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Mother’s Reaction to His Enlistment

Heroes Remember

Mother’s Reaction to His Enlistment

My father was killed in the second Ypres in the First War and my mother looked after three children, and in 1939 I suddenly realized that we were all going overseas, and we were leaving her alone, and she had lost her husband in the First War. And I said, “I want you to know mother that I appreciate, I know what you must feel about losing your family again.” And she said, “I don’t want you to go, but I’d kick you out of the house if you didn’t.” Now, I think that is the attitude of Canadians and I think that she said it very well, for all of us.

A parting comment from Colonel Merritt about his mother’s reaction when he and his siblings enlisted at the beginning of the WWII.

Charles Cecil Ingersol Merritt

Colonel Merritt’s father was killed in Ypres during the First World War. 7 or 8 of his uncles from both sides of the family also served during the First World War - three of whom were killed in action. He received his early education in Vancouver and Victoria and then went on to Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. He articled with a Vancouver lawyer for three years before being called to the bar there in 1929. During this time, he joined the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada militia unit - the unit with whom he enlisted with when the Second World War was declared. Eventually, in late 1941, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the South Saskatchewan Regiment, and served with the Regiment until the war was over. During his service he earned the Victoria Cross for his gallant efforts on Aug. 19, 1942 in the Dieppe Raid. Mr. Merritt was taken prisoner during the Dieppe Raid. Following the war Mr. Merritt returned to his law practice in Vancouver and served in the Canadian Federal Parliament from 1945 - 1949. He continued to live in Vancouver until his death on July 12, 2000.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Charles Cecil Ingersol Merritt
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
South Saskatchewan Regiment
Company Commander

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