Our father, Bill Allen, served in the army in World War II. He initially trained others to drive tanks here on Canadian soil and then he served overseas-Northern Africa and Italy. He service ended before the end of the war due to serious illness. He contracted rheumatic fever and was sent home.
He was a man of solid character, our Dad. A bit of a rascal some would say. Well perhaps many would say that and we (three daughters) enjoyed his sense of adventure, wit and humour. He was full of mischief. His service in the war was never a big topic of conversation or perhaps I just wasn’t listening. If it was the latter, that is a shame for Dad never lived long enough for me to be wise enough to ask him more. He died at the relatively young age of 61 in 1979. I can only imagine the experience, the impact and the horrors of war that our Dad experienced.
Men and women who served and returned must hope and trust their work and sacrifice makes the world a better place. This was brought home to me in a very real way when in the 1970’s I was held up at gun point while working in a pharmacy in Regina, Saskatchewan. I was not harmed. Shaken, but not harmed. When I called my Dad to tell him what had happened, he said “I never served in the war so that some ba@#$rd could hold a gun to my daughter’s head!”. And I thought how he and others might have held hope the world would be rid of all evil as a result of their efforts.
If Dad were alive today, I’d travel to wherever he lived from wherever I lived. I’d accompany him to a Remembrance Day Ceremony. And I would tell him the world is a better place because of his service.
Thank you Dad.