They Were so Young: Montrealers Remember World War II

Edited by Patricia Burns

After visiting her cousin's grave in the Canadian military cemetery at Bretteville-sur-Laize in Normandy, Patricia Burns returned to Montreal with a determination to record the stories of veterans of World War II. These stories of young men and women who served in the army, navy and air force illustrate the raw courage, youthful bravado, and sacrifice needed to defeat a powerful enemy. Some served on the home front; others, who returned from the theatre of war, were never the same again.Moving accounts from family members of veterans—sons, daughters, wives and siblings—reveal the price they also paid in this most horrible war. We meet a young bride who spent her first three wedding anniversaries alone while her husband languished in the POW camp, Stalag Luft III, and took part in the doomed escape which was made into the movie, The Great Escape; a ship's stoker who feared not being able to escape a torpedo attack which would mean either instant death or a horrible death by scalding; the daring pilot who became a priest after the war; a young woman who joined the air force and realized that its motto, "We Serve That Men May Fly" really meant "We Serve That Men May Die"; a nurse who unknowingly skied in a minefield in Italy, and a soldier's account of the Dieppe raid of August 19, 1942—"the costliest day in Canada's military history.

History 2002

Read an excerpt

Patricia Burnsis the author of The Shamrock and the Shield: An Oral History of the Irish and They Were So Young: Montrealers Remember WWII. She lives in Montreal.

Other books by Patricia Burns:
The Shamrock and the Shield: An Oral History of the Irish in Montreal
Life on the Home Front: Montreal 1939-1945
Trade paperback
186 pp 9" x 6"
ISBN13: 9781550651676

CDN $18.00
US & International
US $18.00