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NESDAY | JUNE 4 | 2008

Wednesday.November 8.2017 Powell River Peak » prpeak.com

REMEMBRANCE DAY RECOGNIZING THE SACRIFICES OF OUR SOLDIERS


B2 Wednesday.November 8.2017 | Powell River Peak » prpeak.com

Veteran recalls darkness of World War II

Remember the people who have made Canada the country it is today and those who are fighting now to make the world a better place

We remember those who served with honour and courage Patrick and Joanne Gisle 84BCw03RD

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dust, threw our mail or food out to us and on the road he went. No sooner had he gone by there’d be one or two shells coming down. If it wasn’t for the walls of the house that were about three-feet thick of stone, we wouldn’t have made it through the day.” MacDonald served on the same flash spotting troop with the man who would have become his brother-in-law, but Jack Vassar

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On a Saturday night in late fall of 1940, along with many of his friends, Bob MacDonald enlisted with the Canadian Armed Forces. He joined the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, also known as the Eddies, at age 18. MacDonald was one of more than 1.1 million Canadian men and women who served in World War II. “There are so many stories to tell about war, but not many happy ones,” said MacDonald, who has lived in Powell River for 36 years. Now 96, MacDonald sometimes becomes emotional and breaks down when asked to talk about the war, but he said it is important to have the stories documented before his memory fades, as there are few veterans left. The Eddies were with the 1st Canadian Division that was part of the invasion of Sicily and the long, bloody Italian campaign from 1943 to 1944. MacDonald shipped out to England in 1941 and then spent another 14 days at sea while bound for Algiers. “I was sicker than hell all the way; you can imagine,” he said. “We could have baths, but it had to be in saltwater pumped from the

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DAVID BRINDLE community@prpeak.com

sea. I had a hammock and some fellows slept on the floor or on tables. I was dirty all those days from England to Africa. God, the smell.” After a month in Africa, MacDonald fought in the invasion of Sicily. Once at Sicily, MacDonald became a flash spotter, a member of a 10-man observation unit that calculated enemy positions. He also carried a Bren light machine gun. As observers, they spotted enemy mortar, machine guns or artillery flashes. “You’d get a good reading on it,” said MacDonald, “then our headquarters would phone artillery headquarters and within minutes they’d bring the fire down.” The soldiers always worked in the dark and were surrounded by disease. Hospitals were filled with sick people. “So many chaps came down with malaria and typhus,” he said. MacDonald said Sicily and Italy were dusty and dirty places. “We would miss the bath detail a number of times and you’d go on maybe a month before you had a wash or a bath,” he said. Dusty roads from tank and truck traffic could be deadly, inching along Italy’s narrow and treacherous single-track roads. “You wouldn’t travel during the day because the dust cloud would bring down fire,” said MacDonald. “We had a chap, a driver, who would bring our rations and mail. He came down the road to beat heck raising

died in the Battle of Ortona. “I was asleep at the time,” said MacDonald. “We were in a camouflaged slit trench and these other chaps were being brought in by the infantry through a minefield to our location to relieve us. It was darkness, you couldn’t do it in the daylight. It was a cool night in the fall and it was raining. We arrived back to headquarters and heard that Jack had died.” On some of the mail runs, care packages

Join us at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 164 for breakfast and lunch to honour the veterans and their families Open Sunday to Saturday 7 am-9 pm 7100 Alberni Street 604-485-4823

In honour of all men and women who have sacrificed and continue to do, so that we can enjoy the freedom that we have today 4766 Joyce Avenue 604.485.4231 royallepagepowellriver.com

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Bob MacDonald considers documentation important despite emotional toll

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Thank you for the freedom

Local 76 - Powell River

Sacrifice Freedom Hope With admiration and gratefulness to our heroes, The Salvation Army salutes and gives thanks for freedom gained at such a price. As an international movement, The Salvation Army is honoured to serve Soldier To Soldier. We remember and give thanks.

THE SALVATION ARMY

Powell River Corps 4500 Joyce Avenue

PAPAVER RHOEAS ~ FIELD POPPY ~

The field poppy has red blooms, with various medicinal uses

So that those who’ve never known war never have to! School’s Remembrance Day Ceremonies Friday, November 10 10:20 am Brooks Secondary School 10:45 am Kelly Creek Community School 11:00 am Westview, Henderson and Texada Elementary Schools 1:00 pm James Thomson Elementary School 1:30 pm Edgehill Elementary School

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was a full frontal assault, with shell fire so intense it was “like a raving madhouse” and when they reached a mined and booby-trapped gully, the Canadians were held in a “filthy limbo.” According to the book, 1,000 Canadian lives were lost while taking the gully, an enemy hold still remained in the town ahead afterward, the fight went door way to doorway and the front was measured in »B4

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“What we desire for ourselves, we wish for all”

476-Powell River SD #47

Thank you

For your service, For your courage, For your sacrifice, For our freedom.

ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION POWELL RIVER BRANCH 164 6811 Alexander Street 604.485.4870

The Powell River Regional District thanks all veterans and active members of our armed forces for their service to our country.

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came from Vassar’s mother, Gertrude, MacDonald’s future mother-in-law. When he returned home to Edson, Alberta, after the war, he said he knocked on Gertrude’s door. “I told her who I was and she said, ‘You get in here, I want to talk to you. I’ve heard about you,’” said MacDonald. “She had her daughter home and she said, ‘This is Bob MacDonald, Francis.’ Jack never told us he had a sister and she was a good looking gal; six months later we were married.” MacDonald and his wife travelled to Italy 17 times over the years to visit Vassar’s grave. Ortona resonates in Canadian military history with the same reverence as Ypres, Somme, Amiens, Dieppe, Passchendaele, Normandy and Vimy Ridge. “Ortona was called the Stalingrad of the Italian campaign; so many died there,” said MacDonald. “We were advancing into the open to overtake the Germans and all they were doing was sitting in positions, defensive positions, knocking our people out and then moving back to another line.” The battle continued for several days. In Rick Atkinson’s book The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 19431944, he wrote that the Italian campaign was at a stalemate and it was up to the 1st Canadian Division to break it. The author also wrote that the tactic used


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For those lost, but not forgotten

B3« MACDONALD

Our hopes are high, our faith in the people is great, our courage is strong, and our dreams for this beautiful country will never die

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Honouring our veterans who fought for our freedom

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Let us never forget those who fought for our freedom

alleyways. “Five rounds of artillery shells landed around us and we cowered in the corner; I remember it was darkness,” said MacDonald. “Every one of them missed but I can remember the boys were all awake. We all started just giggling and laughing; it was nerves. Some fellows became accustomed to it and said, ‘Aww, shut up you guys, for god’s sake it’s not even close.’ Some other fellows were quiet, it affected them so much.” MacDonald said he remembers a soldier who was ready to run one night. “A shell landed, a machine-gun burst came at us and took some chips out of a building,” said MacDonald. “He started to run and I grabbed hold of his pant leg, tripped him and got him behind me. He said, ‘Oh my god, Bob, we’re gonna die,’ and I said, ‘No we’re not.’” MacDonald said he pressed up against the man on a wall and told him he was protected.” “He was a real sweet guy,” said MacDonald. “His nerves were on edge at all times.” A fter Canadi ans took Ortona, Atkinson wrote that a sign posted at its city limits read, “This is Ortona, a West Canadian town.” Ortona was one of the deadliest Canadian battles of the war, and one of the proudest. MacDonald did not return to Western

Canada until after the uprising of Texel, one of the last battles of World War II. When he arrived home, only his mother and father met him at the

train station in Edmonton. All of the victory parties were over. MacDonald entered the war as a private and came out a private. For his service he earned the gratitude of a nation and $1,420. Going off to war was an adventure, said MacDonald. “We were going to be home in a year or back in six months,” he said. “I just thought, ‘my buddies are joining up. I’m not going to be left home alone.’” MacDonald said he would do it again if his country needed him because it is his duty.

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M AND A R C H IV MUSEU R IC A L H IST O

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Remembering those who protected us

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Remembering our veterans

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plane for one year beginning on November 1, 1943, said Lambert. Those jobs made a difference to future Powell River Company hiring practices, she added. “World War II changed everything; women were looked upon as employees who could do responsible jobs because of their track record,” said Lambert. “In the company here, they became highly valued employees and a number of their supervisors were really sorry to lose them when they had to make room for the men coming back.”

604.485.5611 4703 Marine Avenue trevor@aaronservice.com

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A time to reflect and remember the great sacrifices by so many

no place for them, according to Lambert. But the only way to keep the mill operating was through hiring and training women; they were crucial, she added. “They were very proud of the jobs they had and what they did,” said Lambert. “They were also really proud of their husbands or their boyfriends who were in the forces, and they wanted to contribute as much.” They did just that, rolling up their sleeves and working the machines. Some women, when not working at the mill, were transferred to Boeing of Canada’s Powell River assembly plant, which assembled parts for the PBY patrol and rescue

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When Canada entered into World War II in 1939, Powell River’s population was 8,000 and Powell River Company was in full production seven days a week. Over the course of the war, 1,000 men and 55 women from the area volunteered to go overseas, according to local author and historian Barbara Lambert, who wrote War Brides and Rosies, Powell River and Stillwater, BC. By 1942, the women who stayed home were left alone and waiting. “There was no social life for women,” said Lambert. “These were women in their late teens and early 20s, when they’re normally dating and getting married. They were extremely lonely.” Those women became extremely important in the war effort and indispensable to victory.

From 1942 to 1946, women were hired by the Powell River Company to work in the mill plant. Up until that time, women at the company had only been employed in secretarial positions. Mary Cavanagh was the first to be hired. More than 50 women worked on the floor, trained by experienced men, many of whom had fought in World War I and were too old to fight against the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan. The company had to keep the machines running. “The high-grade spruce on the coast here, most of it went through the mill and was used to make a British warplane: the Mosquito,” said Lambert. “The other thing was wood pulp had replaced cotton in the making of explosives.” The company was desperate, but reluctant to employee women, because the mill was

P OW E

DAVID BRINDLE community@prpeak.com

ES PHO TO

History defines women’s role during war

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FALLEN SOLDIERS OF WORLD WAR

Local heroes

ALEX DICKIE BLACK

1898 - September 24, 1917 Service: Canadian Infantry Buried: Aix-Noulette

Communal Cemetery, France

Over the course of two world wars, in excess of 1,000,000 Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice and paid for the freedom of their families, friends and future compatriots with their lives. More than 1,000 men and women from the Powell River area served in some capacity in either World War I or World War II; 54 of the soldiers never returned home. Some of the fallen were born and raised in familiar local neighbourhoods such as Westview, Wildwood, Cranberry, Townsite and Lang Bay, while others began their lives in other regions of the province or country. Whether they were born here or came to the area for work or families reasons, they all shared a connection: Powell River was their home. For information on all of the men and women from the Powell River area who served in World War I and World War II, go to powellrivermuseum.ca.

SIDNEY STEWART

GORDON COLE

1886 - November 23, 1916 Service: Canadian Engineers Buried: Berks Cemetery

Extension, Belgium

TOMMY LANT C. MOODIE

1890 - May 8, 1917

Service: Canadian Infantry Buried: Vimy Memorial, France

GEORGE WASHINGTON

1872 - November 9, 1916 Service: Canadian Infantry Buried: Contay British

Cemetery, France

1889 - April 14, 1915 Service: Canadian Infantry Buried: Menin Gate

RICHARD WELSH

Memorial, Belgium

Remembering those who served

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In memory of Malcolm (Scotty) Cameron, who bravely served in the second World War Insurance Agencies (Powell River) Ltd.

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REMEMBERING THOSE WHO DIED FOR OUR FREEDOM

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Thank you to all who served and sacrificed for our country 64BCw03RD

Senior Citizens Association of BC Branch #49 – Powell River 6792 Cranberry Street 604.414.9456

E.A (HARRY) CARTER

British Cemetery, France

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Town Centre Mall 604.489.0099

1880 - October 13, 1918 Service: Canadian

Army Medical Corps Buried: Queant Communal Cemetery, France

PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT

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In honour of the brave men and women who have given their lives

WILLIAM STANLEY

1898 - April 15, 1918 Service: Canadian Infantry Buried: La Targette

Lamont & Company

Licensed Liquor Store 101 - 7010 Duncan Street Open seven days a week

1893 - May 8, 1917 Service: Canadian Infantry Buried: Vimy Memorial, France

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Honouring all those who have served

Honouring those who gave their service, their future and their lives, so that we may live in peace

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Remembering our veterans of yesterday and honouring our soldiers of today

Remembrance Day

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R. BIRKENSHAW

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J.B. ALLAN Died: 1943

JAMES ALBERT ANGLIN Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

June 9, 1903 - June 6, 1944

RONALD CLINTON BAKER

Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

September 18, 1924 - March 28, 1945 Hometown: Wildwood

WILLIAM GEORGE REX BAUM Royal Canadian Air Force

September 20, 1920 - August 24, 1943 Hometown: Cranberry

JOHN MCCLELLAND BELL Royal Canadian Air Force

March 2, 1917 - July 18, 1943 Hometown: Wildwood

ALDO BORTOLUSSI Royal Canadian Air Force

June 17, 1923 - October 4, 1943 Hometown: Wildwood

LUCIEN (SHADOW) BROOKS Royal Canadian Air Force

August 31, 1920 - April 25, 1942 Hometown: Wildwood

ALBERT MOORE CAREY Royal Canadian Air Force

October 1, 1912 - November 28, 1942 Hometown: Powell River area

HERBERT ANDREW DAUBNER JUNIOR Royal Canadian Air Force

FALLEN SOLDIERS OF WORLD WAR

HENRY STANLEY DRAYTON

ROBERT ARNOLD LASSER

Royal Canadian Artillery

Royal Canadian Air Force January 14, 1921 - March 5, 1944 Hometown: Paradise Valley

AUGUST JOHN ECKMAN JUNIOR

DONALD KENNETH LEE

May 18, 1923 - September 3, 1943 Hometown: Powell River area

Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

June 20, 1914 - June 6, 1944 Hometown: Wildwood

GEORGE PAUL ETHOFER Royal Canadian Medical Corps

February 8, 1908 - June 6, 1944 Hometown: Aldergrove

WILLIAM CHARD FAIRGRIEVE

Royal Canadian Air Force

December 13, 1919 - August 17, 1944 Hometown: Vancouver

HENRY GRAHAM FREEMAN

Royal Canadian Air Force

October 27, 1918 - May 23, 1943 Hometown: Burnaby

REGINALD CARL GAUDET

Royal Canadian Air Force

April 20, 1921 - March 11, 1944 Hometown: Cranberry

WILLIAM GILMOUR Royal Canadian Air Force

November 21, 1915 - August 21 1942 Hometown: Powell River

EARNEST GRIBBLE

United States Army Air Force

May 17, 1918 - February 2, 1945 Hometown: Westview

Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

March 7, 1914 - September 28 1944 Hometown: Powell River area

ROBIN GIBSON LEESE Royal Canadian Air Force July 20, 1922 - October 2, 1943 Hometown: Townsite

WILLIAM HEWISON LEESE Royal Canadian Air Force

March 9, 1924 - December 18, 1944 Hometown: Townsite

JAMES LLOYD

Seaforth Highlanders of Canada

September 18, 1895 - April 29, 1940 Hometown: New Westminster

ARTHUR JAMES (JIMMY) LYLE United States Army

March 19, 1916 - October 31, 1944 Hometown: Townsite

ARCHIBALD LESLIE MACLEAN

Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

October 11, 1922 - July 21, 1944 Hometown: Port Alberni

FRANK MCMULLIN

Royal Canadian Air Force

January 12, 1909 - March 17, 1942 Hometown: Prince Rupert

May 17, 1914 - June 22, 1943 Hometown: Townsite

EWART HASSELL

PHILLIP JOHN ASHWORTH MAGSON

JOSEPH WILLIAM DAUBNER

April 20, 1922 - June 28, 1944 Hometown: Cranberry

July 12, 1920 - August 24, 1943 Hometown: Cranberry

Royal Canadian Air Force

August 11, 1918 - May 15, 1942 Hometown: Townsite

ARTHUR DEAKIN

Royal Canadian Air Force

October 12, 1917 - November 13, 1944 Hometown: Powell River area

WILLIAM ROGER DICKSON

Royal Canadian Air Force

June 19, 1906 - August 21, 1944 Hometown: Lang Bay

WILLIAM DITTLOFF

Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve January 31, 1920 - August 21, 1944 Hometown: Wildwood

HARRY WOODWARD DONKERSLEY Royal Canadian Air Force

December 30, 1919 - January 16, 1944 Hometown: Townsite

Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

RALPH BRUCE HOPKINS Royal Canadian Air Force

May 10, 1914 - June 27, 1945 Hometown: Powell River area

GORDON BOOTH HUGHES Royal Canadian Navy

July 31, 1924 - November 9, 1945 Hometown: Cranberry

JOHN STEWART JOHNSTON Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve

Royal Canadian Air Force

SHOLTO PATON (HOB) MARLATT

Royal Canadian Air Force

August 9, 1913 - November 29, 1942 Hometown: Cranberry

WILLIAM KENNETH MARSHALL Royal Canadian Air Force

January 7, 1916 - November 10, 1944 Hometown: Vancouver

ANDREW MORRIS

Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

March 14, 1909 - May 7, 1944 Hometown: Vancouver

February 14, 1915 - August 17, 1944 Hometown: Powell River area

NORMAN JOHNSTON

JOHN MORRIS

October 28, 1919 - June 3, 1944 Hometown: Townsite

Unknown - October 24, 1942 Hometown: Powell River area

Royal Canadian Air Force

Royal Canadian Air Force

RICHARD PRESTON KEAIST

JOHN WILLIAM MULLEN

December 29, 1922 - February 22, 1945 Hometown: Wildwood

August 5, 1920 - May 24, 1944 Hometown: Lang Bay

Royal Canadian Air Force

Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

FRANK RICHMOND VINCENT NELLO Royal Canadian Air Force

July 1, 1916 - October 12, 1943 Hometown: Westview

TREVOR CHARLES LEIGHTON PIDCOCK Royal Canadian Air Force

September 20, 1917 - October 15, 1944 Hometown: Victoria

ALBERT LIONEL RORKE United States Air Force

1916 - February 16, 1944 Hometown: Westview

GILBERT HAROLD SCRIVEN

Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

March 9, 1919 - June 11, 1944 Hometown: Powell River area

ROBERT WILLIAM SHAW Royal Canadian Air Force

June 12, 1912 - October 28, 1944 Hometown: Powell River area

BERNARD SMITH

Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada

Unknown - March 9, 1945 Hometown: Powell River area

FREDERICK SPRATT

Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

August 8, 1905 - May 30, 1944 Hometown: Powell River area

JOSEPH RALPH GORDON SRIGLEY

Royal Canadian Air Force

September 29, 1915 - August 17, 1944 Hometown: Saskatchewan

NICHOLAS STUSIAK Royal Canadian Air Force

May 20, 1920 - May 27, 1944 Hometown: Cranberry

JAMES EMIL VIRAG Royal Canadian Air Force

November 14, 1922 - December 5, 1944 Hometown: Vancouver

MAURICE HUGH WILSHIRE

Army Seaforth Highlanders of Canada

March 8, 1917 - May 23, 1944 Hometown: Cranberry

RICHARD JOHN WOODRUFF

Royal Canadian Air Force

February 20, 1916 - September 30, 1942 Hometown: Westview

SERGIE (STEVE) ZILNIC Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

September 16, 1923 - July 22, 1943 Hometown: Kelly Creek


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For your dedication, bravery and commitment to our great country,

day to to AAday remember ... remember ...

Thank you to those who Thank you toand those have fought sacrificed who have fought for our freedom. and sacrificed for our freedom

- lest we forget -

Rachel Blaney

www.firstcu.ca | www.firstins.ca

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we thank you!

In honour of those who have served and sacrificed for our freedom

MP//North Island-Powell River 348V03RD

Powell River 4697 Marine Ave Powell River, BC V8A 2L2 604.489.2286

1-800-667-8404 RachelBlaney.ndp.ca

City of Powell River

All Quality Foods stores are closed November 11, to allow all of our people the opportunity to observe Remembrance Day with their family, friends and neighbours.

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