It’s a Privilege, Sir: Remembering on Remembrance Day

I have had the privilege to interview a few war veterans for my own research as well as for my volunteer work doing Oral History interviews for my local museum. I’m often surprised at how veterans can look back at war and still find humour and brightness amongst the dark. Perhaps it is the resilience of youth that got them through the rough times. Whatever the case, I have found each and every one of them inspiring men. It is not necessarily what they have done in war but their strength of character to carry on that intrigues me and captures my heart.

The men of EQ-P, whom I remember today, were not so lucky as to have survived the war but they too have captured my heart. Up until a couple of years ago I did not really know them. I only knew one by name, he being my cousin, the others were not even a name. They were unknown entities. I knew them as nothing more than six other men my relative served with and that is all. Today that is no longer the case. Each one is a person I can fondly remember.

In a time when few of us now remember the fallen through first hand knowledge it is more important than ever to do more than the obligatory respectful one or two minutes silence for those who died for our freedom. Why? It is hard to feel the emotional impact of each life lost if we do not know those we are standing silent for. A name does not mean much without putting something more substantial behind it. Let them not be just a name. Let the silence mean something more than just being respectful.

This year and in all my years to come, I will remember the boys of EQ-P. May they live once again through my research. 

Another year not forgotten. 

Another year remembered with love.

 

In Memory of the Boys of EQ-P of 408 ‘Goose’ Squadron

The boys of Lancaster Mk II LL637 EQ-P died on the night of March 15 1944, on an operation to Stuttgart, Germany. They are buried in Hilsenheim Communal Cemetery in Hilsenheim, France.

Norman Andrew Lumgair (Norm) was a Farm Lad from Manitoba, Canada. With nerves of steel he became the Pilot of the crew. Known for dressing up with a bow tie, even as a school boy, he loved to impress the girls. He died on his sixth Op at the age of 21.

 Douglas Cruickshank (Jock) was a RAF serviceman from Yorkshire, United Kingdom. He entered the RAF before the outbreak of war. After serving his country in South Africa he later returned to the UK to become a Flight Engineer. He died on his fifth Op at the age of 22.

 William Taylor (Bill) was a Farm Lad from Saskatchewan, Canada. Even before he left school he wanted to serve his country. Although he wished to be a pilot he was to become the Bomb Aimer of the crew. He died on his fifth Op at the age of 23.

 George Parker was a Teacher and Coal Truck Driver from Alberta, Canada. With his educational background he became the Navigator. A loving husband, he wrote his wife everyday he was overseas. He died on his fifth Op at the age of 28. He left behind his wife and two young children.

 William Lawrence Doran (Larry) was a Mucking Machine Operator from British Columbia, Canada. As a Wireless Operator he was the link to the outside world. He had a strong interest in Journalism and was well thought of within his local community. He died on his fifth Op at the age of 29. He left behind his wife.

 Robert Henry Hudson (Bob) worked for a surfacing company in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. He was always the boy with a smile on his face. As the Mid Upper Gunner he had a cold job. He died on his fifth Op at age 19.

 Robert George Alfred Burt (Bud) was a Machine Operator in a Shoe Factory in Ontario, Canada. As the Tail Gunner of the crew he had the coldest and most isolated position. He is fondly remembered as the teasing older brother. He died on his first Op at age 19.

They served together, they died together but they are remembered forever in our hearts.

 

The following poem was written by William Taylor’s sister.

The following are a few links to Remembrance Day videos on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq5hFrb7b_E

Bryan Adams – Remembrance Day

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kX_3y3u5Uo

Terry Kelly – A Pittance of Time

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6 comments on “It’s a Privilege, Sir: Remembering on Remembrance Day

  1. Ken Burt says:

    You have managed to bring tears to my eyes again. I am reminded of the last lines of Theodore O’Hara’s poem “Bivoac Of The Dead” (maybe because of my mother’s angish).
    “O’er Angostura’s plain-
    And long the pitying sky has wept
    Above it’s moldered slain.
    The raven’s scream, or eagle’s flight,
    Or sheperd’s pensive lay,
    Alone awakes each sullen height
    That frowned o’er that dread fray.”
    Ken

  2. The Hook says:

    Wonderful job. You are to be commended for honoring those who have risked so much for all of us.

  3. belocchio says:

    Looking at all those young faces all one can think of how absolutely senseless war is. Virginia

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