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Ronald Chamberlain

Ronald Chamberlain served in the Royal Canadian Airforce, and survived a year as a Prisoner of War in Germany.

United Kingdom

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Second World War

Biography

Ronald Chamberlain was born in the United Kingdom in 1915, the son of a family that fell on hard times. He and his older brother eventually had to be put into the care of a children’s home. In 1925, ten-year-old Ronald was put on a ship for Canada and he would work on farms in Ontario as a British Home Child. He experienced both supportive families and ones that treated him very poorly before he was old enough to strike off on his own.

Chamberlain volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force in January 1940 during the Second World War. He served as a wireless operator and gunner on Halifax Bombers that flew missions over occupied Europe. It was very dangerous duty and his warplane was shot down over Germany in April 1944. Chamberlain was able to parachute from his damaged plane but was injured when he roughly landed on railroad tracks. The Germans found him and Chamberlain would spend the rest of the war as a prisoner of war until the conflict ended in May 1945.

He was liberated and returned to Canada where he and his wife Beatrice would raise six children and enjoy 17 grandchildren. Chamberlain would endure the pain of his wartime wounds for the rest of his life but would be happily married for more than fifty years before passing away in 1996.


Where they participated

Photo provided by British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association (BHCACA), photo source: Ronald Chamberlain’s late daughter, Doreen Young

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