Guest Speakers – Bill Donaldson and Marianne Brandis :
Bill Donaldson and Marianne Brandis were our guest speakers on November 9, 2019 for a tribute to Remembrance Day.
Bill brought memorabilia from the Perth Regiment with badges starting from the Fenian Raids. The regiment was formed in 1866 when the government asked for 25,000 Canadian Volunteers and 40,000 men answered the call. Included in his display were uniforms from the first and second world wars, a wooden practice rifle, and a Bren Gun Mark II made in 1943 by Inglis Canada.
From the 1860s through World Wars I and II, the men of the Perth Regiment distinguished themselves fighting in numerous major battles. Notable among them were Major Gilbert Fredrick Price of Stratford, who was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for “Conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty” after he successfully lead his men in an attack on a German machine gun post.
Among the five uniforms that Mr. Donaldson had on display was one belonging to Corporal Robert Julius Ardnt of Stratford who was also awarded the DCM for his engagement in a night attack on enemy forces in the village of Nasum. Thanks to his coolness and determination, the enemy were completely disorganized and routed.
Marianne Brandis talked about her latest publication, This Faithful Book; A Diary from World War Two in the Netherlands. It is the diary kept by her mother, Madzy Brender a Brandis, from 1942 to 1945 during the German occupation of the Netherlands.
Marianne brought to life the hardships of the civilians during the time of war. It was the civilians -women, children, disabled and old men, who kept their day-to-day life together. She described the hardships and sacrifices met by those who were heroes as well as those who fought.
Marianne translated and edited her mother’s diary, a record of life during the war, while she raised her two small children, shared her home with others and had little communication with her husband who was in a prisoner of war camp.