Over the years, Wally Stuckart has
seldom spoken openly about his
experiences in the Second World
War. He enlisted in the army
in 1942, and served in England,
Netherlands and Belgium with the
Royal Canadian Engineers. Wally
was a machinist, a job he also held
with Canadian Pacific Railway for 41
years after the war.
His daughter says that Wally
only recently began to share his
stories. For instance, when he sees
a vapour trail from a plane, he’ll
recall thousands of such trails
overhead as planes left England
for the continent near the war’s
end. Or, he’ll talk about an old
picture, where he’s standing by an
abandoned tank with a child sitting
on it. Why did Wally serve? “It was,”
he says simply, “the right thing
to do.”
Frances Livingston trained as a
dental nurse in 1935, but the job
didn’t pay much. “If you were lucky,
you got $5 a week,” she recalls.
So she took a business course,
changed careers and found office
work. But in 1942 she returned
to her original training to serve in
the women’s division of the Royal
Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
Frances spent most of her time
at Camp Borden in Ontario. She
cared for the airmen, and also those
serving at a nearby army camp. “We
had a great clinic,” she says. Why
did Frances join? “My brother was
in the RCAF. He went in before war
as a mechanic. I just wanted to be
part of it, to do what I could.”
During the Second World War,
enemy mines would be placed in
shipping lanes or around harbours.
As a member of the Canadian Navy,
George Kilvington was deployed
mostly on minesweepers in the
Atlantic to disable the devices. He
sailed along the east coast of North
America in a convoy.
Post-war, George was part of the
crew that picked up a Canadian
destroyer in Glasgow. It took three
months to bring it through the
Panama Canal and up to Esquimalt,
B.C. But, his service wasn’t over
yet. After being discharged, George
retrained and worked at the
Esquimalt Naval Dockyard,
as a foreman.
Engineering a
Serving on the
Home Front
A Sweeping
Wally Stuckart, Bow-Crest
Care Centre, Calgary, Alta.
Frances Livingston, Hillside
Manor, Stratford, Ont.
George Kilvington,
Glenwarren Lodge,
Victoria, B.C.