Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Authors For Indies" Day, May 2nd

"Indies", as in Independent Bookstores.
Across Canada, authors will be spending time in their favourite bookstores to help promote books.
I'll be at two Black Bond locations, as follows:
11:30 am to 1:30 pm        15562 24th Avenue, Surrey.
1:30 pm to 3:30 pm          Semiahmoo Mall, South Surrey.

"Terror on the Alert"  will be featured, as well as "Soldier of the Horse" and many of my own personal favourites by well-known authors.

The 24th Avenue store will also feature Daniel Kalla, emergency doctor and thriller author, Danielle Marcotte who has written children's books in both official languages, and Sylvia Taylor, writer and editor. For their times, contact the stores.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

D-Day Corvette, HMCS Kitchener (4)

On one occasion Able Seaman Bill Cameron returned to his ship, HMCS Kitchener, after a run ashore in the UK to find a delivery from home--a 10" square heavy fruit cake from his girlfriend and future bride Joyce. He could hardly wait to get off watch and avoid having to eat hard tack for some time to come. Unfortunately, he says, his messmates helped him out with the cake, and it was gone in five minutes.
Kitchener and Bill had an eventful war, including for the ship a Hollywood turn. 
At left, Bill was back on civvie street in 1946, pictured with Joyce in Vancouver.

When he saw the beaches of Normandy on June 6th, 1944, Bill was hunkered down on his Oerlikon gun mount while shells from major warships whizzed overhead.
Seventy years later he saw the beaches he helped liberate closehand. He and Joyce were guests at the official day marking the anniversary. At one point they were invited to have their photo taken with another Canadian who was also present.
(Photos courtesy Bill Cameron)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

From Snorting Steeds to Roaring Mechanical Monsters

Canada's cavalry regiments, which had distinguished themselves in World War I, had a major transition with the advent of the Second World War. At left is Lieutenant Austin Stanton of the 19th Alberta Dragoons, ca. 1937. (photo courtesy Jim Stanton.)

Only five years later,Lieutenant Stanton had made the big jump to the armoured corps, serving as Battle Adjutant of the Calgary Tanks when they landed at Dieppe in 1942.

The photo at right is of one of Lord Strathcona's Horse (RC)'s  Leopard II's, the German-built behemoths that saw service in Afghanistan. The Strathconas remained mounted until 1940, when they too made what had to be a wrenching conversion to turn in their horses and eventually become tankers.

Monday, April 13, 2015

D-Day Corvette, HMCS Kitchener (3)

In 1944 HMCS Kitchener, Corvette K225, found herself in Plymouth Harbour during the buildup to D-Day. Able Seaman Bill Cameron and his shipmates were disappointed to hear they'd be escorting two former French battleships, now loaded with concrete, to the French coast, where they'd be scuttled to form artificial harbours. Well away from the action. But captain and crew wanted to support the landings, which they figured were coming soon, even though they had been told casualties could be as high as 25%. Kitchener's captain, Jack Mole, wasn't putting up with that.

 He went aboard the heavy cruiser USS Augusta, close to them in Plymouth. Augusta carried none other than General Omar Bradley, commander of the 1st US Army. Orders were changed, and Kitchener was reassigned. She escorted Augusta in the second flotilla to Omaha Beach, as part of the anti-aicraft and antisubmarine escort, in the thick of the action. En route, Bill and every other man on board received a note from the supreme Allied commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Pictured here, it exhorts the troops: "The tide has turned! ...We will accept nothing less than full Victory!"
Earlier posts of February 23 and March 11 also dealt with Bill Cameron and Kitchener.