Halifax ceremony honours ‘Hometown Heroes’ of WWII
On Saturday, a ceremony was held in Halifax to honour Nova Scotia’s so-called ‘Hometown Heroes’ for their sacrifices and efforts during the Second World War.
The ceremony, held on the grounds of Admiralty House National Historic Site, recognized two specific individuals; Mr. Norman Crewe and Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf, as well as the women shipbuilders who were represented by Mrs. Martin (Malti).
Launched by Parks Canada in 2015, ‘Hometown Heroes’ aims to honour and tells the stories of ordinary Canadians, both military and civilian, who contributed to Allied efforts during the World Wars, while also providing Canadians with unique opportunities to connect with their history.
Jim DeWolf, son of Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf, says he was honoured to accept the plaque dedicated to his late father.
“He would be really proud to be standing beside a merchant seaman, side-by-side,” says DeWolf.
The Merchant Seaman is 97-year-old Norman Crewe, who joined the Navy in 1940 and made at least 14 rounds trips across the Atlantic during the Second World War, dodging enemy U-Boats as he delivered essential food and ammunition to Britain.
For Crewe, Saturday’s honour was bittersweet, as the ceremony also recognized the sad fact that the number of living World War II veterans is dwindling over time.
“You know it took 50 years for us to be recognized, 50 years, and in that 50 years, a lot of my buddies who worked hard for it, they passed on,” explains Crewe.
For current members of the Navy in attendance, the ceremony was inspiring.
“It was just really, really humbling for us to be there, and hear what he had to endure during World War II,” explains Vice Admiral Ron Lloyd.
To date, more than 120 Canadians have been recognized as ‘Hometown Heroes’ by Parks Canada.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ron Shaw.