Griff’s training in Canada

Susan had information and pictures about Flight Lieutenant Griff Rogers’ training in Canada.

Griff was stationed in Mount Hope, near Toronto.

This is what Susan writes about her grandfather’s training days.

Marjorie always said that the two events which frightened her most were the abdication and the fall of France. It soon became very obvious that the war was very real and would continue for some time. In spite of having pacifist principles Griff enlisted the Royal Air Force Volunteer reserve as an aircraftman 2nd class aircrafthand observer (1255177) on 1st July 1940. At first he was told he was too old  to be a pilot but as soon as the age was raised, he asked to be trained to fly and attend the bombing and gunnery school in Canada from 20th May 1941 until 7th December 1941. They went over to Canada in the hold of a ship forming part of a convoy, and the effect of so many men suffering from sea sickness in crowded conditions, and the fact that the convoy was several times under attack made it seem like real hell. He spent the time writing six page letters to Marjorie every day. She ended up with a suitcase full of them. They were all destroyed when she married again years later, much to my sorrow, but she said that the letters were very personal to her and she wouldn’t want anyone else to read them.

Here are some pictures of Griffs’ training days…

Halifax, June 1941

train en route to Toronto

Toronto, August 15, 1941



lunch in Toronto

barrack at Mount Hope

control tower and hangars Mount Hope

no. 3 hangar Mount Hope

lecture room Mount Hope

Mount Hope, July 1941

Griff Rogers in an Anson

Want to learn more…?

Click on this image.


4 thoughts on “Griff’s training in Canada

  1. I know this post is unrelated to the current thread. I am trying to research W/O Alexander Alphonse Wilson, Navigator 23 Squadron late 1944. He was with Bud Badley DFC as his nav.
    Any help or pictures appreciated .

  2. Pierre do we have a list anywhere of who was on the 23 Squadron between 1943 and 1944? Have you been in touch with any of the relatives of these men?

    David this would mean that W/O Alphonse Wilson and Bud Badley DFC were there at the same time as my dad F/O JRP Beaudet (DFC) (that was his rank at the time). Have a look at some of the pictures that Pierre has posted from my dad’s photo albums.

    Do you have any pictures of W/O Alexander Wilson? Might help me to identify him while I look again through my dad’s pictures.

  3. Hi Diane and Dave,
    A A Wilson only flew with Buddy at Little Snoring-if at all he will be in the Oct 29th picture, if he joined the squadron earlier enough.

    Bud’s first navigator was L P James, a Welshman, who after over 40 trips just couldnt fly with Buddy anymore because his nerves were shot-he thought Buddy was going round for a second ‘go’ at this flak gun that was wheeling round to meet them, and told Buddy in no uncertain terms what he thought.

    Buddy said he was trying to get behind a church steeple, but the damage was done. He said James never said anything to him, but had himself posted. Wilson then turned up as Buddy’s replacement ‘Nav’-consequently, after Sticky Murphy was killed, he wasn’t there to protect Buddy from Sammy Hoare the group captain, that he had upset.

    The night Sticky was posted ‘missing’, by the time they landed, Sammy had his posting papers in his pidgeon hole. So off Buddy went, to British Airways at Bristol I think. Wilson was left as a ‘roving Nav’.

    He flew with Rowell, amongst others-his navigator had been a new nav, Douglas Darbon, who was killed with Sticky Murphy on 2nd Dec.

    Although they ‘paired’ up it didnt always work out like that.
    George and Paul were very lucky in that they stayed together, and safe.

    1. Thank you so much for giving us such a picture as to how their lives were like at that time. After the talks we’ve had with George I can appreciate how important it was for a team to have confidence in each other.

      Yes your right George and Dad were indeed very lucky to have had each other and what a team they were.

      Pete where is the Oct 29th picture that you are referring to?

      Thanks for all the work you are doing Pierre.

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