War Grooms Stories Wanted
EB Lapointe

    Judy Kozar is collecting information on war grooms, the British males who came to Canada to train in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and who fought in WWII. While here, they met young Canadian women at dances, for example, then went back home to fight the war. At the height of the war, 3,000 pilots a month graduated from the air schools.

    After the war finished in 1945, many of the men emigrated to Canada to marry their Canadian sweethearts. "War brides have received a lot of attention," says Kozar, "but nothing has been written about their counterparts, the war grooms".

    So far, 23 stories have been collected, but she would like to double that amount and write a book about them. "Time is of the essence, since more and more of these men pass away every day, and their stories go untold," she said in a recent e-mail interview.

    She became interested in the war grooms when she realized that her own father-in-law was a war groom. He had been born in Manchester, England and came to Canada after the Second World War, where he married a Canadian girl he had met here while at the school.

    Years later, both her mother-in-law and he were widowed, and they married. "Bill never talked about much about the war, but we found his story among papers after he died. I guess he wanted someone to know the story of his military past."    

    For further information, or to send your recollections about a war groom, please contact Ms. Judy Kozar, 233 Rochester Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3T 4G6 or by e-mail at <jkozar@mts.net>.

03 November, 2005

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