Coming of age during wartime (VIDEO)

Vancouver Courier editor talks with his grandmother about growing up in England and serving in the Second World War

My grandmother Patricia Massy (née Nettelfield) came of age during the Second World War. Her experiences were unique but not uncommon — working for the British Intelligence core, enduring the Battle of Britain and getting married during wartime, before travelling to Canada as a war bride on the Queen Mary with her first newborn (my aunt) in 1946.

Two years ago, I sat down with my feisty, politically engaged, 93-year-old grandmother at her home on Salt Spring Island to record her recollections of the war and made a video about it.

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This Nov. 11, like every Nov. 11, my now-95-year-old grandmother will attend the Remembrance Day ceremony in downtown Ganges with her children and their partners, her grandchildren and their partners, her great grandchildren and a few dogs by her side. Then we’ll stop at the cemetery and place our poppies on my grandfather’s grave before piling into my grandmother’s house for lunch.

My grandmother will sit in her blue chair in the living room, turn down her hearing aids and watch the chaos unfold.

“Sometimes it’s nice to tune out all this noise,” she once told me, smiling.






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