130,000 French Canadians Voluntered to Fight in World War II

I got this message from an American friend.

Sunday I watched a documentary about D-Day on the History Channel that I hadn’t seen before.

In many ways it was not as good as other documentaries about the same topic, because some things were left out entirely.  But it was one of the few programs I have seen that dealt at any length with the Canadian beach, Juno, and the Canadian role in the battle to cut off the German army.

I think the battle was near Falaise as they tried to link up with American troops.

Most American movies and most documentaries about the invasion and the subsequent break-out and sweep across France tend to focus on the Americans and the British, especially Montgomery.  And it seemed to me that the British series “World at War” did much the same.  It was mainly “Brits” and Americans.

Anyway, I was wondering if D-Day remains an important memory in Canada.

Any comments?

I wrote this to my friend…


Canadians soldiers were renowned for their courage.
They had the hard job in the Italian campaign.
They also liberated part of Holland and the Dutch are still grateful for this.

Since historians write history, most war stories come from English or American sources.

The Canadians soldiers were not invited to parade in Rome. This is a fact.

I have started a series of articles on Fernand Hains on my blog Souvenirs de guerre.


Fernand died on June 6, 1944.

He was the uncle of someone I know, Mario Hains.
This guy pays homage to his uncle and has sent me a lot of documentation.

Fernand Hains died in la commune d’Anguerny in Normandy.

I think I owe it to my English readers to talk about it on my English blog.

Your message has reminded me that people elsewhere in Canada think that they were alone fighting Hitler and that the French Canadians did not do their part.

Jack Edward Albert Forron MPD

In memory of
Leading Stoker
who died on April 29, 1944

Veterans’ site

Military Service:

Service Number: V/17506Age: 20Force: NavyUnit: Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer ReserveDivision: H.M.C.S. Athabaskan

Additional Information:

Son of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Forron, of London, Ontario. The province of Ontario honoured Leading Stoker Forron by naming Forron Lake in his honour.

April 29, 1944

Jack was most probably in the engine room with my wife’s uncle.
In Emile Beaudoin’s book Unlucky Lady, Jack is MPD.

Missing and Presumed Dead.

There is another picture of Jack…

Jack’s brother wrote me a comment on my blog.

He wanted to know where Lake Forron was.

The province of Ontario named a lake in his name.

Here in Québec, we don’t do that.

We just forget.
That is so sad.

More than 130 000 French Canadians fought in World War II.

This is not well known.
That is so sad.

Who were writing the history books back then?

Lest We Forget.

My dad is in the upper barracks photo in the white shirt…

Each time I get a comment from a relative of one of the HMCS Athabaskan sailor, it makes me feel good.

This blog is mainly dedicated to those sailors.

Collection Jim L’Esperance

My dad is in the upper barracks photo in the white shirt.

He survived the sinking of the Athabaskan.

His name was (in the army) Harry Hurwitt, altered so that if he was picked up by the Germans, his Jewishness would not be used an excuse for maltreatment.

(As it so happens, someone informed on him and he was thrown into isolation).

He also has a log book, with some of these photos, and we all enjoy his stories and pics.

He is a hearty 88 today.

This is a warm and hearty story… like this one.

Collection Yves Dufeil