Aaron Wilson & Family
Jean Patterson remembers her father Aaron Wilson reading the Windsor Star newspaper and telling her Mother that there was going to be another war, and if there was her father was going to join up.
Aaron had been working out West, building the railroad when the 1st World War started and he joined up in Richmond, British Columbia. He fought in France, Belgium and served at Vimy Ridge and was wounded twice. Aaron served with the 54th Battalion.
Shortly after the start of the 2nd World War, Aaron joined up again in August 17, 1940 and was with the Veterans Guard of Canada stationed at Gravenhurst, Nyse, Lindsay, Niagara-on-the-Lake among others. His last posting was at Glencoe. The unit guarded captured German soldiers that had been sent to Canada as prisoners of war. After the war Aaron was one of the soldiers who escorted the prisoners back to Europe. Aaron would frequently hitch hike home to see his wife and children. Aaron’s wife Mina looked after nine children while her husband was away. When she had a little free time she would knit socks and send them overseas.
Mina sent a pair of socks and a little roll of yarn to mend to Ken Wilson, her nephew who was fighting overseas in Europe. Ken was shot and the bullet went through one arm, the roll of yarn and through the other arm. He survived and came to tell his Aunt Mina about it after the war.
Aaron and Mina’s four sons joined the services. Norman joined in March 1942 at the age of 21 and served in Africa, Italy and Europe and was in Amsterdam at the wars end and came home in November 1945. Stanley joined October 27, 1942 and he was with the Postal Corp. Stan drove trucks laden with mail bags to soldier stations in Italy and Marseilles and drove through Lyons. Stan had been asked at home after the war by two young boys, “Did you ever shoot anyone?” His answer was, “You don’t want to know and I’m not going to tell you”.
Roy joined as an 18 year old on June 6, 1943 in Windsor, with the Argyle and Southern Highlanders. He served in Belgium, Holland and Germany and after shipping overseas to Europe on November 10, 1944 with B Company. He once told a story of not resting for days. His socks were worn out and he found a rabbit hide and put it in his shoes. By the time he finally got his boots off his feet were covered with fur. Another time his unit was going forward in Holland and checking every house for Germans. He ran up the stairs in a house and found a mother and little girls cuddled in a bed and very scared. He told them he wouldn’t hurt them and left.
At the war end Roy helped escort the German prisoners back to Germany. Roy was on the ship watching the troops coming up the gang plank and he hollered “Wilson!” and there was Stan coming on board. Roy and Stan were in England at the end of the war and went to Scotland to visit their Grandfather and Aunt.
Thomas Neil joined in March 1945 and was in the Signal Corp. and was stationed in Canada. The war was winding down before he was sent to the Pacific. Cecil was too young to join and was a Cadet at Watford.
Other family members who were in the war were W. E. Esselment who was stationed in Canada and guarded prisoners. John Clarence Esselment was killed in Holland. Phil Walters of Sarnia was stationed in England with the Tank Corp. Ken Wilson was in Italy also from Sarnia. Fred and Lyle Wilson from Brooke Township were both in Italy.
Archie L. Fleming
Private Archie L. Fleming was the brother of Grace Ross. He went overseas in 1944 and was in the auxiliary. He returned from the war and died on June 4, 2003.
Submitted by Grace Ross, Alvinston.
Peter D. Fleming
Private Peter D. Fleming was the brother of Grace Ross. He joined in 1944 and was with the engineers until 1946. He was 90 years old in August of 2015.
Submitted by Grace Ross, Alvinston.