Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Gallery And The Nurses

In the Normandy section of the War Museum, there's a door that opens out onto a balcony, where one can view Lebreton Gallery below. I'll take you down there in coming days.

Back among the Second World War exhibits is this Sherman tank that took part in the Normandy campaign.

Among the veterans on hand at the museum for Remembrance Day were two members of a nursing order who served during the Second World War, with displays of photos and items on hand at their table and on a table beside them, as well as a uniform of the time.

Both of these women are in their nineties, still vital and active, having had come here each Remembrance Day. They were with the nursing order through Europe during and after the war, and both are a pleasure to speak with, as I've chatted with them in previous years.


Take a good look at the date on this panel. Lieutenant Gray is one of the select few who have a bust among the monuments downtown collectively known as the Valiants; for a look at that, look here.

This is a sample tombstone from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission that closes out the Second World War section.


  1. It's always so interesting to meet the people who were really there. This must have been an interesting event.

  2. These things can not be forgotten because they have been very important. The Museum remind us.


  3. A memória de um tempo difícil eternizada num belo espaço
    Um bom dia
    Um abraço

  4. Now that's what I call a truly "interactive" exhibit. :-)

  5. That is nice the nurses are still be able to attend the special day.

  6. Nothing beats a cheerful person in their 90's with good health and a good memory. I would talk to them all day!


  7. The nurses are beautiful, vibrant ladies in their 90's! I found the sample tombstone (in your last photo) with the poppies around it very moving.

  8. I would have enjoyed meeting the nurses.

  9. My dad fought in world war two. My dad also worked at De Havilland Canada.

    My brothers went to Normandy as most soldiers went. I had three brothers who went to war also.

    I enjoyed your blog.

  10. Coincidence, coincidence! But this is back to WWI, when Scottish nurses came to Serbia to care for the wounded here. Today the Serbian Post Office has issued a series of stamps that you can see and read about here

  11. Would be very interesting to talk with the nurses and hear their stories.

  12. Always interesting to see tanks and other vehicles from World War II, but the stories of the nurses in their nineties are the highlights, I think. You can't come much closer to World War II.

  13. Tanks and nurse, what a strange mix... Excellent post!

  14. @Halcyon: the museum regularly has volunteers come in with military service who are on hand to answer questions. On Remembrance Day there are a lot of them.

    @Tomas: indeed.

    @Gracita: thanks!

    @Revrunner: it's fascinating, chatting with them. They have much to tell.

    @Marianne: they saw a lot during their time overseas, and a good part of that was in the Netherlands during the aftermath of the war.

    @Janis: it was good to see both of them there.

    @Linda: thank you.

  15. @Norma: I certainly did.

    @Carolann: my family on both sides were among those waiting for liberation from the Germans.

    @Pat: that is cool!

    @Nancy: it's always an honour to speak with those who served in so many capacities.

    @Jan: indeed.

    @VP: quite a mix!

  16. I bet those two women have stories to tell!

  17. You had to be made of good stuff to go through what these two women went through.

  18. You have made me interested in paying a visit.

  19. All that war memorabilia makes me sad, even though I find it very interesting. When I was teaching I always spent a week on the Vietnam War and one time had a nurse from that war who described the horrible situation. Nurses are underrated and if it wasn't for their care and commitment a lot more of our people wouldn't have made it home.

  20. You were very lucky to speak to Pauline (one of the nurses pictured in your photos) this year. Sadly, she passed away shortly after Remembrance Day. She will be missed by us all!

  21. I'm so glad the museum is sharing some the history nurses paid in the Second World War.

  22. very cool. i love old planes. sold. but some how i think it is not for sale. ha. ha!! but you know what i mean. ha. ha!! ( :

  23. Your recent posts from the war museum are all very interesting. Thanks for sharing some of what can be seen there.

  24. So much sadness. And one day it'll start all over again...

    1. It's underway already just in a different form...

  25. @Sharon: indeed.

    @Red: certainly.

    @Andy: every Canadian should.

    @Lowell: it's a calling as a profession.

    @CWM: I'm very sorry to read that... what a life lived.

    @EG: the balance between all aspects of that history is well done here.

    @Beth: I know! I think that one had to be moved in before construction was completed.

    @Pamela: you're welcome.

    @Ciel: unfortunately.

    @RedPat: so it seems.

  26. Very interesting William, what a privilege to meet the two ladies..

  27. The two nurses are magnificent. I fear the world is slowly falling into the abyss again.

  28. Oh I would love to have a conversation with those two ladies!

  29. I wish that the people who declare wars would spend a lot of quiet, reflective time in memorials like this.

  30. Gosh 90 and still going strong, especially after their war experiences, fantastic. I know what a hugely important roll the nurses had through those years, literally life and death!

  31. @Geoff: it was.

    @Mari: me too.

    @Janey: I haven't seen them since this visit. It's possible they've passed on.

    @Kay: that would be ideal.

    @Grace: they did indeed.

    @Tex: indeed.