REMEMBRANCE DAY: Region’s heroes honoured

George Gordon Duncan, born in 1892, attended the University of Toronto, for arts and medicine, before joining the military.

His life held so much promise.

Like many of his fellow soldiers from Port Credit, to where he moved, Gordon was active in the 36th Peel Militia. His day job was at Port Credit’s Consumers’ Gas Company.

Eager to enlist at the start of the First World War, in 1914, he became one of the first Port Credit officers to go overseas. His younger brothers, Wallace and Alan, and their father, a chaplain, all served in the War.

George Gordon was wounded in April 1915, following the battle at Ypres. He was later killed on May 22, 1915, at the battle of Festubert. He is buried at Brown’s Road Military Cemetery at Festubert, and also remembered on the Port Credit Cenotaph.

As for Canada’s defining battle in the First World War, the Battle of Vimy Ridge, of the approximate 54 soldiers who fought there, 11 were wounded and 7 killed, from the Villages of Malton, Streetsville, Meadowvale, Cooksville, Clarkson, Port Credit, Erindale and Dixie. An astounding number, considering the small populations in those places then.

It would be as if everyone was directly affected by that War, or personally knew families that were.

Back home, during he Second World War, the Ordnance Branch of the Department of National Defence authorized construction of a small arms factory, in 1940, near Marie Curtis Park.

By June 1941, the first five rifles had been produced, to be followed by everything from the Lee Enfield rifle to the Sten submachine gun. And, throughout the War, until it ceased operations in December 1945, it was staffed almost exclusively by women.

At home and overseas, in both World Wars, the people of this region stepped up to the plate, showed Canadian grit, and gave it their all.

 

Now and Then … and Again

By Rochelle Burns, PhD, social historian

Lieutenant George Gordon Duncan: Photo credit: Mississaugua.ca.

 

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