Language selection


Trooper (Ret’d) Guy Crowther

Guy Crowther was born on 6 May 1924 in Bromley North, Great Britain. He enlisted with the 5th Canadian Armoured Division in Vancouver, BC on 30 June 1943. He retired with the rank of Trooper in 1946 after having served in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Northern Europe.

Share this article on:
Guy Crowther

Crowther’s 21st birthday is one he will never forget. On 6 May 1945, Crowther spent his birthday liberating the Netherlands with his fellow soldiers. He remembers the day as a celebration. After the town was freed, the Dutch people held a dance to thank their liberators and celebrate the newly 21 year-old’s birthday.

“The people were very, very happy and relieved to see us. It was a very joyous time and besides that it was my birthday,” Crowther says. “Everybody was rejoicing and dancing. You can’t imagine what a time it was, the whole town went berserk.”

“Because we were home, we were home, we were home.”

Following V-E Day, Crowther spent the next few months guarding Canadian tanks, then made his way back to  North America in February 1946. Crowther sailed into the New York Harbour aboard the Queen Elizabeth and remembers his first sight of land.

“We knew we were getting close to America, through the fog you could just see this big, lumpy statue coming up on our left, and sure enough it was the Statue of Liberty.” Crowther added: “That was the first thing we saw of the American coast, was the Statue of Liberty. That felt like Heaven. Because we were home, we were home, we were home.”

For his service, Crowther was awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the Italy Star, the France and Germany Star, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, and the War Medal 1939-1945.

Guy Crowther served with the 5th Canadian Armoured Division during the Second World War.

Having five siblings, Crowther wasn’t the only one in the family to enlist. His three brothers, Ray, Wilf, and Frank and his sister, Nellie, also enlisted in 1943. They all returned safely back home to Canada.

“One thing is for sure, we don’t want another one.”

Once back in Canada, Crowther found love and married Majorie Elizabeth Page in October 1948. They had two daughters, Diane and Julie. After retiring from the Canadian Armed forces, Crowther started a career in the trades. He worked in commercial painting, was a paper hanger, a decorator, and built his own family’s home in Victoria, BC.

Memories of war are still very clear in Crowther’s mind: liberating the Netherlands, celebrating his 21st birthday with the Dutch, and seeing North American soil for the first time after the war. However, the haunting images of war are still very clear in his mind.

 “One thing is for sure, we don’t want another one.”

In honour of the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands and Victory in Europe Day, Trooper (Ret’d) Guy Crowther is this week’s Face of Freedom.

You can also hear his story firsthand by listening to his episode of our Faces of Freedom podcast.

Date modified: