Thursday, November 10, 2016

Every November 11 - I Remember Them

I remember them: John Moreland, Leo Broderick, brothers Gerald & Bernard Moynahan and my parents
You might be surprised to learn that "more than a third of Canadians are unaware if they had ancestors who participated in either of the world wars" (based on a survey by 

That is why I created this Remembrance Day blog post which is dedicated to four ancestors who served in the First and Second World Wars and my parents who served in the RCAF.
As the family historian, I have spent many hours researching at the Library and Archives Canada and elsewhere to locate WWII service files; WWI records and even Fenian medal records. I have also learned so much researching James Moynahan's Civil War records in the U.S. Here are two more ancestors who also served their country.
World War I 

John Miller Moreland (1882-1940) 

Corporal John Moreland (1257597)  served as a gunner with the No. 9 Overseas Siege Battery - Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery (RCGA) Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). He embarked for overseas at Halifax on the 29th of September 1916. He served in England and France. While he was with the 8th Candian Siege Battery they fell under intense bombardment on the 28th of May 1918. John Moreland was wounded by shell gas and sent to hospital. He returned to Halifax 10 January 1919. More details can be found here.

Cpl. John Moreland with daughter Dorothy and wife Florence (Curd)
1907 photo of the Halifax RCGA
from Vintage Halifax

World War II

Gerald John Moynahan (1908-1961)
Gerald John Moynahan
Gerald John Moynahan (1907-1961) started active service in the R.C.A.M.C. ( Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps) on the 20th of August 1942 in Windsor Ontario. He served 43 months of which 31 months were served overseas in the U.K. and N.W.Europe. He worked as a medic on Canadian field ambulances.

Photo Credit: The Memory Project

After the war he planned to return to his former employer Chrysler Motors Co. of Canada 

Medals despatched prior to death: 1939-1945 Star, France & Germany Star, Defense Medal, CVSM & Clasp and War Medal 1939-45.

Gerald John Moynahan (far right) with friends in Picadilly Square England

Thomas Bernard Moynahan (1909-1974)
Thomas Bernard Moynahan
R.C.O.C. & R.C.E.M.E.
Thomas Bernard Moynahan (1909-1974)  started active service in the RCOC (Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps) and later the RCEME (Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) on the 12th of July 1940 in Windsor, Ontario. He served 57 months overseas in the U.K., the Mediterannean and NW Europe. His trade on enlistment was a motorcyclist and a clerk.

After the war, Bernard planned to return to his former employer Chrysler Motors Co. of Canada

Thomas Bernard Moynahan
Picture taken in Edinburgh, Scotland

Leo Joseph Martin Broderick (1919-1943)
Leo Broderick killed in action 1943

Leo Joseph Martin Broderick served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a bomb aimer.

On Sept 5, 1943 at 19:25, Leo's plane left Gransden Lodge airfield, England on a mission of "bombardment" destined for Manneheim, Germany. There were seven men aboard the Halifax aircraft- the maximum for the aircraft.

The plane crashed at Nussloch, 9 km SSEof Heidelberg, Germany.
  • One man was injured:Sgt J.E.Vidler (Rear Gunner)
  • Three men were taken as prisoners of war:
    • Sgt C.Hewitson 535857 RAF (Flight Engineer),
    • Sgt R.Thomson 1550695 RAFVR (Navigator) and 
    • Sgt J.H.Briggs 1082027 RAFVR (WOp Gunner) 
  • Three men were killed at the crash site at Nussloch (9 km SSE of Heidelberg) where they were originally buried until moved to Durnbach cemetery: 
    • Sgt A.C.Brunton 658381 RAFVR(Pilot) 
    • W/O L.J.M.Broderick R/109822 RCAF (Bomb Aimer) 
    • Sgt G.E.Agate 1391419 RAFVR (Mid Upper Gunner)
To read more details about Leo Joseph Martin Broderick click here

R.C.A.F. Peace Time Service: My Parents

Both of my parents served in the Royal Canadian Air Force (R.C.A.F) in the 1950s in the Atlantic and in Comox, B.C. (where I was born)..

My father

My father in the back row second from the left.

My father

My father second from the right.

My father on the left.

My mother with her baby sister.

My mother.

My mother - Middle row, third from the right.

My mother's discharge papers

I remember on November 11 every year
 to honour my ancestors 
and all of the men and women who choose to serve in the military

I remember on November 11 every year
to honour all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.

I remember on November 11 every year
to pray for an end to all of the wars
around the world.

I pray for peace.

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