Faces of Freedom


Explore stories of fellow Canadians—the Faces of Freedom—some of whom volunteered to bravely defend our freedom. Their faces tell the story and their legacy will live on.


The Italian Campaign

Lance Sergeant (Ret’d) David Adlington

Lance Sergeant (Ret’d) David Adlington

Lance Sergeant (Ret’d) David Adlington was born on 18 September 1919 in Newport, Wales. After enlisting with the Royal Canadian Regiment on 3 October 1939 at the Wolseley Barraks in London, Ontario, he completed his basic training with C Company of the Royal Canadian Regiment. It wasn’t long after enlisting that Adlington boarded a ship in Halifax destined for Scotland, where he arrived on New Year’s Day 1940.

Maria and Francesca LaSorda

Maria and Francesca LaSorda

In October 1999, a monument was erected at the Piazza Plebiscito (since renamed to Canadian Heroes Square) in Ortona, Italy to commemorate the Canadian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice at the Battle of Ortona during Christmas 1943. In attendance for the unveiling were two sisters, Maria and Francesca LaSorda. Roughly 56 years earlier, the sisters had befriended the Canadians as their town was reduced to ruins.

Lieutenant (Ret’d) Maxine Llewellyn Bredt

Lieutenant (Ret’d) Maxine Llewellyn Bredt

Lieutenant (Ret’d) Maxine Llewellyn Bredt served while Canada was at war, over seven decades ago, and she has been a relentless volunteer for her fellow Veterans since then.

Sergeant Ghislain Cotton, CD

Sergeant Ghislain Cotton, CD

In June 2019, Sergeant Ghislain Cotton humbly and proudly represented First Nations, Métis and Inuit CAF members as Eagle Staff bearer. As he did, his two oldest sons are following in his father’s and his maternal grandfather’s boots of military service. They are carrying on this family tradition. Sgt Cotton recently accepted the Eagle Staff bearer role for the 75th anniversary of the Italian Campaign.

Sergeant (Ret’d) Ernest “Smokey” Smith, VC

Sergeant (Ret’d) Ernest “Smokey” Smith, VC

During the Second World War, Ernest “Smokey” Smith became the only Canadian private to earn the Victoria Cross after he almost single handedly fought off German tanks and soldiers during the Italian Campaign.

Afghanistan

Sergeant (Ret’d) Patrick Gordon

Sergeant (Ret’d) Patrick Gordon

Born 7 January 1984, Sergeant (Ret’d) Patrick Gordon grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick listening to stories of his grandfather Edward Thorne, who served in the Second World War with the Royal New Brunswick Regiment.

The Gulf War

Sergeant (Ret’d) Marion Kelly

Sergeant (Ret’d) Marion Kelly

Born in Welland, Ontario in 1962, Sergeant (Ret’d) Marion Kelly dreamed of representing Canada on the international stage as a young athlete. As a competitive swimmer, Kelly had a goal of one day competing in the Olympics.

Battle of the Scheldt

Eva Redmond

Eva Redmond

Eva Redmond, a Nova Scotia high school student and cadet, travelled to Ottawa with her high school for the Ceremony of Remembrance at the National War Memorial on November 11. The trip to Ottawa was part of Operation Veteran. Founded in 2009 by Dr. Paul Kavanagh and the Canadian War Museum, Operation Veteran is a program designed to highlight Veterans and their sacrifices.

Claire Belliveau

Claire Belliveau

From the first time she visited the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial in northern France, Claire Belliveau knew she wanted to be a guide there one day.

Mary McPherson

Mary McPherson

Mary McPherson is 22 years old. She has a long standing passion for art and recently had the opportunity to design the Royal Canadian Mint’s silver 20 dollar coin that marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Scheldt.

Anton “Tony” Olaf Pearson

Chief Warrant Officer (Ret'd) Anton "Tony" Pearson

Anton “Tony” Olaf Pearson was born on 8 March 1925 in Melville, Saskatchewan. He enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces on 15 October 1943, and first joined the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps. He said he decided to volunteer before he was conscripted.

D-Day and the Battle of Normandy

Private (Ret’d) Ardwell “Art” Eyres

Private (Ret’d) Ardwell “Art” Eyres

During the Second World War, Ardwell “Art” Eyres served on a troopship that was responsible for bringing thousands of soldiers across the Atlantic to fight in Europe. Over 75 years later, he continues to remember them.

Warrant Officer (Ret'd) George Couture

Warrant Officer (Ret'd) George Couture

Seventy-seven years after he began his military career, George Couture found himself at Pier 21 reminiscing about one of the last times he was there. He was boarding a ship with his younger brother and was headed for Europe, and war.

Charles Stark

Able Seaman (Ret’d) Charles Starkes

With a father in the Merchant Navy and an uncle who died in the First World War, Charles Starkes’ enlistment in the Royal Navy carried on a tradition of military service in his family. He enlisted in November of 1940. He was 18 years old.

Khamael Johnston (youth delegate)

Khamael Johnston (D-Day 75 Youth Delegate)

Khamael Johnston travelled to France as a youth delegate on the Official Government of Canada overseas delegation. While in Normandy, France she participated and attended ceremonies that honoured the countless Canadians and Allied forces who sacrificed for peace and freedom.

Véronic Beaudry (Juno Beach Centre Guide)

Jacqueline Pitre (Juno Beach Centre Guide)

Jacqueline Pitre, who is originally from Burlington, Ontario, first visited the Juno Beach Centre and several battlefields in France in 2012. When she returned to Canada, she met Garth Webb, the Centre founder, and she immediately knew she wanted to work there one day.

Richard Rohmer

Richard Rohmer
Honorary Lieutenant General of the Canadian Armed Forces

Richard Rohmer was born in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1942, when he was 18 years old, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Leading Aircraftwoman (Ret’d) Eugenie “Frankie” Turner

Leading Aircraftwoman (Ret’d) Eugénie “Frankie” Turner

“What a wonderful surprise when I heard that I was invited to attend the 75th anniversary of D-Day. What an honour.”

Véronic Beaudry (Juno Beach Centre Guide)

Véronic Beaudry (Juno Beach Centre Guide)

Véronic Beaudry is a Franco-Manitoban from Saint-Boniface, Manitoba. Some of her ancestors come from Normandy, and her great-grandfather, Justin Beaudry, served in the Second World War with the Canadian Army postal service.

Alex Polowin

Able Seaman (Ret’d) Alex Polowin

Alex Polowin celebrated his birthday on April 15. At the age of 95, he will be traveling back to Juno Beach as a member of the Government of Canada’s delegation to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.

Amanda Purdy

Amanda Purdy

Amanda Purdy is a Canadian citizen with no direct or family connection to the military. This has not stopped her from being a champion for recognition and remembrance of those who have bravely served our country in her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario.

Barbara Stewart

Barbara Stewart

Barbara Stewart, a native of Nova Scotia, holds as one of her prize possessions a very special family heirloom – a set of bagpipes.

George Chow

Master Warrant Officer (Ret’d) George Chow, CD

Mr. George Chow was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1921. Two months before his 19th birthday, he went to the recruiting centre at the Bay Street Armoury in Victoria to sign up without his parents’ knowledge.

Captain (N)(Ret’d) Harold Tilley, CD

“From the day he was born to the day he died he was a naval officer”; says Richard Tilley, son of Harold Tilley…

Gallery

Faces of Freedom Exhibit at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial

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