Introduction to Our Veterans

The Canadian Naval Memorial Trust includes Trustees from all services (serving and retired) and walks of life from across Canada and other countries. Among the Trustees are veterans of the Second World War, Korea and other conflicts.

A number served in corvettes such as HMCS SACKVILLE during WW II, including LCdr Bill Murray (HMCS SACKVILLE) and LCdr Murray Knowles (HMCS LOUISBURG II). Other Trustees served in the Merchant Navy, Air Force and Army.

The Trust supports veterans activities aboard HMCS SACKVILLE and ashore. These include Battle of Atlantic, Remembrance Day and other ceremonies and services that recognize the sacrifice and contributions of all veterans over the years.

An In Memoriam book to remember and honour Trustees, other veterans and family members is maintained in SACKVILLE and a new updated Book of Remembrance will be attached to this website in the near future.

Ralph Peterson

Son of Helga Peterson and the late Wm. Peterson, Ralph was born on July 31, 1924, at Langruth. He attended the town school and remained on the farm with his parents until he enlisted in the Navy, August 2, 1943, at Winnipeg, and had his initial training there. He went to Esquimalt, B.C., on December 14, and was drafted to H.M.C.S. Owen Sound, based at St. John, Newfoundland, and Londonderry, Ireland. Later he was drafted to H.M.C.S. Lewis, and served until June, 1945.

Source: “A Tribute to the Soldiers and Pioneers of the Langruth District”, published 1950

(Webmaster’s note: There was no HMCS Lewis, suspect it was HMCS Levis K400)


Lieutenant (N) Richard (Dick) Callery PEARCE

Dick Callery Pearce was born in Cannifton, Ontario, in 1921. He left his engineering studies at the University of Toronto to join the Royal Canadian Navy, achieving the rank of Lieutenant (N). Dick served for four and a half years in WW2, which included three years in corvettes on the North Atlantic convoy run between Newfoundland and Ireland, with stops in New York, Halifax, Saint John, Bermuda, Iceland, Scotland and England. He was the navigating officer in two corvettes and was also second in command of three of the ships. During the war he often encountered former Appleby College classmates. He also met his bride-to-be, Betty Chambers. Read Full Article Here

Kenneth Eugene Cowan

My name is Kenneth Eugene Cowan. I was born on October 2, 1920, in the little lakeside town of Picton Ontario, sometimes known for it’s rum running days across Lake Ontario during Prohibition (1927-1932). I joined the Canadian Navy at the age of 21. All my friends had joined one of the three forces; I joined the Navy because I wanted to see the world. Read Full Article Here

The Funeral of Lieutenant-Commander Alan Easton

It is especially difficult today, when the civilised world is confronting the menace and all too deadly reality of  world-wide terrorism, to think back to a time 60 years ago, when our world was faced with an even greater peril, one that could have set the course of civilisation back a thousand years. That threat from Nazi Germany was confronted, challenged and defeated by our nations and brave men and women, such as Lieutenant-Commander Alan Easton, Distinguished Service Cross, Royal Canadian Naval Reserve. Read Full Article Here
A reflection on Alan Easton years later by Graham Watt

Teen Life in Wartime Halifax

This is a story about a group of teenaged boys living in Halifax during the war years of 1940 to 1943. They of course were all attending school either junior high or high school and therefore had a first-class look at the life and times of a city at war.  Most of the boys I was with went to St Patrick’s High on Brunswick St. and at times it was a long walk from Shirley St. to St Pat’s but we had bicycles and during a rainy day we could travel on the tram cars for 10 cents (if we had ten cents). Read Full Article Here

Memories of a Merchant Mariner – Vince McDonnell

In late 1943 nine young men from Cork, Ireland, completed a one year course in Communications, Morse Code, Coding and Encoding and Standard Air Procedures, adding to the Irish contingent in excess of 125,00 in British forces. After medicals they were ordered to report to the Liverpool, England, Merchant Navy Officers Pool. In as much as Ireland was neutral, all were volunteers……read what it was like in the convoys and about the ships

Leading Stoker Gilbert Davis

This 50-minute home documentary shares personal photographs taken by Leading Stoker, Gilbert Davis, as he narrates stories of his navy experiences; from joining the Royal Canadian Navy in 1941 and defending Canada’s west coast aboard the H.M.C.S Bellechasse to his service on the H.M.C.S. Merrittonia escorting Merchant Marine convoys across the Atlantic Ocean…….. to view click here

Lieutenant William Jeremiah Garnett, Royal Canadian Navy, 1909 – 1998

Garnett RCN experience taken from all letters

“Royal Canadian Navy
July 4th 1942

Now for some very rapid and sketchy impressions of the R.C.N. They must necessarily be sketchy as we get a good deal of confidential information to which I cannot of course refer……”