Monday, February 23, 2015

D-Day Corvette, HMCS Kitchener

The picture at left is of Bill Cameron, posing with "Terror on the Alert" at the White Rock Library on February 15th this year. The occasion was a Sunday afternoon presentation by 6 local writers.

The Friends of the Library showed up with refreshments, and had done a wonderful job of organizing the writer/presenters, never an easy thing to manage.

I was excited to meet Bill, who served in HMCS Kitchener, which as far as Bill knows was the only corvette actually in the immediate area of the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. Bill was an Able Seaman manning an anti-aircraft Oerlikon for what seemed like days straight.

More about Bill, and HMCS Kitchener, in the near future.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Great War Trooper's Last Ride

A short time ago I posted a photo of my father, Tom Mackay, when he was training in Winnipeg before joining his regiment, Lord Strathcona's Horse (RC), in France. (See 22 January 2015 )

Tom's legs were badly shot up when he rode with Gordon Flowerdew at Moreuil Wood in 1918. He was then a sergeant, Acting Troop Leader of 1st Troop, and was right behind Flowerdew as they made their desperate charge.

I don't remember ever seeing Dad ride, because he constantly suffered leg pain; but I recently came across this photo, taken in c 1963. Dad was motoring across the Chilcotin from Williams Lake westward, when he came across a herd of cattle being driven by three first nations cowboys. He persuaded one of them to drive his car on to their next stop, and he mounted the man's horse and took part in the drive. The dismounted man, now a motorist, took this photo of the three men. Dad is in the middle. He died in 1969, a trooper--and a cowboy--at heart.