Monday, January 10, 2022

Service For A Higher Cause

 This is the service uniform of Joan Voller, a member of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service who served from 1944 on. I assume she's passed on, but for several Remembrance Days up to some years ago, she was here with her uniform, a bright and vibrant talker sharing stories about her war. I remember conversations with her.

A depth charge: the vital weapon to take out a U-Boat.

A panel here details the story of Petty Officer Max Bernays, who took part in the destruction of a U-Boat at great personal risk.

And then there's the other theatre of war. Canada put much of its military emphasis into the war in Europe, but also fought in the Pacific from the start. The Battle of Hong Kong broke out in the same hours that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, part of a larger strategy of attack across the Pacific. Canadian soldiers were posted there and would ultimately be taken prisoner.

The Japanese disregarded rules concerning prisoners of war. Even nurses were not protected.

In Canada, where Canadians of Japanese background were being interred away from the West Coast, or otherwise discriminated against, some of them nonetheless enlisted in the Allied cause.


  1. There are horrifying war stories of what the war prisoners were subjected to.

  2. My mother saw two of her elder brothers prisoners in WW2. Luckily they both came home.

  3. It must be an honor to talk to her.
    What did she say/tell?

  4. Gads! What a perfectly monstrous rifle! Can't imagine having to heft that thing around with me all over the South Pacific.

  5. Dutch people who survived the Japanese camps also returned with horrific stories.

  6. There is so much to see in War museums.

  7. ...fewer and fewer think this way today.

  8. I will bet it was interesting to talk to someone first hand about that war.

  9. @Nancy: very true.

    @Italiafinlandia: my family's war stories are of privation under occupation.

    @Iris: she spoke of her service, and meeting her husband, which would never have happened if not for the war.

    @Cloudia: thank you.

    @Revrunner: it is big.

  10. @Gemel: yes it is.

    @Jan: I can imagine.

    @Sami: yes there is.

    @Tom: too often only of themselves.

    @Janey: yes it was.

  11. Well done, Joan. She has her place in Canadian history.

  12. The horrors of it all can be overwhelming. It never seems to end.

  13. Interesting William. Good to share this.

  14. Great stories of personal effort.

  15. I'm glad you got to meet Ms. Voller.

  16. People who served ~ proud of them ~ great tribute display and photos

    Wishing you a fun day ~

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  17. Your header is beautiful, as beautiful winter as we have here in Finland.

  18. My dad was in CHina/Burma/India theatre. When I think about how the practices of prison treatment were in the east, it scares me to this day, even though he didn't have that experience himself. I would have loved to hear someone like Joan VOlker speak.

  19. The war stories of Japan were more horrid to me than the other theater of war.

  20. @Marie: she did.

    @RedPat: so it seems.

    @Aritha: thank you.

    @Red: that they are.

    @Sharon: me too.

    @Carol: thanks.

    @Orvokki: it's definitely winter here.

    @Happyone: thank you.

    @Jeanie: it was a very different war.

    @Maywyn: very much so.

    @Joanne: that seems the case.

  21. That must have been very interesting to talk with Joan Voller.

    All the best Jan