November 12, 2012 Features & Images » Feature Story

Lest we forget 

click to flip through (5) Roy Buchholz (right) with a friend at Trafalgar Square, London, U.K. during his service in WW II.
  • Roy Buchholz (right) with a friend at Trafalgar Square, London, U.K. during his service in WW II.

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At the end of the war, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross for service over Europe. This was in recognition of his outstanding record in safely bringing home so many planes.

My father was proud of his role in WWII, however, being such a modest and reserved person, he didn't like to talk about it. Although he survived without injury and was never shot down, he must have lost many of his friends and comrades and been dreadfully aware of the potential injuries that could be incurred. I know that the bombing of towns in Northern Europe and the likely deaths of innocent people, weighed heavily on his mind.

As we approach November 11, our day to remember those we have lost, I'm sure my father's hope would be that we never forget the sacrifices that have been made by others so that we may live our life in freedom today.

By David Rushbrook

Each fall my family and I attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Whistler Cenotaph by the Fire Hall. On this day we lay a wreath in memory my Grandfather John W. Rushbrook, who served in World War I with the 42nd Highland Blackwatch Regiment.

He and his fellow soldiers fought in several engagements, Amiens, Arras, Monchy, Canal de Nord, Bourlon Wood, Valenciennes, and Mons. This series of battles also known as Canada's Hundred Days was part of the allied forces Hundred Days Offensive, which ended in Mons on the final day of the war, November 11, 1918.

We are fortunate as my grandfather who served overseas in the later part of this conflict (1917 – 1919) survived the "War to End all Wars." He was able to share the rest of his life with us and led us down a prosperous path in love and good health.

I remember, as a boy, that my grandfather in his final years spoke almost exclusively of the war as if it left an indelible stamp on his mind that could never be erased. This made me think how difficult his wartime experiences must have been, although he never let on.

My father, Robert J. Rushbrook, son of John, is a veteran of the Second World War. He served mainly in Holland from 1939 to 1945 for the 1st Canadian Division Carleton and York Regiment (New Brunswick). He was a Trooper and later became a Dispatch Rider, ferrying communications and orders back a forth from the front lines to military headquarters by motorcycle.

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