Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day. I’d like to pay my deep respects once more to the uncle I never knew who gave his life in WWII, along with so many others, so that we could all be free.

Thank you, Uncle George.

George Clifford Quartly

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), R.C.I.C., Company C

Killed in action near Monte Cassino, Italy
May 23, 1944

Uncle George is buried in Cassino War Cemetery
Cassino, Italy
Plot 9, A20

You Could Have Heard A Pin Drop

This one has made the rounds before but as Remembrance Day approaches it is a great reminder to honour November 11th.

In France, at a fairly large conference, Former Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper was asked by a French cabinet minister if Canadian involvement in Afghanistan was just an example of “empire building.” Mr. Harper answered by saying:

Over the years, Canada has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.

You could have heard a pin drop.


A Canadian Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the Canadian, US, English, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, North Americans generally learn only English. He then asked:

Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?

Without hesitating, the Canadian Admiral replied:

Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.

You could have heard a pin drop.


When Robert Whiting, an elderly Canadian gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane at the French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

You have been to France before, monsieur?

… the customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. The official replied:

Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.

The Canadian said:

The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.

The customs officer replied:

Impossible, Monsieur. Canadians always have to show passports on arrival in France!

The Canadian senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained:

Well, when I came ashore on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.

You could have heard a pin drop.


Canadians Are Cool…

Never Forget

Today is Remembrance Day, and I’d like to pay tribute to my uncle George Quartly (my mother’s brother), killed in World War II. I never knew my uncle George as he died many years before I was born, but I had heard a lot about him over the years. I understand he was quite young when he was sent overseas to fight in the war.

George Quartly photo in uniform
George Clifford Quartly

George was in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), R.C.I.C., Company C. He was killed near Monte Cassino, Italy (probably in the valley of the Liri River) on May 23, 1944, during the Battle of Monte Cassino. Uncle George had been carrying a Bangalore Torpedo up to the front line wire entanglement where he was to throw it at the Germans. The Germans opened fire and he lost his life at the age of 21.

George Clifford Quartly gravestone in Cassino War Cemetary
George Quartly is buried in Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Italy, Plot 9, A20.

Growing up, I remember being told that my grandmother never got over losing one of her young sons to the war; she mourned George for the rest of her life.

Uncle George was one of the thousands of great heroes who gave their lives so we could be free.