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John Gallant71c34b25-0473-4e12-a4e9-43e83934ba56By Julian Gallant

Born in 1917 in Winnipeg, John Gallant left this once-prosperous city for the metropolis of Montreal in about 1936. He was looking for work as a jazz musician, and his home city's opportunities were few and far between. War approached inexorably, and he was faced with the choice of eventually being drafted into the infantry or signing up voluntarily with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He chose the latter, but was disqualified as air crew by his poor eyesight. I suspect he consciously avoided ground crew too, given his complete lack of talent for anything mechanical.


memorial2 nWe mark the passing of those who have served their country. Contributions from comrades and families welcome. Email the editor This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


I was at home on the Sunday morning when war was declared 3rd September 1939 and I remember my mother weeping.
At the time I was a 16 year old who lived with her parents in a three bed-roomed detached house at 21 Francis Way, Silver End, Essex named after Francis Crittall whose factory made metal windows.
Early on, we had two evacuees billeted on us. They were two London boys (Johnnie Thatcher and Ken Marriott) coincidently from Edmonton where my father had been to the same grammar school as Ken. They arrived in the clothes they stood up in and stayed for about 6 months. My parents received an allowance from the Government to cover their costs. Ken attended my old school (Braintree County High School) while they were with us.
I was all booked to go to Chelsea Polythechnic to do a course in domestic science when war broke out but my parents would not allow me to leave home for fear of invasion and bombing so I left school on 1st January 1940 and took a job at Courtaulds Research Laboratories at Bocking near Braintree.


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British military casualties - Editorial policy

In the service of our country.

Eulogies for all personnel killed on UK operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are posted as soon as they have been released by the UK Ministry of Defence. Each eulogy we publish for men down in operations brings a lump to the throat. We are losing the best of the best. Politicians must ensure that, when the newspaper cuttings have faded, their sacrifice has had some meaning, has helped bring about a good result. Anything else would be a waste for which they will be eternally condemned.

There is invariably at least a 24 hour gap between the official release of news of an event and the naming of the dead. This is to allow families to be informed and proper eulogoies to be produced. Occasionally families request no euologies or comment. We abide by guidance we receive on such sensitive matters. We regret that information on those who sacrifice almost as much through grave injury is seldom released by the MoD for operational reasons, and so we are unable to pay tribute.


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