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WWII

These collections contains all materials relating to Canadian from 1939 to 1945. Some individual collections may contain materials beyond this time frame. External links in collection descriptions are to casualty and burial information at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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Lt. Harvey Simion Burnard was from Theodore, Saskatchewan. Burnard enlisted in January, 1942 and served overseas with the South Saskatchewan Regiment, R.C.I.C until he was killed at age twenty-five on July 25, 1944 in France. The collection consists of more than fifty letters written by Burnard.

Karl Vincent Butler was born May 6, 1912, son of Horace and Violetta Butler of Sydney, Nova Scotia. Butler served as a Lance Corporal with the West Nova Scotia Regiment, R.C.I.C. and was part of the invasion of Italy in 1943. He was killed August 2, 1943 in Italy, age 31. The collection consists of more than seventy letters, some photographs, postcards, and other miscellaneous items.

Clifford Henry Callcott was born in August, 1916 and served overseas with the RCAF as a mechanic from 1943 to 1945. The collection consists of nine letters, photographs, cards, and miscellaneous items. Callcott died in 1969.

William Austin Cauthers was born in March, 1925, the son of William and Margaret Cauthers of Mansfield, Ontario. Cauthers served as a Pilot Officer with the 407 Sqdn. of the R.C.A.F. He and his crew went missing when their Wellington MK IV failed to return on a mission over the English Channel on June 22, 1944. The collection currently consists of fifteen letters and three photographs.

Frances Charman was born in Joggins, Nova Scotia. After graduating from Aberdeen hospital in 1926, she nursed briefly in Truro, Nova Scotia before joining the staff of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She enlisted with the United States Nursing Corps in 1942. After service overseas during WWII with the rank of Captain she returned to work at the Massachusetts General. The collection consists of more than forty letters written between 1942 to 1945.

Norvin Smith Crawford served with the 8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars, R.C.A.C., 5th Canadian Armoured Division as a tank driver. Crawford was killed in Italy on September 1, 1944 at the age of 28. The collection currently consists of one photograph of Crawford and one letter from his commanding officer to Crawford's fiance Grace Fulton describing the circumstances of his death.

George Elliot Creswell was born in Saskatchewan in 1924. He enlisted in the RCAF on June 8, 1942, the day after his 18th birthday. Creswell went overseas in the fall of 1943 and served as a Flight Officer with the 432 Sqdn. He was shot down and killed on his 15th mission on February 21, 1945. The collection consists of 95 letters, photographs, and other printed items.

John Vernon Davey was born in April, 1918. Davey enlisted with the R.C.A.F. in July, 1940 and was sent overseas in 1941. While flying with the 112th R.A.F. Squadron he was reported missing over North Africa in May, 1942. The collection currently consists of more than forty letters, as well as telegrams, and one photograph.

Henry Lawrence Davis was born near Ivy, Ontario, in 1913 and joined the RCAF in December 1940. He received his wings in September 1941 and was stationed to England in October 1941. Davis was killed with all his crew in a crash in Wales, May 28, 1942.

Gordon Joshua Dennison (referred to as Billy or Billy) was born in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan in July, 1922. He enlisted with the RCAF in January, 1941 and served first as an Air Engine Mechanic. Dennison later switched to Gunnery School. He went overseas in January, 1944 and served as a tail gunner with the 199th Sqaudron. Dennison was shot down September 16, 1944.  The collection currently consists of more than one hundred letters.

Mm. Marie-Louise Depreaux was an American born woman who lived in Paris with her French husband, Albert Depreaux, during the German Occupation. The collection consists of an ongoing letter written to her two sisters to relate to them the details of her life during that time, written between August, 1940 and September, 1944. The spelling in the original has been retained as closely as possible in the transcription.

Gerald Dow enlisted on January 11, 1943 and served overseas with the Essex Scottish Regiment. Dow was taken prisoner at Caen, France on July 20, 1944 and remained a prisoner until his liberation by American troops in April 1945. The collection currently consists of eight letters, three telegrams and three postcards.

Reginald Carl Francis Duffy was born in 1920 and enlisted with the RCAF in January, 1941. During the war he flew as a pilot on Wellington bombers and served overseas in Britain, Africa, and Malta. Following the war Duffy returned to Canada and worked as a school teacher and principal in New Brunswick. Duffy died in 1986. The collection consists of his diary which he kept from January to August, 1943.

Lancelot de Sausmarez Duke was born in Ceylon in October, 1896. He was educated in England and Canada and moved to Victoria, British Columbia, where his father was a doctor. Duke initially enlisted with the 88th Battalion, Victoria Fusiliers, in May 1915. Duke then transferred to the Royal Flying Corps with whom he served until the end of the war. He flew with the 84th Squadron and was awarded the D.F.C. The collection currently consists of letters from Duke, photographs, and his diary from 1918.

Louis Dureault was from Wolseley, Saskatchewan. Dureault enlisted in 1943 and served overseas with the South Saskatchewan Regiment, including the D-Day invasion. He was wounded in August, 1944 and remained in various hospitals until he returned home in October, 1945. He died in 2005 at the age of eighty. The collection currently consists of more than seventy letters from 1944 and 1945.

Sydney Thomas Fisher was from Victoria, British Columbia.  Fisher joined the RCAF, was attached to 35 Squadron RAF, and was shot down on September 15, 1941, and remained a prisoner of war until the end of the war.  The collection currently consists of his correspondence both before and during his time as a POW, as well as clippings and other miscellaneous items.

John Ernest Fitzgerald was born on January 27, 1925, the son of John and Effie Fitzgerald of New Westminster, British Columbia. Fitzgerald served as a Flight Sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was killed August 27, 1944 when his Lancaster was shot down. Fitzgerald and all the crew members are buried in Denmark. The collection consists of more than forty letters, twelve photographs, telegrams, and other personal items. See also the excellent Danish site for more information about the crash and crew.

Joseph "Jo" Forman served overseas with the RCAF as a navigator. Forman and his crew were shot down over France on July 25, 1944 during a mission. Forman survived and returned to Canada at the end of the war. The collection currently consists of an extended memoir of his time with the RCAF.

Donald McPherson Fraser was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, on October 3, 1912. His family had emigrated to Canada. He joined the Canadian army in 1939, with the Rocky Mountain Rangers. He spent the first part of the war in the Canadian army, until the British loss at Dunkirk . Donald then became one of the CanLoan officers lent to the British Army by Canada in an effort to refill the British officer ranks. Donald served with the Duke of Wellington regiment and subsequently with the Welsh Borderers; both units part of the 49th Polar Bear Division. He took part in the D-Day invasion and was wounded in the early days of that action, but returned to active service by July 1944, when he won the Military Cross. During his service with the British Army Donald received two battlefield promotions, being discharged with the rank of Major. He married and had four children after the war, spending the rest of his life in British Columbia. He settled in Nanaimo, where he lived until his passing in 1997. This collection consists of one photograph and a number of personal items.

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Latest Readings from World War Two collections

Rick Mercer

Reads a 10/25/1943 Letter by Styles, Jack Morris from World War Two collections. View full Letter

The Right Honourable David Johnston

Reads a 05/28/1944 Letter by Senton, Claude from World War Two collections. View full Letter

Chris Hadfield

Reads a Memoir by Selfe, C.A. (Tony) from World War Two collections. View full Memoir