Oversea brides – Top left: Kathleen Griffith waving goodbye on her behalf solution to the Ile de France, the French ocean liner that could take her on a seven-day voyage to Canada.

Oversea brides – Top left: Kathleen Griffith waving goodbye on her behalf solution to the Ile de France, the French ocean liner that could take her on a seven-day voyage to Canada.

Top right: Gerald and Kathleen Griffith on the wedding in Bradford, England on April 30, 1945 day. Bottom left: Kathleen Griffith involved in protection during the Toronto Science Centre, date unknown. Bottom centre and right: The Griffiths inside their engagement pictures. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

War significantly more than 45,000 ladies immigrated to Canada following the 2nd World War

At scarcely five legs high, 95-year-old Kathleen Griffith was too tiny to be always a nursing assistant through the World that is second War.

It’s maybe maybe perhaps not difficult to think – she appears small seated next to her dining area dining table, covered in faded sepia and grayscale photographs taken almost 80 years back.

Though she’s small, Griffith is certainly not frail. Her blue eyes are obvious and lively as she recounts joining the British Army Pay Corps through the war, fulfilling the 19-year-old Canadian soldier who would be her husband plus in 1946, using a ship to Canada to be with him.

Griffith was created Kathleen Smart in Bradford, England in 1923. Throughout the 2nd World War, components of Bradford had been bombed and blackout regulations had been applied. It absolutely was during a blackout – the town paid down to flashlights and candlelight to avoid overhead visibility – that she came across Gerald Griffith, a handsome Royal Canadian Air Force officer aided by the 425 Alouette Squadron, who was simply stationed nearby in Yorkshire.

They came across in Yorkshire at Betty’s Bar, dropping in love amidst the foreboding and darkness of war. But Griffith states youthful optimism won out over fear.

“You fall in love and also you don’t think of the next day and even that the war will end,” she claims, incorporating it was an easy task to fall in love fast during the time – not merely because individuals hitched young, but because during the war “you’re thinking, i may get killed tonight, have you thought to?”

A later, in April 1945, the couple married and days later, Gerald was deployed back to Canada to prepare for war on the Pacific Ocean year. However the pugilative war quickly finished, in which he alternatively started the entire process of creating their brand new life.

Griffith by by herself soon made the voyage, boarding ocean that is french Ile de France and leaving every thing she knew to come quickly to Canada.


In a photograph of Griffith aboard a train England that is leaving looks carefree, ready when it comes to adventure of a very long time.

“Oh, I became excited,” she states. She and Gerald lived first in Halifax, their hometown.

“I originated in a mill that is dirty, once I saw the ocean we thought, ‘oh my Jesus,’” she recalls.

The few relocated to Quebec and in the end Toronto, where they raised their four young ones. Later on, Griffith worked in protection during the Toronto Science Centre and had been quickly a known user for the mayor’s council.

Gerald passed away in the belated ’80s, and about 25 years back, Griffith relocated to Sidney where her son and three grandchildren additionally reside.

Griffith’s daring journey that is post-war no separated event. She actually is among a lot more than 40,000 war brides who voyaged oversea to be with Canadian husbands came across through the war.

A artwork of Griffith, youthful and veiled on her behalf big day, is showcased one of the collection War Brides, by Calgary musician Bev Toth, presently on display during the Royal Air Force Museum in London, England.

Griffith admits it absolutely was difficult, she left her mom and her siblings behind when it comes to unknown.

But Canada quickly became house, she states. And she does not be sorry for making the jump of faith to become listed on her spouse and build a whole new life in a brand name “” new world “”.

nina.grossman@blackpress.caFollow us on Instagram on Twitter like us on Facebook and follow us.

Kathleen Griffith turns 96 years old in December. She actually is certainly one of a lot more than 45,000 war brides who immigrated to Canada after fulfilling their husbands – Canadian soldiers – throughout the 2nd World War. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

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