Huskilson, William St. Clair. 415th Swordfish Squadron. RCAF. 1923 to1944.
First a telegram arrived informing the parents and/or wife that a loved one was missing or killed.
Canadian National Telegram
OTTAWA ONT 412P NOV 5 1944
L C HUSKILSON
M9256 REGRET TO ADVISE YOU THAT YOUR SON FLYING OFFICER WILLIAM ST. CLAIR J THREE EIGHT ONE SIX IS REPORTED MISSING AFTER AIR OPERATIONS OVERSEAS NOVEMBER 2 SECOND STOP LETTER FOLLOWS.
RCAF CASUALTY OFFICER
2. Ususally two official letters arrived. One from an officer in the deceased's unit and another from the chaplain.
Atkinson, Theodore 'Blanchard'. Flight Lieutenant. Wireless Operator. Air Gunner.
3. The local newspaper also would provide details of a death.The Shelburne Coast Guard 26 April 1945 contained this item:
Clark's Harbour Man Killed in Action
Clark's Harbour, April 2 - The town of Clark's Harbour was saddened by the news of it's first casualty of the present war as Mrs Violet Atkinson received word that her son FO Blanchard Atkinson was missing and presumed dead in air operations over England.
FO Atkinson first joined the army in the early part of the war and later transferred to the RCAF. He received his training and commission at Toronto and and later was stationed there as an instructor. He was then on active service in the West Indies and from there transferred to England, where he was on the instuctional staff...
Giffin, John 'Winslow'. Flight Sergeant. Wireless Operator. Air Gunner.
4. The local community would hold a memorial service to show both their support to the bereaved family and also to express their grief.
Memorial Service for Sergt. W.A. Giffin [Shelburne Coast Guard 16 April 1942]. A special memorial service for Sgt. W.A. Giffin, R.C.A.F., killed overseas on February 16 while serving with the Royal Air Force, was held Sunday at the church, Osborne Harbour. Many citizens attended the service to express their esteem for the young man who had been held in high regard by all who knew him.
Before joinifng the RCAF, the young man was a popular student at Lockeport High School. He went overseas some time ago and has been on operational duty for six months as a wireless operator and air gunner.
Recent word of details surrounding his death has been received by his parents. The youth's wing commander and fellow airmen pay high tribute to his ability and to the effective work he had done on flights over enemy territory...
Brannen, Herbert Malcolm. Private. North Nova Scotia Highlanders. 1919 to 1945.
The letter received by Mrs Hildred Brannen re the death of her son Herbert Malcolm follows. Another son Asa Mervin died of wounds he received on 19 September 1944.
Dear Mrs. Brannen:
It is with deep and sincere regret that I write to tell you of your son's death. As you know he had been with our regiment for many months and so was an "old hand". Men of his type are hard to replace. Steadiness, cool courage, and cheerfulness are the qualities which go to make a good soldier. Herbert had all these and was held in high esteem by his officers and comrades.
On the 24th we crossed the great river Rhine. The next day we were given the job of clearing the enemy from the very important town of Bienen. This place was the Key to the Bridgeheads as all the armies later passed through here. The Germans realizing this placed a considerable force of their 'fanatical 'paratroops' there to stop us. Our company was forward and was to attack the town with another company. As we moved to our starting point we came under heavy machine gun and mortar fire. Your son with one of the leading platoons was hit by some of this stuff and was instantly killed. As we were moving into an attack at this time, I didn't have a chance to discover where he had been hit and when I returned after the battle our Padre had buried him in the Little Novie Cemetery on the east side of the Rhine.
In closing I would like to extend to you my deepest sympathies in your great loss and also those of my men, his comrades. He has given his life that we may be free.
Capt. Jack Fairweather
Nickerson, Claude Myron. Private.
Mr and Mrs Thomas Nickerson also lost two sons. Claude Myron killed in action on 13 December 1943 and Edsel James killed in action in Italy on 17 September 1944. The following letter was written by Major Arthur Smith who conducted the funeral services for Claude:
" Let me say how sorry I am. It is grief to you but I hope it may be softened by the great sense of pride you may have in your boy who did not hesitate to risk his life for what he knew to be good and true. He was brought to our field ambulance December 13th very badly wounded and passed away shortly afterwards, quietly and peacefully without suffering. We buried him the next day with two others from the same regiment in a little British cemetery at a place called Fessicia. His grave is marked like all the others, with the cross bearing his name and unit. There are more than 50 of our boys buried there. Eventaully the remains of our Canadian boys who have laid down their lives in Italy will be collected and placed in one central cemetery. Everything was done for your boy and that he recieved every attention, and in death he was accorded the highest honor our circumstances permit - a soldier's burial- no honor is too high for such as he. May you be comforted in the recollection that no one ever dies in vain. Least of all a soldier of Canada, who served and died for this great cause to which we are all committed.