Phil – I Remember

Remembrance Day

This was the first poem learned as a little person. At first, it was just a poem. With each season passing, it has grown in significance becoming one that never passes far from memory.

Today, the poem is part of Remembrance Day ceremonies in Canada and other countries. The poem was written by a Canadian – Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch, be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields


He Was Just Eighteen

As young man of 18 years, he was a speed skater from St. John, New Brunswick when he was called to war. He was assigned in August 1942, to the 83 Squadron Path Finder Force, the original squadron of Lancaster bombers.

In England while recovering from severe burns he described in a letter to friends at home, subsequently published by the Evening Times Globe how –

It was a nice bright moonlit night and the bomber was serenely journeying through the skies over France when, seemingly from nowhere, a Jerry figher came at us from underneath and before we had a chance to get out of his way he blasted about 200 shots at us and set us on fire. Flames spurted up immediately under my station as mid-upper gunner and in a few seconds both the turret and myself were on fire. I left the turret to get my parachute…I managed to locate the chute but it was burning too. It was probably just as well that I had caught on fire because my gun turret had been blown to bits after I left it.

Lest We Forget

With all of that and more he was one of the lucky ones who made it home and who, as a result, made my life more complete. Sadly, he died just a few short years ago.

Philip F. Connell, D.F.M. P.F.F. BADGE, OP WINGS AND BAR was one of many brave men who during W.W. II made a difference that allowed me and so many other Canadians to enjoy a life of freedom. Phil was my father in law and … I remember.

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

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