Monday, November 22, 2021

War Stories

Elsie MacGill was an accomplished engineer who was the chief aeronautical engineer for Canadian Car and Foundry, one of the war production companies. Her innovations on the Hawker Hurricane gave her a nickname: the Queen of the Hurricanes.

Franklin Roosevelt called Canada the 'aerodrome of democracy'. Many places across the country had training centres for Allied airmen to learn to fly, and learn the techniques to keep them alive in a branch of the services that tended to have a short life span. George Reynolds spent his war teaching them.

A tragic, poignant story: the Campbell brothers, twins who both took to the air against the Luftwaffe and died a month apart.

The service jacket belonged to one of them.

Two stalwart allies: Churchill and Mackenzie King.

Women at work as part of the war effort. The exhibit had many such photographs.

An example of civilian bravery. Albert Socque was a driver for one of the wartime industries and risked his life to save a co-worker. He would be awarded the George Medal, a medal introduced by the King for examples of civilian courage.

This is the service uniform of Minnie Gray, an African-Canadian woman who joined the Canadian Women's Army Corps and found career opportunities that civilian society would have kept her out of.

Another artifact of great poignancy: this quilt was done by a London woman who found that doing this helped alleviate the stress during the Blitz. We'll carry on with this tomorrow.


  1. The Queen of the Hurricanes's is an exemplary story.

  2. So many brave people, and Elsie isn't a name that you hear nowadays.

  3. More Canadian heroes than most of us realize.

  4. Wonderful exhibit, it is great to remember these brave people. Have a great day and week ahead.

  5. ...war from the sky changed everything!

  6. So interesting to see the people and the little stories.

  7. All great personalities making history!

  8. I so appreciate their accomplishments. I wonder if Elsie McGill had any connection with the university of the same name.

  9. @Italiafinlandia: it is.

    @Amy: that is true.

    @David: indeed.

    @Eileen: thanks.

    @Tom: it did.

    @Marie: I agree.

    @Anvilcloud: yes it is.

    @Magiceye: definitely.

    @Jeanie: I wondered!

  10. It is nice to see the stories of individuals.

  11. Some talented people are recognized here.

  12. Fascinating and bright people who contributed to the war effort ~ creative quilt making too ~ ^_^

    Living in the moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  13. I cannot imagine a mother's pain on losing both her sons.

  14. Many heroes and I honor and thank them, but I wish with all my heart that we didn't keep on needing them for such purposes.

  15. @RedPat: it is a good way to present the story.

    @Sharon: I thought so.

    @Carol: thank you.

    @Bill: very true.

    @Billy: thanks!

    @fun60: indeed.

    @Sallie: if only we'd learn.

  16. Those are very different personal war stories. I like the story of the Queen of the Hurricanes the best.

  17. So worthy and edifying to remember!