Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Gerald Boudreau: The Man on the Mirror (52 Ancestors - #11)

Growing up my brother and I often slept at Nana Amirault's house. Her quaint house was across the street from my house in Weymouth, Massachusetts. We slept in a room that was the size of a decent closet with a brown door that closed like an accordion attached to Nana's room. When we cut through her room going to bed we saw her giant off-white bureau with an enormous mirror and on this mirror she had the Mass card for Gerald tucked away. Unfortunately when Nana passed in 1997 Gerald's Mass card disappeared. Luckily Gerald's sisters, Claire and Alice Boudreau, my Canadian first cousins x2 removed, were able to fill me in on the man on the mirror.
Gerald in his Canadian Air Force Uniform
"We have no memories of what Gerald was like as a young boy. We were too young. Later on when he was older Alice and I recall how many times on Sunday mornings we would torment him to get up when this was his only morning to sleep in. He was so patient and good to us, of course, we were looking for a nickel!

Gerald joined the RCAF sometime in 1940 after Canada became involved in the 2nd world war. He was sent to Kingston, Ontario for gunnery training and then on to Montreal for radio training, which was a good part of one year. They were flying Wellington bombers and they crashed upon taking off the airfield. All were killed, the pilot and Gerald were Canadians and the other three were Australians.

Gerald is buried in Stratford-upon-Avon, on Evesham Rd. just down from Anne Hathaway's cottage. We have all been to his grave site in England. He was only 25 years old.
Gerald's Grave Stone in England - Source:

We have been told later that Gerald was interested in several of the local girls, but nothing serious or he would have married.

Claire shared with me a letter from the House of Commons and with that letter a copy of the pages from the House of Commons book."

After reading and thinking about my cousin Gerald it really makes my heart ache for all soldiers who have lost their lives no matter what war or what country. It makes me remember they have grieving parents and family who may never have a daughter-in-law (or son-in-law if it was a female soldier). It makes me wonder more about what was that person was like...did they play sports, did they have a hobby, what was their favorite subject in school, what did they enjoy for dinner, how many children might they have if they lived, how much do their families miss them.

What makes this story so additionally wonderful is that Claire and Alice are in their mid eighties and live up in Nova Scotia. We may have met once, but they embraced my request for stories about their family and there is more to come! Thank you!

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