Veteran Stories:
Charles MacDonald “Donald, Donnie, Charlie” Brady

Army

  • Charles Brady stands with the graves of his father and brother in Lancaster, Ontario.

    Credit: The Glengarry News. Photo: Steven Warburton
  • The graves of Charles Brady's father and brother.

    Charles Brady
  • Charle Brady's brother in England, he was killed after the war in a car accident.

    Charles Brady
  • Newspaper article annoucing the tragic death of Charles Brady's brother after his return from the war.

    Charles Brady
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"It’s ironic that my brother survived 37 bombing missions over Germany, only to be killed by a drunken driver."

Transcript

Hello, I’m Charles MacDonald Brady - Charlie or Donny - to my friends. I was born on November the 20th in Lancaster, Ontario and I grew up in a family of four boys. I left home when I was 16 on what was called harvest trains to harvest the crops on the Prairies. For the next two years, I worked at various jobs and locations in Ontario. On the 11th day of April, 1945, at age 18, I joined the army at Kingston, Ontario, following my two brothers, WO1 [Warrant Officer, First Class] Lawrence E.J. Brady, air bomber, RCAF, and LAC [leading aircraftsman] William T. Emmett Brady, RCAF. I was transferred to Camp Borden for basic training and volunteered for the Pacific theatre on June the 5th, 1945. We were to be sent to Georgia in the United States for jungle training and I was granted embarkation leave. I was home on leave in Lancaster when my brother Lawrence, who was on leave from the RCAF, was killed in a road accident. It’s ironic that my brother survived 137 [correction - 37] bombing missions over Germany, only to be killed by a drunken driver. An extra day’s leave was declined and I arrived back at Borden late and was punished. The war ended and I remained in the army until I was discharged on the 19th of September in 1946. The next five years were spent mostly as a sailor on merchant ships. I arrived in Montreal in 1951 and met a lovely Irish lass. We were married in 1953. We raised a family of five girls and three boys. I spent the next 33 years working as a brakeman and conductor on the CNR [Canadian National Railway]. I am now 84 and I’ve been retired for 28 years. I enjoy my eight grandchildren and two great-grands and I must say that I’ve had a good life.
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