Hello From Canada

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by rlaughton, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. rlaughton

    rlaughton http://www.militarian.com/account/avatar

    Hi Gang! I am new here today from Canada. Son of Royal Canadian Navy folk and not a service person myself, although Military History is my hobby. I found out about this site from Spidge, as he is looking for some help from "the other colonies" and I do try to help out when I can.

    I spend most of my time tracking the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WWI but I have a lot of information and have read a lot about WWII. Problem is, limited WWII records are available in Canada. As a Navy brat I grew up learning everything about Convoys and Corvettes. My Dad was on convoy duty and my Mom was the Paymaster in Halifax. She withheld his pay until he took her out on a date. She won!

    I will watch and learn and assist as I can on matters that need input from Canada. I was pleased to learn of this site as the WWII Forum sites I have visited failed to gain my interest. This looks like a good find!
  2. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Welcome Richard, any friend of Spidge's is a friend of ours :) That certainly is good pedigree, and it sounds like your mother is spirited lady ;) I hope you enjoy posting here - we try to be as international as possible, and though we have a number (too many? :peep:..) Aussies, Canadian contributions are very welcome. And the nautical interest will please Hugh.

    What were the ships that your father served on?
  3. sgt petts

    sgt petts Member

    Hi Richard,

  4. rlaughton

    rlaughton http://www.militarian.com/account/avatar

    Bear with me at the start as I learn the posting techniques of this site. The ships were as follows:

    The war time ships (Corvettes) of Lt. C. V. Laughton R.C.N.

    HMCS Arnprior K494

    HMCS Agassiz K129

    HMCS Cobalt K124

    I know he was on the Arnprior at the time of the Chebogue rescue, I remember the pictures. Too bad now, all the memorabilia was lost in our 1967 house fire. A few pictures remain with the files that I had from my grandparents.

    Although we were brought up in the "Strict Navy Tradition" there was not much talk of the war, but Jane's Defence Weekly was always on the coffee table and I remember we never missed a Navy film or "12 O'Clock High". Most of his buddies were Air Force, as the main training stations of Centralia and Clinton were near our home in Exeter.
  5. Hugh

    Hugh New Member

    Hello Richard,
    Welcome aboard! I am sure you will enjoy the site. I look forward to your postings.
  6. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Watcha Richard, welcome to the forum. As to posting techniques? hit whatever button takes your fancy and see what happens. Works for us Mods, except for Kyt who manages to break the forum once a week :>
  7. morse1001

    morse1001 Guest

    Hello Richard, welcome to the forum, you wil find a great place to share your interests!
  8. Nostalgair

    Nostalgair New Member

    Hi Richard,

    Welcome aboard!


  9. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Welcome Richard,

    Glad to have you aboard.

    We look forward to some interesting threads as personal family history involvement is what makes the forum interesting.

    We also like to be involved with the personal who were not on the front line. Each of them an important link in the chain. Without their contribution, victory would not have been possible.

    I am proud of Australia's contribution to peace as you certainly are to that of Canada. Whilst predominantly WW2 based, we introduced sections in the forum of "Pre WW2 & Post WW2 which allows discussion on "any war or battle".

    Did you know that there was a Canadian unit in Australia during ww2? As I mentioned to you previously, there were three Canadians buried here during ww2. I will post their photos in another thread.


  10. rlaughton

    rlaughton http://www.militarian.com/account/avatar

    Thanks for all the warm welcomes. I have been poking around to see what is going on and to learn the art of posting here, as all Forums seem to be a similar but different. Truly a Canadian analysis.

    As I said I am not a WWII expert in any sense but I do love to use new technology to look at Military History from my bunker here in Milton, Ontario. I am doing a lot of work tracking soldiers from my birth and home community and I enjoy also using that to look at battle plans in a modern time. As such, I am doing work on using Google Earth to put these maps in context of international viewers.

    Just to illustrate my interest and willingness to "try anything" and "learn anything", I hauled out my WWII atlas, looked for an interesting Australian action and put it up on Google Earth. I am not sure how many members are familiar with the process and program but it is a fascinating tool for military research, past and present. You can download the program for free (Google Earth Free Download) and use that to view the work of others or to start to create your own. It is not difficult to use and gives amazing results. I would be pleased to assist anyone that wants to give it a whirl.

    For my test tonight I chose the Australian versus Japanese advance around New Guinea in August - September 1943. It illustrates the power of the process as I am not familiar with the battle, am certainly not familiar with the area, so by reading about the battle and placing the map on Google Earth it all comes together in one simple process. To see the end result in Google Earth go to this link on my site at the Google Earth Community:

    WWII Forum: Battle Maps

    For those that just want to see a "snap shot" of what is there, here is an image captured during the process. This is not a complete "tour" but I have lots of those on the Google Earth Community (just do a user name search for "rlaughton") most of which relate to the Great War (and our local pubs, of course).

    The real value of this is in Google Earth as you can alter the transparency settings, zoom in and out and rotate the map as well as change the plane of view. Try it, you will soon be hooked!

    Click on the image to get a larger view:
  11. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Very interesting Richard.

    I have been looking to do this however don't seem to find the time.

    I will have to get up Bardia & Tobruk. (My Fathers area)
  12. rlaughton

    rlaughton http://www.militarian.com/account/avatar

    Time ... there is time here in Canada, it is the depth of winter. Some sun today and warmer weather ... but this is last Sunday:

    Click to enlarge me!
  13. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    G'day, Richard, welcome to the forum!

    That Google Earth thing is bloody clever. Had no idea it could do that. Amazing.
  14. John

    John Active Member

    Hello Richard,

    Welcome to the forum from a new member of a few days.

  15. rlaughton

    rlaughton http://www.militarian.com/account/avatar

    I just noticed everyone's flag flutters ... but not mine!

    Here it is for the Mods to use of abuse as they see fit:

  16. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    My flag no flutter :(
  17. rlaughton

    rlaughton http://www.militarian.com/account/avatar

    Well here it is a few months later and I have finally received the Service Records of my parents from Library and Archives Canada. For those that have an interest in obtaining these files, I have added mine to the Family Tree Website so you can see what you will receive. There is a 20 year restriction, so I have been limited to what they will send me - odd as they are gone and who else would care?


    I can tell the records have been censored as they do not contain all that I already know. When I initially applied for my NATO SECRET security clearance they had to check all the family, friends and business acquaintances - and that is when I found out that my father had "decked" his CO or making a pass at my mother, so he did some brig time. True or not, that is what I got back from the "official government report", yet it is not in these documents.

    What I did find of interest that I DID NOT KNOW was the reference to what I thought was "Navy Ships". For example, if you look at Maureen's records it refers to her time or "Establishment" with:

    HMCS Bytown
    HMCS Stadacona
    HMCS Cornwallis
    HMCS York

    And so I was quite surprised to see that she served on the Bytown for 37 days and the York for 598 days - WRONG - they were not ships, they were "establishments".

    Then I go back and look at my father's ships and there are some that are not even ships. Six (6) are denoted as "Atlantic" so I can assume he was on convoy duty but some of the others are quite different. For example:

    M.L. 098 - 178 days
    M.L. 077 39 days

    No idea what those are - research will begin! As a young lad I heard nothing more than the stories about the "Cobalt", perhaps because that was the "first love", yet he did 262 days (3 times) the service on the Arnprior.

    There is some family history in here, too bad we were never told. Yet, they told us why our grandfathers did not speak of the "Great War"?

    I would love to ask a psychologist why a father would tell you why your grandfather would not tell you of his stories in WWI while at the same time he did not tell you of his stories in WWII? If I had not ordered this service record I would have never known - and then in 10 years I can find out what I have yet to learn!!

    Very strange,

    Richard of Canada
  18. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

  19. rlaughton

    rlaughton http://www.militarian.com/account/avatar

    Thanks for that! Never heard that part of the story before but it certainly fits in with his interest in the wooden minesweepers in Sarnia when I was a young lad. He had me all signed up as a Cadet on one for the summer - then our house burnt down and that was the end of that project.
  20. Hugh

    Hugh New Member

    Quite a common mistake - HMCS, HMS perceived as actual seagoing ships. As you have found out many were shore establishments known as "stone frigates".


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