When did my interest in the military begin? My memories go back to when I was very young, growing up in Windsor Ontario during the Second World War. Movies, like those of Errol Flynn in Burma, probably led to some sort of brain washing of a young mind. When the war ended, I could hardly wait to get my hands on the first history books that were published explaining what had been going on in Europe.
In high school, the usual motives led me to become involved in cadets - my friends first joined the local Air Cadets, and I followed them. I then joined the Army Cadets and spent several summers training at Camp Ipperwash, all of which I found to be thrilling. Then my buddies joined the local militia unit, at that time The Essex Scottish Regiment; so of course I had to follow again. One of our main motives in joining was that, because our age was below the legal age to be served alcohol, we found could get a beer in the Private's Mess of the regiment after the Friday night drill.
In 1962 I graduated with a degree in engineering and then followed a winding career path that ended with retirement in 1998 from the federal civil service in Ottawa. I had enjoyed writing memos and policy papers in my latter work years and decided that, in retirement, I would go back to my early interests by writing about Canadian military history.
When I finally did retire, I took courses in writing and in history, and was fortunate to have found some mentors who encouraged me to carry on with this direction. These included military historian Ben Greenhouse of DND's Directorate of History, Colonel (retired) Strome Galloway who invited me to visit him to discuss anything new I had written, and Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Charly Forbes who, by email from his home on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, read everthing I wrote and, like Strome, encouraged me to carry on in this work.
Besides my writing, I now keep up my connection with the military and military history by being a member of the Friends of the Canadian War Museum, volunteering my help in their photo archives, and assisting the adminstration of the FCWM on various committee projects.