CATHY ANDERSON PHOTOS Kenneth and Edwina Chalmers were married on D-Day in 1949.

Parents of Port Alice resident married on D-Day 75 years ago

Kenneth and Edwina Chalmers wed at the St. George’s Anglican Church in Cadboro Bay Beach in Victoria.

Parents of Port Alice resident Cathy Anderson were married on D-Day, 1949.

Kenneth and Edwina Chalmers wed at the St. George’s Anglican Church in Cadboro Bay Beach in Victoria. Cadboro Bay is famous for their “Cadborosaurus”—their equivalent of the Lochness Monster and the Ogopogo.

Kenneth was a member of the Canadian Scottish Princess Mary’s Regiment, so the men in the wedding party, the groom and his three groomsmen, all wore kilts. Their ceremonial swords were used to form an archway for the wedding party as they exited the church.

Edwina, a 19-year-old bride, wore a white dress that she sewed herself. Her three sisters were her bridesmaids. Kenneth and Edwina travelled to Vancouver for their honeymoon: there was no BC Ferries in those days, so they had to take a ship.

Anderson is not sure why they chose to get married on D-Day, other than the fact that it was so close to the war, it was an important date and one they’d likely never forget.

Kenneth and Edwina were school mates; but, it was only when Kenneth came back from the war that they realized they were in love and wanted to get married.

Like many young men of the day, Kenneth enlisted at age 17 in 1943 by lying about his age. He started out doing kitchen duties in England. The English Channel, with so many different currents running through it, can get just about anybody sick. He was noted as one of the people who did not get sick.

Kenneth spent the last few months of the war in France. Working as a truck driver, he delivered equipment and support to the soldiers who were advancing. He never saw the front and was never directly involved in any battles.

After the war, Kenneth was hired by the Department of National Defence to drive a truck. He later became a crane operator in the navy dry dock, then was promoted to dry dock operator.

Anderson describes her father as “very military,” as “the man of the house,” and not comfortable with physical expressions of affection, which she attributes to his childhood growing up in a foster home. Her mother tried to kindle closeness between him and his three daughters by sending them out on fishing trips together. These fishing trips later turned out to be Anderson’s fondest memories of her father.

Kenneth remained in the Princess Mary’s Regiment until he became infirm, retiring as a sergeant major. As a result, Anderson grew up listening to bagpipes and drums. Her father didn’t talk much about the war, only mentioning odd things like the sound of a certain kind of bomb that screeched—“you could hear it coming and you knew you had time.” Anderson learned about the war by watching war movies and documentaries with her father.

Edwina worked out of the home as soon as her eldest child was old enough to babysit. She was a seamstress who made draperies, working for a time in the draperies department at Woodwards.

Kenneth passed away from cancer in 1981 at age 55. Edwina never remarried, but she lived common-law with a man whom she also outlived. Edwina is now 91 years old and, with some help from daily home care and her daughters, is still living on her own. She has moderate dementia: she is able to perform routine tasks but can no longer remember the names of the people in her wedding party.


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Oscar Hickes: The longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island has been cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Port McNeill council wants to see a plan on how to protect and invest tax dollars

“if we can make $40,000 or $50,000 in interest, why not, as it could reduce taxes”

Claire Trevena’s MLA Report for the North Island

“As we head towards Christmas, I, like everyone, hope for a resolution to the strike”

Port McNeill’s annual Christmas Craft Fair

With upwards of 600 people attending this one-day sale, business was brisk.

Manhunt: Port McNeill RCMP catch suspect on the run

Chester was transported to the hospital for injuries and then to the Port McNeill RCMP detachment.

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Most Read