Dickies From Gunton

DICKIES FROM GUNTON: CANADIAN BROTHERS IN TWO WORLD WARS

By LIZ KATYNSKI

image of book cover for Dickies from Gunton: Canadian Brothers in Two World Wars.

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H.P. Tergesen & Sons, Gimli MB Canada

McNally Robinson Booksellers, Winnipeg MB



How Two World Wars Affect a
Canadian Family Forever

Early in the 20th century, two world wars disrupt the lives of ordinary men from a small Manitoba farming community. This is the story of Percy and Earl, brothers in a time when young men were called upon to serve their king and country far from home.

Percy (PJ) Dickie serves with the Fort Garry Horse in the First World War, volunteers with the Royal Canadian Engineers during the Second World War, and works in local war industries to support his family. As Percy writes home to his father in 1918, “it is no birthday.”

Younger brother, Earl Dickie serves in the Fort Garry Horse militia between the wars and volunteers with the Winnipeg Grenadiers at the onset of the Second World War. In 1941, he is sent to defend the doomed British colony of Hong Kong against the Japanese. Earl will spend nearly four years as a prisoner of war, enduring what he describes as “inhuman treatment” as his family struggles with uncertainty about his fate.

The experiences of war and military service on two brothers are examined by author Liz Katynski. Solid research from multiple sources weaves together the story of the brothers, their parents, family and friends to tell the tale of a humble family in peace and war. An interesting and enjoyable read.

Gord Crossley, The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives