Language selection



Heroes Remember

Newfoundlanders have an amazing pride in their service, Beaumont-Hamel in particular. You remember all the Newfoundlanders that lost their lives during Beaumont-Hamel and the great loss to the families and, you know, you want to celebrate but in the meantime, a celebration, the word celebrate almost seems disrespectful but you want to remember, we have to remember. That's important to me and as Newfoundlanders that's important to them to remember the sacrifice that our family members lost their lives.

Mr. Toney describes the lingering emotional scars left by his military service and a unique way of coping with bad memories when they start to overwhelm him.

John Martin Toney

John Martin Toney was born on September 26, 1923 on the Neskonlith Reserve, British Columbia. The strongest influence in his life was his grandfather, who taught him spirituality, life and survival skills. Mr. Toney feels that at that time he was being groomed to become a Chief. By the age of eight, he was hunting game to help feed his family. He later worked at a ranch and then as a carpenter. Proud to enlist, the army’s restrictive criteria forced Mr. Toney to renounce his Aboriginal heritage and designate himself an Irish Catholic. He was accepted by the Seaforth Highlanders, Engineering Corps, based on his success at demolition. His first action saw him in the second wave at Dieppe where he witnessed much death and suffering. Agile in the field, he hand-picked and led many reconnaissance and demolition patrols against the Germans. Mr. Toney was wounded twice, and after his second recovery, finished the war as motorcycle dispatch rider. He then signed up for Pacific duty, returning home early

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Martin Toney
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Seaforth Highlanders
Dispatch Rider

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: