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Stories of Remembrance: John Ralston Saul

In 2005, to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Canadian celebrities spoke about the meaning of remembrance as part of the Stories of Remembrance Campaign, a project of CanWest News Service (now Postmedia News), the Dominion Institute (now Historica Canada) and Veterans Affairs Canada. This article is reprinted from that campaign.


Harry DeWolf

Harry George DeWolf, naval officer and veteran of the Second World War, vice-admiral, Chief of Naval Staff, Royal Canadian Navy (born 26 June 1903 in Bedford, NS). DeWolf was best known as the commanding officer of HMCS Haida, one of Canada’s eight Tribal Class destroyers during the Second World War. DeWolf entered the navy in 1918 and retired in 1961. A new class of offshore patrol vessels has been named in his honour.


Sir Peter Warren

Sir Peter Warren, naval officer (b c 1703; d at Dublin, Ire 29 July 1752). He commanded the Royal Navy at the 1745 siege of LOUISBOURG, where he was made governor. Warren recommended the deportation of Acadians and the fortification of Chebucto (Halifax) as early as 1739.


John Nickinson

John Nickinson, soldier, actor-manager (b at London, Eng 2 Jan 1808; d at Cincinnati, Ohio 9 Feb 1864). He stimulated the development of theatre in Toronto and was father of an acting family.


Sir Howard Douglas

Sir Howard Douglas, soldier, author, colonial administrator (b at Gosport, Eng 23 Jan 1776; d at Tunbridge Wells, Eng 9 Nov 1861). The son of a naval officer, Douglas finished military academy in time to see action in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars in Canada, Spain and Holland.


Thomas Carleton

Thomas Carleton, British army officer, lieutenant-governor of NB (b in Ire c 1735; d at Ramsgate, Eng 2 Feb 1817), brother of Guy CARLETON, Baron Dorchester.


John Lambert

John Lambert, British army officer, military figure in the WAR OF 1812 (b 1772; d at Weston House, Thames Ditton, Surrey, England, 14 Sept 1847). The son of a naval officer, John Lambert was commissioned as an ensign in the 1st Foot Guards in 1791.


John Burgoyne

John Burgoyne, army officer (b in Eng 1722; d at London, Eng 3 Aug 1792). A distinguished cavalry officer and public figure, Burgoyne arrived in Québec in 1776 with large reinforcements, and served during the successful campaign of that year.


Solomon Van Rensselaer

Solomon Van Rensselaer, military general (b at Greenbush, Rensselaer County, NY, 6 Aug 1774; d near Albany, NY, 23 April 1852). Solomon Van Rensselaer was the son of Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, a Revolutionary War general, and a member of a powerful Dutch patroon family.


Sir William B. Thornton

Sir William B. Thornton, soldier (b at Ireland 1778 or 1779; d at Greenford, Middlesex, England, April 1840). William Thornton entered the British army as an ensign in the 89th Regiment of Foot in March 1796.


Louis Levi Oakes

Louis Levi Oakes (also known as Tahagietagwa), Mohawk soldier, war hero, steelworker, public works supervisor (born 23 January 1925 in St. Regis, QC; died 28 May 2019 in Snye, QC). During the Second World War, Oakes was a code talker for the United States Army. Code talkers used their Indigenous languages to encode radio messages to prevent the enemy from understanding them. When he passed away at age 94, Oakes was the last Mohawk code talker. (See also Cree Code Talkers and Indigenous Peoples and the World Wars.)


Elizabeth “Betty” Dimock (Primary Source)

Elizabeth “Betty” Dimock’s great ambition during the Second World War was to become a nurse. She registered in the South African army to treat wounded soldiers from the North African Campaign. Read and listen to Dimock’s story below.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.


Francis Pegahmagabow

Francis “Peggy” Pegahmagabow, Anishnaabe (Ojibwa) chief, Indigenous rights advocate, war hero (born on 9 March 1891 on the Parry Island reserve, ON; died 5 August 1952 at Parry Island, ON). One of the most highly decorated Indigenous people in Canada during the First World War, Pegahmagabow became a vocal advocate for Indigenous rights and self-determination.


Corinne Kernan Sévigny (Primary Source)

At only 16 years old, Corinne Sévigny enlisted with the Canadian Women’s Army Corps during the Second World War. Sévigny served as a driver and was one of millions of women who helped with the war effort either overseas or at home. Read and listen to Sévigny’s story in which she details the extraordinary accomplishments of her fellow women-at-arms.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.


Bonnie Henry

Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer of British Columbia (2018 to present), epidemiologist, physician (born 1965 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island). Dr. Bonnie Henry is best known for leading British Columbia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also worked to eradicate polio and to contain Ebola and SARS. Henry is a family care physician and a specialist in preventative medicine. She is the first woman to serve as BC’s provincial health officer.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.


Richard George Amherst Luard

Richard George Amherst Luard, army officer (b in Eng 29 July 1827; d at Eastbourne, Eng 24 July 1891). A British military officer, he was general officer commanding the Canadian Militia 1880-84, following active service in India, the Crimea and China.


Walter Patterson

Walter Patterson, army officer, landowner, first British governor of St. John’s Island [Prince Edward Island] (born c. 1735 near Rathmelton, County Donegal, Ireland; died 6 September 1798 in London, England). Patterson served with the British army in North America during the Seven Years’ War. In 1770, he was sworn in as the first British governor of St. John’s Island (renamed Prince Edward Island in 1799). His time as governor was marked by land speculation and political uproar.