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Faces of Freedom


Explore stories of fellow Canadians, some of whom bravely defended our freedom. Their faces tell the story and their legacy will live on.


Modern Day Veterans

Morgane Roy-Séger

Sergeant (Ret’d) Nadia Duranleau

Nadia Duranleau grew up in Beloeil in the Montréal area. In 1990, while she was working in a clothing boutique on Sainte-Catherine Street, her life course took an unexpected turn. While heading out for an evening with friends, a simple detour marked the beginning of a 20-year career with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Stanley Edwards

Corporal (Ret’d) Bambi Gray

Bambi Gray was destined to serve. Born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, a city rich in military tradition and history, Bambi was already playing young supply technician with her father at the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment Army Cadets Corps as she rumbled through the bins of the supply room at age five. By the time she turned 21, she had officially joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

Dieppe Raid

Morgane Roy-Séger

Morgane Roy-Séger

Morgane Roy-Séger was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. In 2017, she participated in the commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid as a youth delegate. Her trip allowed her to relive history and reconnect with the roots of her grandfather and great grandfather, who were from France. This was also an opportunity to understand the importance of commemorating historical events.

Stanley Edwards

Trooper (Ret’d) Stanley Edwards

Stanley Edwards was born on 17 February 1923 in Big Valley, Alberta. One of three brothers who enlisted in the Army during the Second World War, he joined the Calgary Tanks 19 February 1941 as a Trooper. Little did he know, he would take part about a year later in one of the Second World War’s most famous raids, in a small town on the northern coast of France, Dieppe.

The Battle of Britain

Ralph Wild

Flying Officer (Ret’d) Ralph Wild

Ralph Wild was born in Yorkshire, England on the 27th of September 1918. In 1938, at the age of 20, he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as part of the mandatory six months military service for English youth.

Invictus Games

Junior Gosse

Chief Warrant Officer (Ret’d) Junior Gosse

Chief Warrant Officer (Ret’d) Junior Gosse was born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, and later enlisted with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). During his career with the CAF, Gosse served as a Military Policeman across all three branches – the Army, Navy, and Air Force. He was posted throughout Canada, and also served overseas, including deployments in Iran and Somalia. While in Iran, he helped rescue six American diplomats from Iranian militants during the takeover of the United States Embassy in Tehran in 1979, an operation popularized by the film Argo in 2012 – but Gosse’s journey to overcome the challenges he has faced in post-military life has been no Hollywood script.

Chris Zizek

Sergeant (Ret’d) Chris Zizek

Sergeant (Ret’d) Chris Zizek was raised in Goderich, Ontario and went on to serve for nearly 20 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. Serving as a vehicle technician, he was posted across Canada and deployed to Afghanistan as part of Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan. During his career he was also an instructor at the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineering School, a time Zizek calls one of the most memorable highlights from his career. A social butterfly at heart, Zizek enjoys connecting with his fellow Veterans and their families – he’ll have the opportunity to do so during the 2021 Invictus Games in The Hague.

Ryan Carey

Captain (Ret’d) Ryan Carey

Being part of a team has played an important role in Ryan Carey’s life. As a Veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and also a former football player in the Canadian Football League, teamwork and competition is something that he has always enjoyed. He is now part of a new team – and it has re-ignited his competitive spirit. Ryan is proud to be representing Canada as a competitor in archery, sitting volleyball and swimming at the 2021 Invictus Games.

Jay Feyko

Major (Ret'd) Jay Feyko

After sustaining a serious injury while serving in Afghanistan in 2004, Major (Ret'd) Jay Feyko was drawn to Soldier On, a Canadian Armed Forces program that empowers physically and mentally injured members to embrace an active lifestyle.

Jessica Garneau

Corporal (Ret'd) Jessica Garneau

Invictus competitor retired Corporal Jessica Garneau was set to compete at the 2020 Invictus Games which was postponed due to the global pandemic but for Garneau this did not mean giving up on her dreams nor on her training. Faced with difficult challenges in the past, Garneau knows all too well how to cope when the chips are down.

Victory over Japan (V-J) Day and the end of the Second World War

George MacDonell

Sergeant-Major (Ret’d) George MacDonell

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, on 4 August 1922, George MacDonell joined the local militia in Listowel, Ontario while he was still in high school. He went on to enlist in the regular force following the outbreak of the Second World War. He served in Eastern Canada and participated in the defence of Hong Kong, before spending more than three and a half years as a Japanese prisoner of war.

Private (Ret’d) Vicky Luscombe

Private (Ret’d) Vicky Luscombe

Vicky Luscombe was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland during the summer of 1925. As the Second World War commenced, Vicky had plans of enlisting to support the Canadian war effort. At 16, she was turned away due to her young age. But two years later, just a day after her 18th birthday, she was accepted by the Forces and joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC).

Anne and Howard McNamara

Corporal (Ret'd) Anne McNamara and Flying Officer (Ret'd) Howard McNamara

When all the men her age were enlisting, Anne McNamara knew she wanted to do her part. Determined not to be left behind, she joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943 as part of the Entertainment Unit. Meanwhile, her future husband Howard was serving as a pilot in the North African and Italian Campaigns, attacking German targets and escorting Allied bombers. The pair are featured on this year's Veterans' Week poster, as we commemorate the end of the Second World War.

John Hillman

Radio Operator (Ret’d) John Hillman

Radio Operator (Ret’d) John Hillman was born in South Wales, United Kingdom in 1919. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1937 at the age of 17 and went on to serve in the Second World War. Hillman was awarded four different Second World War medals, including the Burma Star – which recently prompted a special connection with a comrade overseas.

The Liberation of the Netherlands

Lorne Figley

Driver-Operator (Ret’d) Lorne “Fig” Figley

Lorne “Fig” Figley was born 22 January 1924 in Sanctuary, Saskatchewan. Mr. Figley enlisted in Saskatoon in October 1942 at the age of 18, did his basic training in Regina and then moved to Valcartier for advanced training in heavy truck driving. He spent the latter part of his service with the No. 664 Squadron (RAF) which was a Canadian manned Air Observation Post (AOP) squadron.

Maurice Gauthier

Private (Ret’d) Maurice Gauthier

Maurice Gauthier was born in 1924 in Hull, Québec. Following in his older brother’s footsteps, he enlisted to serve overseas in August 1944 in Ottawa when he was only 20 years old. Gauthier served with Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal in Belgium, Germany and Holland.

John Preece

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.

John Preece

Private (Ret’d) Armand Berthiaume

Armand Berthiaume was born in 1925 in Verdun, Quebec. He volunteered in 1944 at the age of 18 with aspirations of seeing the world. He served with Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal and participated in the Liberation of the Netherlands, among other conflicts.

Havelyn Chiasson

Corporal (Ret’d) Havelyn Chiasson

On 4 May 1945, Chiasson’s Colonel asked him to send out a broadcast radio message that said: “Ceasefire! Don’t fire unless you are fired on!” These words, within a few hours, marked a ceasefire on the Western Front.

John Preece

Private (Ret’d) John Preece

John Stewart Preece was born on 19 October 1926 in Toronto, Ontario. He enlisted in July 1944 and joined the Royal Regiment of Canada. He served during the Rhineland Campaign, 2nd Canadian Division. He retired with the rank of Private in 1945 after having served in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Charles Goodman

Major (Ret’d) Charles “Chic” Goodman

Charles E. “Chic” Goodman was born on 5 February 1926 in Montreal, Quebec. He enlisted as a private soldier in the Non-Permanent Active Militia in December 1941 and volunteered for active service one year later with the Saint John Fusiliers (MG). At just 18 years of age, he went overseas in early 1944 as a reinforcement with the South Saskatchewan Regiment.

Norman Kirby

Sergeant (Ret’d) Norman Kirby

Norman Harold Kirby was raised listening to stories of war – both those told by his grandfather and his school teacher. His grandfather was a Veteran of the Boer War and the First World War. His schoolteacher lost an eye, an arm and a leg to trench warfare. He understood what it meant to go to war. He understood the fear. He understood the loss of life. Still, when his generation’s war came, Kirby answered the call. And he’s never been sorry that he did.

Battle of the Atlantic

Benoît Duval

Benoît Duval

Benoît Duval was born on April 4, 1923, in Tourville, Quebec. He enlisted with the Royal 22e Régiment in Valcartier when he was only 16 years old. He spent the years of the Second World War crossing the Atlantic Ocean in convoys to ensure the safety of merchant ships during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Elsa Lessard

Elsa Lessard

Elsa Lessard was born 2 July 1922 and is a longtime Ottawa, Ontario resident. She enlisted with the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRENS) during the Second World War in 1943. Since the 1970s, she has dedicated her time to honouring those who lost their lives during the Battle of the Atlantic and increasing public awareness of women’s contributions during the Second World War and of the WRENS.

Kayden MacPhee

Kayden MacPhee

Kayden MacPhee is currently a grade 12 student from Maple Ridge, New Brunswick. He recently presented a class project on the service of Able Seaman Douglas Moore, a Veteran of the Second World War. Able Seaman Moore also happens to be Kayden’s great-grandfather.

Cyprus

Raymond Goodchild

Corporal (Ret'd) Raymond Goodchild

Corporal (Ret'd) Raymond Goodchild was born in Nipigon, Ontario. He's lived in Pawgwasheeng Pays Plat First Nation for the majority of his life. His sister served in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) which inspired Goodchild to enlist. He served in the CAF from 1979 to 1983 and supported the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cyprus. Although Goodchild left the CAF in 1983, his service continues – in the form of providing support for his local community.

Rwanda

Warrant Officer (Ret’d) Kevin ‘Sammy’ Sampson

Warrant Officer (Ret’d) Kevin ‘Sammy’ Sampson

Sammy Sampson graduated from high school in Nova Scotia on 22 June 1988. Less than two months later, at 18, he was serving with United Nations forces on the Iraq-Iran border as a radio operator, where a ceasefire had recently been reached between the two countries after almost eight years of fighting.

Sergeant-Major (Ret’d) Mark Charlton

Sergeant-Major (Ret’d) Mark Charlton

Originally from Belleville, Ontario, Mark Charlton was an Air Cadet and member of the Infantry reserves, before transferring to the regular force in 1979. After completing his basic and radio operator training, he was posted across Canada and served on peacekeeping and NATO deployments around the world.

Korean War

Douglas Finney

Wireless Operator (Ret’d) Douglas Finney

A Veteran of the Korean War, Doug Finney has always had a passion for remembrance. Born and raised close to the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, Finney’s father was already serving in Korea as a Colonel when Doug joined the Canadian Army. He would go on to serve for 14 months in Korea, as part of the 81st Field Regiment, which later evolved to the 4th Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.

Delphis Cormier

Warrant Officer (Ret’d) Delphis Cormier

Delphis Cormier was born in the small town of Atholville, New Brunswick, in 1933. He grew up as Canada and its allies fought for almost six years in the Second World War. With the outbreak of the Korean War, he enlisted in 1950, at 17 years old, to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Hazel Regan

Hazel Regan

Hazel Regan grew up in the West End of Toronto after the Second World War, along with her five sisters and only brother, Private William (Billy) Patrick Regan. Her brother was killed during the Korean War while she was still a child. Throughout her life she has continued to honour and remember him.

Edward “Ted” Zuber

Edward “Ted” Zuber

Ted Zuber was thirteen when the Second World War ended in 1945. He had grown up listening to programs reporting on the conflict through his family’s radio.

The Italian Campaign

Geoffrey Crowe

Geoffrey Crowe

Geoffrey Crowe’s family grew up knowing they had a rich military history going back generations, and recent commemorative events in Italy provided a unique opportunity to connect with a significant part of that history.

Mariangela Rondinelli

Mariangela Rondinelli

Mariangela Rondinelli helps keep the legacy of Canadian service and sacrifice alive through Wartime Friends, an organization that fosters acts of remembrance rooted in the Second World War. She also encourages interactions between the people of the Province of Ravenna, Italy and the soldiers that fought there. She was honoured by the Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, for her incredible work and dedication.

Drew Carter

Drew Carter

Drew Carter is a second year University of Ottawa history student. A native of Kentville, Nova Scotia, he is currently a student guide at the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial and the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France.

Private (Ret’d) James Andrew Robb

Private (Ret’d) James “Andy” Andrew Robb

Private James “Andy” Andrew Robb was born in Stoney Beach, Saskatchewan. He later moved to Fairview, Alberta, and enlisted with the Loyal Edmonton Regiment in 1940. Robb spent three years in training, and later landed in Sicily as part of Allied efforts during the Italian Campaign.

Salma Khattab

Salma Khattab

This past November, Salma Khattab travelled to Italy as a youth delegate on the official Government of Canada delegation to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Italian Campaign.

Private (Ret’d) Joseph-Amable Dubé

Trooper (Ret’d) Gordon “Gord” Fennell

Gordon “Gord” Fennell was born on 19 April 1922 in Preston, Ontario. He enlisted with the Highland Light Infantry of Canada on 18 June 1940 in Galt, Ontario. His service lasted until 30 October 1945 when he retired with the rank of Trooper–a Trooper with a very lucky pair of shoes.

Private (Ret’d) Joseph-Amable Dubé

Private (Ret’d) Joseph-Amable Dubé

Because he was not very tall, and because he was very young, his brothers in arms called him “ti-cul” during the war, laughing and promising to protect him. “And they protected me! I always felt confident in their presence.” Now 93-year-old Joseph-Amable “ti-cul” Dubé returned to Italy as a member of the Government of Canada delegation to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Italian campaign.

The Honourable Daniel J. MacDonald

The Honourable Daniel J. MacDonald

Daniel “Daniel Dan” Joseph MacDonald was born in Bothwell, Prince Edward Island, on 23 July 1918 and lived an eventful life filled with service to his province and country. MacDonald owned his own farm, volunteered to fight in the Second World War, saw action in the Italian Campaign, became a member of his province’s legislative assembly, and served as a Member of Parliament as well as the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

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.

Roland Lalonde

Roland Lalonde

Roland Lalonde was born on 8 July 1923 in Ottawa, Ontario. He enlisted in the Army on 5 November 1942, at the age of 20, because he wanted to serve his country. Three of his friends wanted him to join them in the navy but the Ottawa native told them he was “an Army man” and instead, Lalonde joined the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps (RCOC) as a clerk typist.

Canadians Remember

Lance Sergeant (Ret’d) David Adlington

Hannah Yang (Student Guide
at Veterans Affairs Canada)

Hannah Yang, from Surrey, British Columbia, is a student at the University of British Columbia. She worked at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial as a student guide from September to December 2019.

Véronic Beaudry and Samuel Duguay

Véronic Beaudry and Samuel Duguay

Véronic Beaudry and Samuel Duguay participated in events commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Normandy landing. Véronic was a guide at the Juno Beach Centre and Samuel is a member of the Veterans Affairs Canada Youth Network.

Orillia Secondary School

Orillia Secondary School

May 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands and the end of the Second World War in Europe. To commemorate this important milestone in Canadian history, a group of students at Orillia Secondary School organized a remarkable initiative to commemorate Canadian sacrifices. The Walk to Remember project was built so that younger generations remember the sacrifices and hardships of Canadian soldiers – even during unprecedented times.

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.

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…

Jaye “Pete” Edwards

Jaye “Pete” Edwards

Jaye Edwards was 23 years old and on a train to Manchester, England when she got news the Second World War had ended in Europe. She had just flown a plane to the battlefront to replace one lost in the war.

Gallery

Faces of Freedom Exhibit at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial

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