Scrapbooks

An airman's keepsakes

John Bridgman of Roseland, Ontario, joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943 and qualified as a bomb aimer at #9 Air Observer School in St Johns, Quebec. Amongst his wartime souvenirs are a certificate indicating that he had completed a tour of operations and aerial photographs taken on some of the bombing raids in which he participated.

From Hamilton to war

John “Jack” Smith was born in Scotland in 1906 and came to Canada as a teenager. He enlisted early in the Second World War, serving in the 5th Field Ambulance of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. While he was overseas, he sent snapshots and other souvenirs of his travels to his family in Hamilton, Ontario, to show them the more mundane parts of serving in the army: field exercises, barracks life, an inspection by the King and Queen, and the surroundings in Spitzbergen, Russia, where he was posted for a short time in 1941. Jack Smith returned to Canada after the war and died in 1985.

Memories of a soldier son

Patrick McDermott left his home in Woodstock, Ontario, to enlist in the Canadian Army, and eventually served with the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada. He was killed in action in September 1944, and buried in Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands. After the war, his family saved these few mementos of his time in uniform.

Harold Bailey, Melfort, Saskatchewan

Harold Bailey was born in Perth County, Ontario, but was living in Melfort, Saskatchewan, when he enlisted with the 1st Contingent early in the First World War. Over the next five years, he sent a series of postcards to various family members, who carefully preserved them until his return to Canada in 1919.