Remembrance Day

Also known as Poppy Day, Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in the Commonwealth since the end of World War I to remember the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty. While my grandfather remained in Canada during WWII to serve with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, his two brothers went overseas to fight with the Royal Canadian Air Force and only one made it back.

Pictured below are my great uncles Russell Thomas Frederick Collins (left) and Stanley Weightman Collins (right). I obviously never had the chance to meet Russell and if I ever met Stanley I was too young to remember. Russell was enlisted into the R.C.A.F. in 1943 and stationed in Brandon, Calgary, and Lethbridge before receiving his wings in Winnipeg in May 1944. I haven’t been able to find out exactly the details of Russell’s death, but after talking with family over in England, he arrived in northern England in July 1944 after taking a special commando course in Calgary. He met some of his aunts, uncles and cousins before engaging in his duties. He was a pilot officer and his plane went down in the Lake District in northern England on October 6th, 1944.

Below is a quote from my great-grandparents cited in the obituary section following the death of Russell:

Dear son, in our lonely hours of thinking,
You are always near, loving memories never die.
In that Eternal City we will meet our loved ones never to part again.
Good-night, son.

In the same obituary section of the newspaper, my grandparents provided the following:

There is a link death cannot sever,
Love and remembrance last forever.

Here’s to all those that have lost family and friends in the line of duty.

Russell and Stanley Collins
June 1943 – Winnipeg, MB

Henry, Elizabeth and Russell Collins
April 16, 1944 – Winnipeg, MB

Stanley, Elizabeth, and Henry Collins
June 1943 – Winnipeg, MB


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