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John Gardam

Burnstown (Ont.), General Store Publishing, 1990. 142pp, paper, $14.95, ISBN 0-919431-41-0
Distributed by General Store Publishing, 1 Main St., Burnstown, Ontario KOJ1GO. CIP

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up
Reviewed by Jack Brown.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

This is a book about Canadians during World War II, their triumphs and sacrifices. "Reading John Gardam's book has left me with the same sense of awe and respect as I felt for those who fought the war," says General Manson, former chief of the Defence Staff. There is no boasting here, no vaunting of individual exploits; on the contrary, the emphasis is on ordinary people who did extraordinary things in the course of duty. The accounts, drawn from all branches of the armed forces and merchant navy, are accompanied by forty-six photographs and a good index.

The book is about average soldiers, sailors, airmen and women. They came from all walks of life and all parts of the country. They were very young. There is but one general in the book, Tommy Burns.

Gardam admits that his anthology is only a sample of what the war years were like. "My only regret is that I waited so long to write the book. Too many wonderful stories escaped me," he says. But those he tells give vivid pictures from personal viewpoints.

Colonel Gardam is already well known for his previous books, The National War Memorial (Veterans Affairs, 1982) and Seventy Years After (1914-1984) (Canada's Wings, 1983). He retired from the military in 1984 and is cur­rently project director of the Department of National Defence Peacekeeping Monument in Ottawa.

Jack Brown, K.C.V.I., Kingston, Ont.
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