LETHBRIDGE – On this Remembrance Day we asked our own staff to share their memories of who they are paying tribute to on this day. Here are their thoughts.
News anchor and newsroom manager Liam Nixon honours his grandfather
World War II veteran William Creighton Heaney. Liam Nixon
World War II veteran William Creighton Heaney.
My grandfather, William Creighton Heaney, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve as soon as he turned 19. A Halifax newspaper reported he was the youngest sailor on his ship, spending 1943-45 on a destroyer running between Halifax and Blackpool, England. He was a leading stoker and diesel swamper and was on the crew which brought the Tribal Class Destroyer HMCS Haida home from Blackpool on her maiden voyage. My grandfather wasn’t one for speaking of his wartime experience, but would say it was “the best, and the worst” time of his life. Not an uncommon sentiment, I think. He died in 2008 and I inherited his I.D. bracelet, which I now proudly wear in his honour.
News anchor Paul Kingsmith honours his many relatives who have served
My thoughts most often go to a family member who served during World War II but never made it back. My great-uncle Clarence Howg was the only boy in a family of 11 kids, and an idol his younger sister, my grandma. He left the family farm near Enchant and joined the Fort Garry Horse Regiment in Calgary. A tank operator, Clarence landed at Juno Beach on D-Day and while he survived that bloody battle, he died less than two months later, on July 25, 1944 in action in France. He was just 22-years-old.
I also think of my grandfather, Ken Kingsmith. He left behind a pregnant wife and returned to a new baby after a tour of duty in Korea. While serving with the Princess Patricia Light Infantry he was promoted to the rank of sergeant, the youngest in the country at that time. He didn’t like to talk of the war, but he left a lasting legacy. My father, Kim, was named after a small Korean boy he befriended while serving.
And, on my mother’s side I think of my great-grandpa David Copland. He served in the British army transporting dignitaries between Ireland his native Scotland. He met my great-grandmother on those trips and they emigrated to Canada. He enlisted in the army in his new country, serving as sergeant in the Lord Strathcona Horse, training soldiers heading overseas for World War II. His son, also named David, followed in his footsteps, serving in Korea.
Videographer Blake Lough honours his great-grandfather
My great-grandfather, Charles Edmund Lough, spent years abroad during World War I. He left Halifax in August, 1915 and didn’t return home until May, 1919. A gunner with the 18th battery, he fought in notable battles throughout France and Belgium, including the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele and Amiens. He spent a final Christmas in Germany in 1918 before returning to his home country.
Editor Ian Brand honours his grandfather
I share a name with my grandfather, Ian Brand, a leading aircraftsman in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He served over England from 1942-45 as a wireless operator. His mission to serve extended to his return home where he became a civic engineer with the City of Saskatoon. He designed many of the roadways still used in the city, and had a street – Brand Road – named after him. He passed away on Jan. 22, 1997.
Technical supervisor Greg Polak honours his grandfather
My grandfather Douglas Slade served proudly in World War II. Acting as a pilot and mechanic in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he returned home in 1944. He was stationed in southern Alberta and met his eventual wife, Ethel, at a dance in Claresholm. He passed away in 2004.