Canada's History - - CONTENTS -

A large fam­ily cel­e­brates the armistice in Lon­don, Eng­land.

“Let the men dress in women’s clothes and the women in men’s!” was the cheery shout that went out as the fam­ily of Al­fred and Alice Hol­lands pre­pared for this pho­to­graph at their home near Plum­stead Com­mon in Lon­don, Eng­land. They were cel­e­brat­ing the end of the First World War on Novem­ber 11, 1918.

In 1920 the Hol­lands em­i­grated to Canada, and they were soon liv­ing in St. Catharines, On­tario, where they thrived. How­ever, less than twenty years later, Ge­orge Hol­lands, the youngest of the fam­ily and front and cen­tre in the photo, was back in Eng­land. He was there help­ing his new coun­try de­fend the coun­try of his birth, as the Sec­ond World War had bro­ken out in 1939.

Ge­orge vol­un­teered in the Cana­dian Army in 1940, en­list­ing in the Royal Cana­dian En­gi­neers in Hamil­ton, and was sent over­seas soon after. He crossed the English Chan­nel on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and fought with his fel­low sol­diers through France, Bel­gium, the Nether­lands, and into Ger­many.

At the war’s end in 1945, he re­turned to Canada to be greeted warmly by his fam­ily (ex­cept for his fa­ther, who had passed away dur­ing the war). Most es­pe­cially, he was greeted by his wife, Doris, and by his four chil­dren.

A proud Cana­dian, Ge­orge went on to es­tab­lish a dry-clean­ing busi­ness in the St. Catharines area and served as pres­i­dent of two lo­cal Le­gions, be­fore he died in 1994. In 2001 his chil­dren sub­mit­ted his name to the Juno Beach As­so­ci­a­tion, and now a brick bear­ing his name and record over­looks Juno Beach, France, where he landed on D-Day.

Ge­orge was adopted into the Hol­lands fam­ily, along with other chil­dren, after his birth mother died. Other mem­bers of the Hol­lands fam­ily who ap­pear in this photo are, from left to right, Ge­orge’s brother Al­fred, sis­ter May, birth sis­ter Rose, brother Les­lie, par­ents Alice and Al­fred, sis­ter Alice, step­sis­ter Alice (yes, two girls named Alice!), and birth brother Wil­liam.

In this photo the Hol­lands fam­ily was cel­e­brat­ing the end of one war, but it was not re­ally the end of the fight­ing — be­cause, as some his­to­ri­ans re­mind us, the two world wars were parts of one con­flict. Too young to serve in the first war, young Ge­orge went on to do his part in the sec­ond. Sub­mit­ted by Ken­neth (Terry) Hol­lands of Kitch­ener, On­tario, the son of Ge­orge Hol­lands, as ap­proved by Ge­orge’s daugh­ters Pa­tri­cia For­tura, Carol Roach, and Bev­erly Cook.

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