Grade 7 and 8 students from Caledon East Public School had the unique opportunity to hear from Russell Thompson, a 99 year-old Canadian veteran who fought in World War Two. During his visit, students heard Thompson's personal stories of his time overseas and gained a better perspective in valuing the freedom that Thompson and many others fought for.
Born in Sept. 22, 1919, in Dauphin, Manitoba, Thompson was the second youngest of 11 children. His eldest brother, Curtis, served in Europe during World War One. Thompson enlisted into the army at the age of 20 and was sent to Prince Rupert, British Columbia to protect the country from a possible attack.
In 1944, he was sent to serve in England, France, Belgium and The Netherlands to support the Allied troops and while overseas, he joined the Canadian Army's 5th Division, First Corps, as a radio operator and driver. When the war ended in May 1945, Thompson remained in The Netherlands until December to assist in dismantling the Allied military presence and help re-establish its society.
Thompson captivated his audience as they listened to him share the many emotions he felt during his time overseas and arrival back home – stories that students and staff hope to share in efforts to honour and commemorate Canadian heroes every day.
To read more about Russell Thompson, please visit: http://elinorflorence.com/blog/army-veteran-russell-thompson
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