A War Guest in Canada
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Imprint: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Sales Date: 2023-09-12
Published: September 2023
272 Pages, 5.25 x 8.00 x 0.75 in, 10 b&w illustrations
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During the Second World War, hundreds of children were sent from the UK to stay with family and friends in Canada as “war guests.” This book collects the letters of one such war guest, young W.A.B (Alec) Douglas, who wrote from his wartime home in Toronto to his mother back home in London.
Alec wrote home every week, although sometimes he forgot to post his letters, and they were delayed, and some letters did not get through. Occasionally his godmother and host, Mavis Fry, would add comments and write her own more detailed letters. Also included are letters from Lillian Kingston, who brought Alec to North America in 1940.
This is a story of exposure, at an impressionable age, to ocean passage in wartime, the sights and sounds of New York, the totally new and unfamiliar world of Canada, the wonderful excitement of passage home in a Woolworth Aircraft Carrier as a "Guest of the Admiralty," and his eventful return to a world he had left behind three years before.
A War Guest in Canada includes a foreword by Cynthia Comacchio and an introduction by Roger Sarty.
Table of Contents
Preface, by Cynthia Comacchio
Introduction: The Careers of W.A.B. Douglas: Sailor and Historian, by Roger Sarty
A War Guest in Canada, 1940–1943
2. August 1940: Arrival in Toronto
3. September–October 1940: School!
4. October–December 1940: Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween
5. December 1940–March 1941: First Canadian Christmas and Winter
6. April–August 1941
7. September–December 1941
8. January–September 1942: The Farm, Summer Camp, and New Experiences
9. October–December 1942
10. January–July 1943: Last Months in Canada
11. July–August 1943: Return to England
12. 1943–1947: Transition from a War Guest to a Canadian