title of this post strikes most of you as odd, even for those of you that know I have a pretty long standing connection to UofT.  UofT is where… Continue reading

Before their innocence was taken….

Recently my mom and her cousin Eleanor got together to catch up.  Of great surprise, Eleanor brought with her a bunch of old photos, and amongst these were some of my Gpa Mike… Continue reading

Herbie by Bing Coughlin – To a kid, the funniest cartoons!

When I was a kid, there was an old, hardcover book with a blue cover that was my favourite book.  It was called HERBIE! and I thought it was a cartoon book.  Little… Continue reading

The sacrifices of service extends to families

While researching our family history, one ancestor really stood out for me: Laura Harman. She is my first cousin, three times removed. She serves as the most tragic reminder that life at the… Continue reading

WWI draftee, Almer L. Fockler

We still have a few more years of centenary anniversaries related to the First World War and it reminded me that in late 2004, during my genealogy research, I came across family members… Continue reading

On this morning, 11 years ago…

Last year (March 12, 2015) I uploaded an entry on “this night ten years ago night“, sharing some of the thoughts that were going through my head, the last night that my Gpa… Continue reading

Norman L. Baier: WAG, RCAF

I’m embarrassed to say that I have just tonight, for the first time, gone through my grandpa Norman’s WWII Royal Canadian Air Force personnel file. The files have been in my possession for… Continue reading