Saturday, October 4

Proudly She Marched

In honor of Women's History Month, which is celebrated in October in Canada, I would like to review two books about women during WWII. The 2008 theme is Women in the Lead and these certainly were women who knew how to do just that.

The first volume is titled, Proudly She Marched Volume I by Ruth Russell. This book is a great read. It tells the story of 21,624 women who came from across the nation to Kitchener, Ontario in 1942. They came from all walks of life in order to sign up for the duration of the War. They traveled by train to Girl's Town, which was situated in Waterloo County. Girl's Town was a men's base that had been converted to accommodate them. They left farms and jobs in factories and stores. Some were teachers and nurses and some were homemakers. They all wanted to do their part in the War Effort, which they did and did proudly.

The second volume is titled, Proudly She Marched Volume 2 by Anne Kallin. This book tells the story of the women who joined the WRENs (Women's Royal Naval Service) at the urging of the Canadian government.

In 1942, young women traveled to Galt, Ontario, to join the Navy. It would be their job to release men from certain areas of service so they could do their patriotic duty afloat. 6,783 young women answered the call and trained at the HMCS Conestoga, which was the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service's training center.

The WRENs played a vital role in the War Effort between the time they arrived at HMCS Conestoga and the moment when the Ensign was lowered at the "ship" on the hill.

Both of these books tell the history of Canadian Women during WWII. All served in roles that had previously belonged to men with the exception of nurses. These brave women, after years of no recognition by the Canadian government, are now being honored for performing their patriotic duty so many years ago. They were pioneers in their own right and definitely left their mark on Canadian history. I salute them all.

Note: During WWII, Canada was still a British Colony. Though we declared war on Germany independently, all service men and women were considered to be part of Britain's military.

Enjoy your weekend and keep warm if you are in northern climates. It is to be windy and cold this weekend. ~Blessings, Mary~


  1. It looks like I best add some new books to my must read list.

    I hope you have a great weeknd and have fun with the boys.

    Our grandsons get home on Monday. Too late for this weekend. I guess we will just have to wait.

  2. very intersting Mary

    both books sound like great reads. I remember a movie about the WRENs but can't think of the name.

    have a great weekend. we have frost warnings in our northern suburbs, so stay cozy :)

  3. As usual, loved the history lesson........We will be gone this weekend but I will catch up on Sunday evening! Have a blessed weekend.....

  4. Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for sharing, its always good to remember what the past generations have accomplished.. Its very warm and sunny here in Australia today!! Hope you keep warm over there!!!

  6. Mary, I am such an avid WWII buff and always have been...these books look fascinating! It would be especially interesting to read the Canadian perspective!

    Have a great weekend!

  7. I love history. This was so interesting...m...

  8. Yes I love your history lessons, I always learn so much ..Thanks. Have a great weekend:)

  9. Mary, with the 2 hurricanes behind us, and the mess that was made in my craft room, I have again misplaced your snail mail. Could you plese e-mail it to me again. I need to get my PIFs out. Thanks, Pat

    I have lots of new books, but can't seem to find the time to read---doing some painting.

  10. Very interesting! I love reading your short writings on Canadian History. And you know I'm a 'military brat'...tho, never was I moved from base to base since my dad was working FOR the military with civil service then my brothers, hubby and son all military. This is just something that we all should be proud of and they don't easily get recognized unless someone writes about them. Thanks.

    Enjoy your time with your mom and grandson!!!

  11. My sister was a WAVE in WW2!
    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend! Hugs, Grams

  12. I do enjoy it when you share bits of history with us like this. Thanks ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

  13. I'm embarassed to discover how much I don't know about Canada myself. YIKES! Thanks for the many lessons you teach us.

  14. Fascinating books! It's wonderful to learn that these remarkable women are being given the recognition they so richly deserved. hugs,