“Friends Forum” In Person Event
|Christina undertook the writing of this book after discovering her grandfather’s journal and learning that Canadian soldiers were stationed in Iceland. She has always been interested in military history. She came to realize that this was an untold piece of the Canadian war story that needed to be researched and written. She lives in Vancouver.
In the summer of 1940 Canadians from the 2nd Division, including the Royal Regiment of Canada (RRC), the Fusiliers Mont-Royal (FMR) and the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (CHO) landed in Iceland to support the British in defending Iceland from German invasion. The RRC and the FMR stayed until end of October 1940, and the CHO until end of April 1941.
With stories and photographs I hope to transport participants to the lava dust of 1940 and perhaps provide a new perspective on the time and place. The presentation will examine the Iceland occupation experience from that of a Canadian private soldier on the ground at the time. My grandfather was part of the CHO and was stationed at RAF Kaldadarnes. We will look at the daily rigours of camp life experienced by a private solider and the non-German enemies that they faced, weather, boredom, and isolation. Their adaptation to being in a war without really fighting one and to the locals who resented the uninvited guests. The difficulties with Iceland’s terrain, lack of infrastructure, the endless hard labour and immense construction projects they undertook and the harsh reality of long and erratic supply chains resulting in lack of equipment and shelter.