Canada in the Second World War


Philip J. Cockburn

Philip J. Cockburn was born on July 26, 1922 in Alnwick, England

He moved to Canada with his parents in 1930. He joined the 16th/22nd Saskatchewan Horse in June 1940 and was transferred to the First Hussars’ “A” Squadron in 1943. He landed on Juno Beach on D-Day, took part in the liberation of Caen in July, participated in the liberation of Holland in September 1944 and crossed the Rhine on March 17, 1945.

Philip Cockburn returned to Canada in 1945 and was followed, three months later, by his war bride. In November 1945, he was discharged from the military. He moved between Calgary (Alberta), London (Ontario) and St. Helen’s in England. In 1951, he returned to London (Ontario) and became a welder for Union Gas for 17 years. Eventually, he became head custodian with the Separate School Board where he retired.

In 2009, as he was portrayed in the exhibition Veterans Voices at the Juno Beach Centre, Philip J. Cockburn declared:

“I was motivated to join the military because all of my friends did, along with the feeling of allegiance to my country which, more than once, drove me onwards during my service. I felt bitterness and sorrow about my friends dying around me. I came to realize we were simply there to get a job done and wanted to see a positive end to the conflict.”