Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Service And Suffering Across The Globe

Molly Lamb was a commissioned war artist who went to Europe to document the lives of servicemen and women. This is Private Virginia Stansell Singing, Tivoli Theatre, Apeldoorn, C Unit Canadian Army Shows.

Canadians fought in the other theatre of war: the Pacific. On the first day of that part of the conflict, while the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor, they also struck other places around the Pacific Rim. One of those was at Hong Kong, where Canadians were stationed, and the resulting Battle of Hong Kong became a brutal one. 

Will Kyle was a flying officer in the Pacific theatre. His fate would be a mystery for half a century.

A copy of a letter to the Kyle family informing of his disappearance is reproduced here. He was on a supply run over Burma.

Leonard Birchall was a squadron leader based out of what's now Sri Lanka who got shot down by Japanese forces, but not before he could get the warning out to his base about the oncoming fleet.

Bill Chong was on business in Hong Kong when the Japanese attacked. He became an undercover officer for the Allies.

Jean Oppen and her husband Reg were living in Hong Kong. They were interned for months, among many dealing with suffering and privation. They would later come to live in Canada.

Ethel Mulvany was one of the civilians in Singapore when it fell to the Japanese. She too was held prisoner, doing what she could to assist other internees.

Victory in the Pacific would come with the Americans dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


  1. Goodness, that was a challenging time!

  2. A period of suffering and heartache for many.

  3. We cannot fully understand the sorrow and grievance of the families whose members were at war...

  4. The best solution would be to put all presidents or whatever head of a country all together in a box ring and let them fight, and leave us people in peace !

  5. Hello,
    I like Gattina's idea above. There is nothing good about war! Take care, enjoy your day!

  6. You are doing a great job showcasing the various characters in the war.

  7. ...last night we spoke with our grandson who is in the Army. I always think of him.

  8. @Linda: it was.

    @Nancy: indeed.

    @italiafinlandia: definitely.

    @Gattina: or high stakes poker. Of course Putin would cheat at that.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @roentare: thanks.

    @Tom: I can see that effect.

  9. Thank you for highlighting Canada’s involvement in the war in the Pacific.

  10. Many of these people lived quite long lives after the war.

  11. It was so important to record events during these conflicts. I have a friend who was an army photographer during the Viet Nam war.

  12. More wonderful tributes to our heroines and heroes ~ great post and photos ~

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  13. @Jan: indeed.

    @Marie: you're welcome.

    @RedPat: they did.

    @Sharon: a tough job.

    @Carol: thank you.

  14. Mucho sufrimiento hay en estas imágenes y yo me pregunto si esto no ha sido lo suficiente para que aprenda la humanidad, del inmenso horror que trae la guerra y esto lo estamos viendo ahora mismo en la guera de Ucrania.

  15. Excellent to honour them this way.

  16. Action in the Pacific was brutal.

  17. Because I did not know, this series you are doing caused me to look into how Canada became involved in the war in the Pacific.

    1. The Canadian military put more of its efforts into the European and Atlantic theaters, but there was involvement in the Pacific theatre

  18. I love that opening painting. It's a view/subject one rarely sees. In fact, I never have.