Don White is 95 years old and full of energy. He is a Canadian Second World War veteran who saw fighting in Italy and the Netherlands with the Royal Canadian Dragoons. In recent years, Don has found himself at the centre of Canadian-Dutch commemorations of the end of the war in Europe.
We got in contact with Mr. White through Nathan Kehler, the executive director at the Canadian Research and Mapping Association (CRMA). You may remember Nathan from our May 2019 podcast featuring Project ‘44. Nathan and his team have been busy mapping the route of the Canadian Army from Juno Beach to victory in Europe. Nathan, who recently left the Canadian Armed Forces, is a veteran of Afghanistan and a Royal Canadian Dragoon. Being from the same regimental family, Nathan and Don share common bonds, especially as former reconnaissance or recce soldiers.
Earlier this year, we joined Project ‘44 and visited Don White in the very same house he built when he returned home from the Second World War. We spoke with Don and his daughter Holly for nearly two hours. This is the first of a two-part series featuring that interview and it focuses on Don’s early military career and his time in Italy. Most of Don’s reflections on the liberation of the Netherlands will follow in part two.
All proceeds support the Juno Beach Centre, Canada’s Second World War Museum in Normandy, France and allow us to continue to offer this content to listeners across Canada!
The following links offer more information on the topics discussed in this episode:
Juno Beach & Beyond is hosted and edited by Alex Fitzgerald-Black, the Juno Beach Centre Association’s Operations and Outreach Manager.
Audio of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte speaking in the House of Commons, October 2018 from the Global News YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLX54tYZeBg
Mackenzie King’s speech to British Parliament from the British Pathé YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SlEvclY5LE&t=48s
Artillery firing sounds from the CBC News: The National YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsCSQ4uWR1Y
Female veteran’s voice (Eileen Green, née Short) Courtesy of The Memory Project, Historica Canada: http://www.thememoryproject.com/stories/383:eileen-green-nee-short/
Winston Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech from Jonathan Thomas’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB5wZtV1MWM
Spitfire sound effect from Jason Kirby’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgZI4tAoMN0
Dramatic Interlude by Alexander Nakarada | https://www.serpentsoundstudios.com
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at email@example.com.