Saturday, November 27, 2021

Courage Under Fire

 I left off yesterday mentioning families who had gone to war in both of the World Wars. Here we have another example of a father and son who both served with honour and courage, receiving the same medal decades apart for acts of bravery in combat: Henry Byce and Charles Byce.

Another case of a parent and child: Thomas Courtenay was a young lieutenant in the First World War, and his daughter Irene served as a nurse in the Second World War.

This is one of her notebooks.

Canadian war artist Charles Comfort painted The Hitler Line in 1944, depicting action in Italy, where he was embedded with Canadian troops.

A mother's grief: Silver Cross Mother Mrs. George Stephens holds photographs of her sons, all killed in the war.

Major Alex Campbell, who developed a fierce reputation on the battlefield, would not see the end of the war, dying in battle in Italy.

This is a memorial plaque in his name and a letter from one of his captains to his mother.

One of his men would become famous in his own right. Farley Mowat was a young officer who revered Campbell, and would make use of him in a book, later becoming one of Canada's most esteemed novelists.


  1. These are all brave men. Enjoy your weekend.

  2. The photo of the mother showing a photo of her three sons who died in the war is heartbreaking.

  3. much for WWI as being the war to end all wars!

  4. It's always interesting to me what details people capture in their diaries/journals.

  5. Such terrible thing losing three sons to the war.

  6. Hello,
    It seems terrible to have members of the same family sent to war. They families were so brave.
    Have a great weekend!

  7. @Nancy: indeed.

    @Jan: definitely.

    @Iris: yes it does.

    @Tom: it couldn't be.

    @Revrunner: I agree

    @Sandi: very much so.

    @Sharon: all too true.

    @Eileen: I quite agree.

  8. What JB comment on, are the families in his small home town of Chesterville, who lost 2, 3 or 4 sons in wars. Such tragedy. Wars we didn't need to fight.

  9. Glad those two-generation warriors both made it through.

  10. That poor Mrs Stephens who lost her sons. Awful.

  11. I like Farley Mowat so I'll have to find "And No Birds sing." I haven't read that book.

  12. I feel sad for the mother who lost three sons to the war.

  13. No hay más dolor, que el de una madre, al ver morir a sus hijos y más si ha sido, por culpa de una cruel guerra.

  14. To lose your child is one of the worst sadness.

  15. @Jennifer: sometimes not too fight is worse. World War Two was proof of that.

    @Anvilcloud: they left behind quite a legacy.

    @RedPat: the grief is unimaginable.

    @Red: I've read several of his books, but not that one.

    @Bill: me too.

    @Ventana: thanks.

    @Italiafinlandia: indeed.

    @parsnip: that it is.

  16. Such a sad and terrible thing losing three sons.

    All the best Jan

  17. Saddening to read about the loss of lives.

  18. It is sad to think of all the losses. Ambition can be a damaging thing.

  19. So proud of the 'warriors' and grateful ~ ^_^

    Happy Holidays,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)