I come from a large family with one sister Helen McClaren, and five brothers; Norman Archer Powell, Wilfred Gordon Powell, Charles Edward Powell, Stanley Hixon Powell, and Robert Russell Powell. All my brothers have been enlisted men during and around the Second World War.
C oincidentally, two of my brothers, Norman & Gordon, unbeknownst to each other, both independently enlisted in the same regiment, the "Duke of Connaughts Own Rifles" (DCOR), on the same day in Vancouver, BC. Initially they were both stationed at New Westminister, BC.
T here is a specific picture that hangs in most, if not all of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) offices across Canada. The picture shows a large group of soldiers marching off "to war" with a small boy running along side apparently saying "Wait for me, Daddy". The photographer who snapped this picture won much fame for this particular shot which appeared on the cover of the Life Magazine. Both Norman & Gordon appear in the group.
T he entire family were heart-sore at the thought of both Norman and Gordon being sent off to Europe and the War Zone. But all the same, they did go across the water, but only to the Army Base at Nanamino on Vancouver Island!
M y brother Norman was later transferred back to Vancouver, where he was based first in the old Vancouver Hotel and then moved to the Little Mountain Camp, where he served in the Quarter Master Stores until the end of the war.
M y brother Gordon was sent down to Eastern Canada, first to Camp Borden and then to Nova Scotia before going overseas. His regiment was sent to Europe. I can remember sending him countless parcels of food, which he shared with various people he met during their trek across France and Holland. I can remember one letter from him saying he shared his food parcels with the people of the country they were in because they had little or no food to eat. He said that these people were reduced to eating "tulip bulbs" because they were in such dire straits.
O f my other three brothers, Charles joined the "Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry" before the war and was stationed at Tuxedo Barracks in Winnipeg. My brother Stanley also served in the Canadian Army. And my younger brother Robert served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Saskatoon.
I met my husband Bill Fowler when after enlisting in the Army was stationed in Vancouver. After we were married, on December 23rd, 1943, we had a honeymoon trip to Kinley, Saskatchewan where I was able to meet the rest of his family. I had already met his brother Allan, who was also in the army and stationed in Vancouver, with Bill, and had just received his discharge in the fall of 1943.
M y brother Robert was stationed in Saskatoon at the Air Force Base at the time of our marriage and was able to come out to Kinley to spend New Years with the Fowler family.
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