My maternal grandfather fought in WWII with the Canadian army. We know very little about his war experiences, but he was married to my grandmother days before he started training so we have a collection of letters he wrote to her during the war.
When we got to Normandy I just wanted to focus on Evan since this has seriously been a bucket list dream of his for as long as I’ve known him. But as I chatted with Johann, their tour guide, I mentioned that my grandfather fought in the war with the Canadians though I had only heard rumors as to whether or not he was involved in D-Day. Johann was so excited to tell me that because he had worked for those big museums in Paris, he still had access to French National archives and loved to do research about his clients’ family members to personalize his tours for them.
He asked me to send him whatever information I had about my grandfather to get him started so I was looking through these letters that my mom’s family digitized years ago and started looking for any details around June 6, 1944. There wasn’t much about his war experiences at all in his letters around that time and in fact there was a big gap in letters around that time. Inserted in that spot in the collection however was a copy of a telegram from the army, stating he had been injured in action on July 25. In researching what his regiment was doing on those dates we found a website talking about the Calgary Highlanders involvement in the Battle of Verriers Ridge. We couldn’t be sure that my grandfather was with them but it could be cool to check it out.
Unfortunately we just didn’t have enough time to do it all while we were there and I told Evan no problem, he’d waited years to come itch that scratch, I hadn’t even known about this a day and I could wait until we had more information. As we drove out of town the GPS suddenly took me off the freeway and right into the tiny town of Verriers. Evan just couldn’t resist! It didn’t take long after getting into Verriers before we saw a Canadian flag flying. There was a tribute to another Canadian regiment and it was special but then Evan found a memorial on the map and we went to check it out.
– from @nomaderwhere_mama on instagram.