More Women of War

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Nov 07, 2016 12:00 AM
Annie Evelyn Dean of Botwood, NL, poses atop a damaged German aircraft in 1946.

Lucy's Duty

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"Lucy (Tillie) Perry, born and raised on Gooseberry Island [Bonavista Bay], served as a postal clerk in the Royal Canadian Air Force for two and a half years, stationed in Gander, Dartmouth and Moncton. Now in her 90s, she lives in Thunder Bay," writes Rob Perry.

Ruby’s Role

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On June 10, 1943, Ruby (Barney) Slaney enlisted in the RCAF’s Women’s Division (WDs), whose motto was “They serve that men may fly.” For her part, Ruby served in a variety of capacities - from hospital work to dental assisting to laundry - in Gander, Newfoundland, before her discharge in October 1945. "She was extremely proud that she was able to do her part to help in the war effort,” writes Sandra Hillier, her daughter. Ruby, a mother of seven, passed away in 2013 at age 87.

Corporal Annie 

Annie Evelyn Dean, born in 1918 in Botwood, Newfoundland, moved to Ontario in 1941 and joined the Canadian Army the following year. Little is known about her service, though according to her photograph collection, she travelled extensively. Annie was discharged in 1946 and lived the rest of her life in Ontario. She passed away in 2010 and is buried in Botwood. The following photographs were provided by Annie's niece, Gloria Young of Botwood, NL.

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Annie (right) and two unknown women in front of Khaki University in Leavesden, England, where she took courses (circa 1945)

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Annie (right) and two unknown individuals in Brussels, Belgium, in 1946.

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While on leave, Annie returned to Botwood and spent time with her three nieces, including the submitter (centre).

Nurse Mary

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Mary (“Chatty”) Chatfield Beaufield of Raleigh, Newfoundland, signed on as a Registered Nurse as soon as the Second World War was declared. She went overseas as part of the #4 Canadian Army Medical Unit. "While Mom was in England, her brother, John Beaufield, who served in the Merchant Navy, happened to land in London. He being a seaman and she a lieutenant, they could not visit with each other officially, but managed to meet ‘on the underground,'" writes Sally Rayes, her daughter. After returning to Canada, Mary married Major P. J. Slattery of Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Feeding an Army

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Corner Brook, Newfoundland-native Elizabeth Layden spent much of the Second World War (1940-1945) preparing hearty, healthy, home-cooked meals for the service men and women at bases in Rockcliff, Ottawa, Ontario; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Torbay, Newfoundland. Pictured here proudly wearing her uniform at 19 years old in 1943, Elizabeth (Layden) Wheeler is now 92 years young. (Photo courtesy Mrs. Evelyn Wheeler-Hay)