In late January, I was approached by the Blackville Women’s Institute and asked to participate in their Heritage Day celebrations. Heritage Week is celebrated in communities throughout New Brunswick each year. This years theme was New Brunswick Remembers: 1914-2014, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.
As part of the celebrations, I filmed video of local veterans and their children sharing stories of war and the impact it had on their lives and the lives of their families. In this final installment of the Memories of War series, Patricia Curtis shares memories of her parents Byron and Ella Curtis.
Byron Curtis was born on September 28, 1920 in Blackville. He enlisted with the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers unit on March 10, 1940 and served in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Pte. Curtis was awarded the Defence Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, War Medal 1939-45, France-Germany Star and the 1939-45 Star. A Dispatch Rider for H.Q. R.C.E.M.E. 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, Byron was discharged in March, 1946.
Ella Mountain was born in Blackille on February 22, 1923. She enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division in 1943 at Moncton, with basic training in Rockcliffe, Ontario. Her first posting was at the Bombing & Gunnery School in Belleville, Ontario where she taught air craft recognition to air gunners. She then continued on to No. 1 Training Command in Toronto, Radar School in Clinton, Ontario and Lachine, Quebec where she was discharged. At the end of the War in May 1945, she enlisted for the War in the Pacific. Ella Mountain was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and the War Medal 1939-45.
Byron and Ella married on April 20, 1946. Watch their story below.