Archive for December 22nd, 2008

Story Eighty-Eight: Prisoners of War


Approximately 9,000 Canadian soldiers, airmen, naval sailors and merchant seamen were captured by the enemy and held as prisoners of war (POWs) during the  Second World War.

The first Canadian POW  was  Flying Officer Alfred B. Thompson of Penetanguishene, Ont., who had joined the RAF in 1937  and was  captured on Sept. 9, 1939

1,946 who were captured during the raid on Dieppe in 1942 alone


The Great Escape

One of the most famous was  Flying Officer Clark Wallace Floody of Chatham, Ont. who  was a Spitfire pilot with No. 401 Sqdn.

A Canadian Flying Officer, Clarke Wallace Floody, was called the architect of the “Great Escape” – perhaps the most famous POW escape of the Second World War in which 76 Allied prisoners escaped Stalag Luft 3, a German POW camp in 1944. After he was shot down over France, Floody was captured and put in the camp. While imprisoned, he used his pre-war mining experience to help survey, design and engineer three tunnels, nicknamed Tom, Dick and Harry, which were built as possible escape routes. Harry— the tunnel the men eventually used for the escape—was more than 100 metres long and was 10 metres underground.

Extensive story found at Legion Magazine by Hugh Halliday



Philip Lagrandeur, We Flew, We Fell, We Lived

Hong Kong Prisoners of War

Oshawa’s  veterans who were POW  in Hong Kong included: Jack Arthur, Edward Bolton, Henry Galbraith, William Lee, Edward Lott, Jeffrey Marston, Fredrick Mason and Mathew Murray.  A  PDF resource kit is available created by History teacher, Flora Fungfrom Oshawa Central Collegiate Institute Oshawa, ON  see resource http://www.hkvca.ca/teacherszone/index.htm

Important to note that two Canadian Nurses were POW in Hong Kong, these nursing sisters, Kay Christie  of Toronto and May Waters of Winnipeg.  they were the only Canadian Women as POW’s

Canadians in Buchenwald Concentration Camp

Twenty-Six Canadians among a total  of  142  airmen which were  British, American, Australian and New Zealand airmen, spent several months in Buchenwald Concentration Camp in eastern Germany in the summer and fall of 1944.

A rarely seen documentary from PBS on the conditions of the concentration camps.  Nazi Germany killed 11 million people in the various camps.

Caution:  Video is very graphic


No information on the cities of origin of these Canadians

A NFB  movie  by Director  Michael Allder produced  a  movie detailing their trails  and tribulations  called ”  The  Lucky Ones” in 1994.


Watch Soundslide



To read various  POW  stories  visit


Interesting educational video produced by US Airforce  teaching the soldiers how to escape


POW  and board game  Monopoly

According to the recent newsletter from the War Grave Photographic Project

http://www.twgpp.org,  January 2009  newsletter

Only recently in 2007  this story has been declassified in the UK which reported  that the Waddington company produced speciality pieces for the popular board game to include a  silk map, various currencies and a compass.  Apparently  1/3 one third of the 35,000 POW allies  who escaped used this popular game


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Story Eighty-Seven: War Brides

Canadian War Brides

Oshawa and in other parts of Canada saw an influx of  Warbrides,  the Canadian Government established the Canadian Wives’ Bureau, whose job it was to assist the wives of Canadian servicemen and their children, and to make arrangements

World  War One

The Department of Immigration and Colonization repatriated over 54,500 soldiers’ dependents to Canada in all. Approximately 17,000 returned to Canada between July 1917 and November 1918. After the armistice a further 38, 748 came to Canada by the end of 1919. Those who travelled between 1917 and mid January 1919 were not given free transportation but were offered a special rate on a secure ship. By the end of 1919 they could be reimbursed for their passage based on 3rd class rates by applying to the government.

World War Two

During the Second World War, there were an estimated 48,000 war brides and, when the war ended, most of these young women and their children (nearly 22,000) followed their husbands to a new life in Canada.

These war brides were mostly from Britain, but a few thousand were also from other areas of Europe: the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy and Germany.    94% of the brides  came from Britian.   Interesting  the US  had 41,502  War Brides in comparison

Source:   http://www.geocities.com/us_warbrides/WW2warbrides/facts.html

Oshawa War Bride  Story:  Mrs. Stauffer (Martha McLachlan)


To listen to CBC  radio archive  reports



Each of the new War Brides  were issued  an English to Canadian-English Glossary


Watch and listen to   Soundslide




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