A fascinating diary I found online from a soldier in the North Nova Scotia Highlanders during WWII. My grandfather was also in the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and he survives today. This brings an intimate perspective to an event I don’t get to hear much about from my grandfather. Since I’m in Holland, I’ve been thinking about him a lot…

Willy's WWII Journal

This blog is based on the World War II journal of William Henry Smith, a Private in the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.  Willy’s journal relates a fascinating and compelling story that has all of the elements of a classic literary piece relating how the horrors of the war cause the rapid maturation of a boy from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – all told in simple, straightforward, evocative, first-person prose.  

The postings are a word-for-word copy of his hand-written journal which covers the period from July 21, 1941 to July 7, 1944.  During this period Willy (as you will see he comes to be known), wrote 80 entries into his journal.  Also in the journal were some scraps of what must have been important items to Willy together with some pictures that were all loosely placed in the pages of the journal.  I have added scans of these photos and other items and fit them into the journal narrative where I thought would…

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