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A Duffle Bag, Close Friends and Lots of Memories

The Photo Diary of Marion Swinton, WRCNS

Michelle Fowler, editor

Paper 72 pp.

ISBN13: 978-0-97834-418-4

Release Date: November 2009

Online discount: 25%

$12.99  $9.74


The foundation of this photo diary was a scrapbook created by Marion Swinton, from Hamilton, Ontario. Although Marion passed away several years ago, a caring neighbour kept her well-preserved scrapbook of photographic and written memories. It was given to the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS), and that gift has resulted in this publication.

The scrapbook chronicles Marion Swinton’s time in the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS) during the Second World War. Marion compiled her scrapbook using photos, memorabilia, letters, and stories from her time as a Wren, as members of the WRCNS were called.

The photographs and captions paint a picture of the joy, the fears, and the anticipation of a young woman living out a great adventure. It documents in meticulous detail the events that shaped Marions early twenties and in many ways the rest of her life.

Published by the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies and distributed by Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Michelle Fowler completed her MA at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2005 with a research focus on the Presbyterian Church in Canada during the Great War. An article based on her MA thesis, “‘Death Is Not the Worst Thing’: The Presbyterian Press in Canada 1913—1919”, was published in War and Society. She has also published articles in Canadian Military History. Michelle Fowler was the research coordinator at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies from 2004—2007 and remains a research associate of the centre. Her current focus is on the role of civil affairs officers in 21 Army Group during the liberation of Northwest Europe, 1944—45.