This is one of my favourite photographs of my Dad (right), shown here posing with his older brother Les (left) in April 1945. My Dad was away on a short leave from his unit, the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, who at that time were in eastern Holland near Apeldoorn. My Dad had not seen Les since they enlisted together in 1942; my Dad had served in Italy with the First Canadian Infantry Division until their recent transfer to the Low Countries, while my Uncle Les was a quartermaster with the Third Canadian Infantry Division. Somehow my father had learned of my Uncle’s location in Bruges, Belgium, and my Dad took a short leave to see him that sunny April, whereupon they immediately found a portrait photographer to take their photograph in a studio somewhere in Bruges.
As far as I am aware this is the only surviving print of that reunion.
One reason that I enjoy this photograph is the contrast between my Dad’s uniform – with shirt unbuttoned and no badges or pins, showing the informality of a veteran who has been at the “sharp end” for 16 months, and my Uncle’s with a collared shirt and his black “Zombie” tie.
Acknowledge veterans like my Dad this Remembrance Day. Wear a poppy.