Was it stolen valour?

Unknown to historians, Charles Loewen addressed the logistical challenge of landing an army in wartime France.

Early in 1943, the military planners in London, England, coped with the ebb and flow of the Second World War, but they did so secretly. Squirrelled away in his tiny office at the British War Office, an experienced Canadian-born artillery officer grappled with a logistics problem about an upcoming military operation. But the stress proved overwhelming for hm. He couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t focus. To switch his mind off before bed, he tried reading detective stories. Then, he tried something completely different.

“I set up a fly-tying table,” Charles Falkland Loewen wrote in his memoirs, “and before going to bed sat down to tie a fly or two. I found that this absorbed one’s complete attention … and really unbuttoned my mind from current problems.”

Supporting those behind the troops

Pte. Demetrios Deplaros
Pte. Demetrios Deplaros

Last Saturday night, during a fundraising event at the McLaughlin Armoury, in Oshawa, Ont., I met the mother of Demetrios Diplaros. Her son, a 24-year-old private in the third battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, was killed on Dec. 5, 2008, when the armoured vehicle in which he was travelling hit an improvised explosive device near Kandahar, Afghanistan. Mrs. Diplaros and I spoke for a few minutes during the event, but mostly I just looked sympathetically into her still hurting face. As our conversation wound up, she thanked me for listening.

“I don’t know what I would have done without the support of friends and the military family,” she said, as she held on to me for dear life.