Remembrance Day Memories

Posted in Community

We asked our team at McConville Omni to tell us the story of their family members who have served bravely. Here are a few.



  • My Great Uncle George was 15 years old when he lied about his age to join the Royal Canadian Navy. He was put on the Murmansk Run.  This dangerous convoy route saw Canadian Merchant Navy and Royal Canadian Navy seamen sail into the Arctic Ocean to deliver war materials to the Soviet Union. This route was so dangerous that ships were ordered to never stop, even to rescue crew. He served for four years and I am humbled and appreciative every day for his sacrifice and bravery.
    - Page Forron, Operations & Marketing Specialist
  • My Grandmother was a young child in England when WWII broke out, and was evacuated from London only 3 days into the war, along with several of her 9 siblings and thousands of other children. The evacuation was arranged by the government, and all schoolchildren under the age of 14 could be evacuated without their parents – most parents took advantage of this. My Grandmother was shuffled around to several different billets throughout the years and was separated from her family until the war ended. The time apart made the entire family cherish each other even more.
    - Michelle Morant, Manager of Commercial Operations
  • My dad, and my son Jason’s grandfather, was in the Navy during the second WW. Came home in 1945 with one thing on his mind, starting a family!
    - Terry Potts, Account Manager
  • My Dad was a Paratrooper for 4 years in the British Air Force.
    - Kim Boyle, St. Thomas Branch Manager
  • My grandfather was a tail gunner on a plane in WW2 in the Canadian Military, he told me of flying over the camps in Germany and seeing the piles of shoes that were like mountains (they had to take their shoes off before they were gassed/incinerated). He said he could still sometimes smell the burning flesh and had nightmares about his time (I believe he served for 3 years). My grandfather also lied about his age to join at 17. Also, my great Grandfather served in WW1, although I don’t have many stories.
    - Amanda MacNeil, Receptionist
  • My father was in the Canadian Army.  He was in the reserves prior to WWII and regular army once the war was declared (the day after he and my mother got married).  He went overseas with the Royal Canadian Ordinance Corp and was in England, Holland, Belgium and France where he was with the Canadian Armed forces on D-Day. While overseas, he was promoted and returned to Halifax just after D-Day as he had been over there five years.  He returned as Major Frederick J. Smith.
    - Cathy Hayton, Customer Service Broker – Personal Lines
  • My Dad was born in April of 1922, and enlisted soon after graduating highschool in 1940. Intitally intending on joining the airfoce, he had a change of heart and joined the navy. He had never been on a boat before. 4 days after enlisting, he was moved to Halifax for training only after an emotional send off from his father. He spent many years on Corvettes and the Destroyer, battling the elements of war and weather. When he returned to Canada, he sadly learned that the buddies he was suppose to join the air force with had not made it home. I think about him often, and am thankful for his courage and bravery.
    - Ken Rush, Manager Personal Lines
  • My Grandpa walked in every remembrance day parade, and it made me so proud. I still tear up hearing taps play. But best thing I have to remember his time in the war is a grenade that he modified to be a lighter. Had to scoop all the gun powder out with a wooden spoon so it didn’t ignite! He caught hell from his superior officer, but they all thought it was pretty cool so he was allowed to keep it.
    - Lauren Balser, Receptionist
  • Here is some information on my Dad who flew as a Navigator with RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War: Bomber Command air crew were required to fly 30 operations against the enemy but their life expectancy was only 14 operations. Dad completed 90 combat operations by the end of the war. Half of the men who flew with Bomber Command in the war were killed including dozens and dozens of his friends.  Both of my Grandfathers were wounded in the First World War. My father was  wounded once and also survived two plane crashes as well as a few fighter combats. 
    - Dave Wallace, Account Manager
  • When I think of Remembrance Day... I think of where I came from, the home dairy farm in Germany that was only a few miles away from the place where Winston Churchill first crossed the Rhine in 1945. My mother tells the story of the sky being completely black with bomber planes as the city was almost completely levelled. My father tells the story of sleeping away from the farm buildings at night as the buildings were targets for the bombers. One night while settling by a big tree for the night my grandmother saw some wild dogs. As tired as they all were she insisted that they keep moving as if something happened, she didn’t want to be eaten by dogs. The next morning on the way back to the farm, the tree was gone and all that was left was a massive crater.

    On Remembrance Day I think back to my parents childhood and how devastating war is on the farmers and the people just trying to survive.

    One final reason I am proud and grateful is that as the Allied soldiers came to liberate Germany, a Canadian soldier gave my mother and a bunch of children with her a smile and a small piece of chocolate. After years of oppression it was a small act of kindness that my mother will never forget. I am certain it was a big part of the reason why my family emigrated to Canada. It’s amazing that a small acts of kindness can change the entire trajectory of a persons life.

    So, thank you to the brave soldiers that left Canada to help free people half a world away. I will always be grateful and remember.

    - Ed Meiering, CEO

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