Language selection


An Important Lesson in Life

Heroes Remember

An Important Lesson in Life

You know I talk about a couple of bad guys but once I was kidnapped by my ship mates. They wouldn’t allow me to go and see my brother. They said, “You got to come with us. It won’t be the same without you.” So we went to London, wound up in London instead of Tholthorpe where there was an airbase. So that’s it I had very good friends, very few enemies. You are bound to get one or two like that. So the war to me was a great education in relationships with my fellow shipmates. I got to know Canada better, you know. A ship is a she because it carries within. So it’s a family, you know. And I am sure everybody sees it the same way. Maybe some of them don’t explain it the same way but they feel the same way. You have a certain bonding. One of the hardest things to face is you get out of the service, you’re twenty years of age, what are you going to do for the rest of your life? And the friends that weren’t with you seem kind of square to you. You know, you think that you solved all the problems in the world, that you’re this and you’re that and they’re not. But then you fit in again afterwards.

Mr. Polowin shares a humorous story going to London with his buddies and forging friendships that have carried on throughout his lifetime.

Alexander Polowin

Mr. Alexander Polowin was born in Lithuania in 1925. Growing up, his family endured many hardships and because of this Mr. Polowin’s father left for Canada in hopes of bringing new opportunities to their family. Life as a child for Mr. Polowin was focused and at age 8 he found himself selling product door to door in hopes of helping his family financially. At age 17 he joined the Navy, a service he knew nothing about but fondly looks back on as a very positive part of his life. Mr. Polowin fought during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy onboard the HMCS Huron. Never stepping foot on French soil, Mr. Polowin returned to France in June 2014 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. He resides in Ottawa and shares his wartime experiences with youth accepting many invitations to speak at schools.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 2, 2014
Person Interviewed:
Alexander Polowin
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
English Channel
HMCS Avalon
Able Seaman

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: