Language selection


Difficulty for wives and mothers when their sons went overseas

Heroes Remember

Difficulty for wives and mothers when their sons went overseas

Women, wives, mothers, had a worse war than, than anybody in the front line. I'm absolutely convinced of this. See we knew when we were safe and we were safe most of the time let's face it. During the whole period in, in England, for instance, we were exposed to no more risk than, less risk than crossing Sparks Street here in Ottawa, for God's sake, at a, at a five o'clock. And we knew we were safe, but our wives didn't, our mothers didn't And every time the phone rang or a rap at the door, it could be the message, "We regret to inform you." And to illustrate my point, and my wife had to live with this for four years, she knew when I was going overseas, she knew when I was on the sea and she knew although there were, statistically it was not at that point exposed, but this was the worst month of, of U-boat sinkings in the North Atlantic was the month that I went over in 1942. Now we didn't know that, but we knew it was, it was getting dangerously severe, we knew that. I don't know how we gathered that, but sinkings were eventually, I guess, reported and anyway we knew that it was a very bad time, we didn't know it was the worst. But she would be aware of that.

Mr. Blackburn talks about how difficult it was for wives and mothers back in Canada when their sons and husbands were overseas.

George Blackburn

George Blackburn was born in Wales, Ontario, on February 3, 1917. His father started out as a steam shovel runner in building the railroads in the United States. George also worked in journalism for a little while. In 1940 after the war had broke out he decided it was time to join the services. He was rejected from the navy and the air force because of his poor eye sight. It was then that he joined RCA. He went through training and it was there that he learned valuable lessons. George was part of the 4th Regiment. He experienced the Battle of Normandy. There he was a gunnery officer. Upon his return to Canada, Mr. Blackburn made Ottawa his home. His list of occupations include newspaper reporter, Director of Information of the Federal Labour Department, and Director of Fair Employment Practices. In addition, he has been a radio producer, an award-winning documentary scriptwriter, an award-winning playwright, published author, and a lyricist and composer. Mr. Blackburn also earned his Military Cross helping to save the Twente Canaal bridgehead in Holland.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
George Blackburn
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Northwest Europe
4th Battery
Gunnery Officer

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: