Wednesday, 10 November 2010
This is my father in the uniform of the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve. He joined in January, 1940 and was discharged in 1946, in pretty rough shape. After a stint doing convoy duty across the North Atlantic in a corvette and a brief reprieve as an ASDIC instructor, he joined a destroyer as Executive Officer and ended up in the Mediterranean. He never talked about his war to me or, I think, to my mother, but by the time my daughters were adults he could bear to tell them things. This was a great joy to him as was his love for and pride in his grandchildren.
This is my father-in-law who joined the army in, I think, 1941 and fought his way through Italy. After that he was in the Netherlands at the end of the war and the first weeks afterward. He had some very amusing stories about the Netherlands, but not about Italy. He was an artillery spotter in the Italian campaign.
Two wonderful men, gentle, thoughtful, intelligent. Both scarred by their years of fighting. Both able to carry on, look after their families, find happiness in the small pleasures of life.
Courage, and love of country, look like this.