A Time to Remember

Hours and Location

A Time to Remember

Canada Aviation and Space Museum
DateNov 5, 2021 - Nov 11, 2021
Supermarine Spitfire plane flying in the distance with two red poppies in focus

November offers a special time to reflect, remember, and appreciate those who have served Canada — past and present — in times of war and times of peace. The act of remembrance and sharing with loved ones links our history with the present, as well as the future.

For those who wish to visit their favourite period aircraft, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 11, with advanced ticketing and COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

For those commemorating our veterans virtually, the museum offers up a special collection of online resources, A Time to Remember. Through poetry, music, and photography, we can enrich our understanding of what veterans and history keepers of our nation have left us.

A Time to Remember includes:

Wartime Poems

Throughout our nation’s history, poetry has given Canadians an outlet to convey strong, emotional feelings of passion, strength, and sorrow. In honour of our fallen, we share these two touching poems.

The Missing Airman — By Nelson Moses

A black-and-white image shows an older man looking off in the distance with a serious expression. A wooden building can be seen in the background.

Nelson Moses was overcome with grief when he wrote his poem, The Missing Airman.

Losing a loved one to war is a life-changing event for the entire family and its collective. On April 1, 1918, the community of the Delaware band — from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, near Brantford, Ontario — lost a 26-year-old son. The community’s former teacher, Lieutenant James Moses, was a forward artillery observer with 57 Squadron, with the Royal Air Force. He and his pilot were shot down in France, and a letter was sent to his family.

The Moses family had sent three sons to serve in the Great War. Struck with grief and profound loss of his son James, Nelson Moses wrote and published the English verses in the newspaper.

The Missing Airman

By Nelson Moses

O, sometimes yet I feel lonely
For him who went away overseas;
Time’s healing wing, and time only,
Can soothe the empty heart with ease.

That parting hour was hard to bear,
When we shook hands and said good-bye.
Hope alone breathed over our prayer,
While tears rose up and dimmed each eye.

But our Mother, in sore distress,
Was heard from o’er the restless wave.
Her sons falter’d not in her stress,
It was victory, or the grave.

Jim sleeps, with many comrades brave,
Sleep on; your battle is done.
No lonely cross will mark the grave,
Where rests the Empire’s warrior son.

Luunape version of The Missing Airman

Wchihle lunuween
pumihleeshiiwii ahkumahkwat

Tahtaas iiyach nii numaamayaniiluni
Eelu neeka aween kwaxkakeew wahlumat
Sahku kiikeeheew chaskuneew waak sahku shukw
Wiichumeew alaxan wteeh naxpii aapuwiixun

Loosoomeew sahku ahwat ooshaweelundam
Eenda kiiloona ksakiinaxkeeneewihna waak leew laapii uch kuneewultihna
Nahkeewsuwaakan leexeew paalihleew kiiloona pahtamaweelxaweewihna
Naakeesh akeexpeengweew paasteew waak matatawaapuw

Shukw kukuna, ooshaweelundam
Lustaweew wunj kwaxkakeew
Neeka kwiisusak mahta poonihtoow neeli neeka ooshaweelundam
Neeka pumohkaasuw, shukw machiiyay

Njiim wunaxpii-kawiit xweeli njoosumak maskaniiteeheewak
Kawihmwa meekal kii kuwiichoohuweew kehkoohaawatuwak
Mahta maamayaniilunuw aashtehteehiikan waxkiichi machiiyay
Eenda alaaxiimuwaakan shuwanakwunj tali soochul kwiissuw

Audio recording of The Missing Airman (Luunape)

Although the poem was written in English, the Moses family at Six Nations spoke Delaware (Luunape). The Delaware (Luunape) language is spoken in communities in Southern Ontario.

With the help of the Luunape language speakers from the community of the Munsee-Delaware reserve near London, ON, the poem was recently translated — reuniting the author’s work with his Indigenous language over a century later. 
The museum wishes to express its immense gratitude to Ian McCallum and Karen Mosko who were involved in the translation, along with James Moses’s descendant — Indigenous historian John Moses — for his crucial guidance in accomplishing this endeavour.

Listen to a recording of the Luunape version of The Missing Airman, read by Karen Mosko.

A black-and-white image depicts six men in full military military men, 3 sitting, and 3 standing behind them.

James D. Moses with other officers of the 107th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. 
ca 1916, Front row (left to right): Lt O.M. Martin, A.L. Cavanaugh, H. Dawson. Back row (left to right): Lt F. Riley, L.V. Smith, Lt James D. Moses. 

James Moses' Spitfire

James Moses served aboard a de Havilland DH-4.

A young man in military uniform; the image is taken from the waist up.

James D. Moses serving with “Brock’s Rangers,” the 114th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. ca 1915 –

High Flight — By John Gillespie Magee Jr.

A black-and-white image shows a young man wearing a military uniform and cap; aviator wings are visible on his chest lapel.

At age 19, pilot officer John Gillespie Magee Jr. was a Spitfire pilot serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the author of High Flight.

Born to a British mother and an American father, John Gillespie Magee Jr. desperately wanted to join the war effort. As the U.S. was still not at war, the young man turned down a Yale University scholarship to come to Canada and join the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), where he trained in the British Commonwealth Air Training Program. Passionate about flight, the young Spitfire pilot penned a poem that celebrates the act of flight, all the while transcending earthly boundaries. On December 11, 1941, at the age of 19, he died in a flight accident in England.

High Flight

By John Gillespie Magee Jr.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Activity: 3D model of a Supermarine Spitfire

A fighter aircraft soaring above against a sky with clouds

A Supermarine Spitfire aircraft soars in the sky.

The Supermarine Spitfire was John Gillespie Magee’s favourite fighter aircraft. Click the button below for instructions on assembling your own paper version.



Second World War Photography

In times of great adversity, nations collaborated and organized to defend democracy. Photographers documented some of the most pivotal moments in Canadian military history during the Second World War. See images from Veterans Affairs Canada, which capture D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.

It Took a Nation: CN Images of Canada Collection 1939-1945

Three women working in front of giant map of eastern Canada, one is on a ladder placing a marker.

Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Women's Division, at work in an operations room in eastern Canada.

From the Ingenium archival collection vault, the extensive CN Images of Canada Collection offers a different insight into the wartime efforts, and documents a nation at war on the home front, airfields, and in the sky.

Enjoy a short “fly-past” by watching a video of selected images compiled from the CN Canada Images Collection.

[Video begins; music plays in the background of a slideshow of images.]

CN Images of Canada Collection 

A Selection from 1939-1945

Logo – Ingenium digital Archives (logo)

A Harvard advanced training plane in flight. In this type of aircraft, Royal Canadian Air Force pilots complete training for their wings (War record PL3607).

Hon. C.G. Power, Minister for Air, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain and Wing Commander W.R. MacBrien, officer commanding a Royal Canadian Air Force Service Flying Training School at Uplands, near Ottawa. 

They are shown beside a Harvard advanced trainer craft during a visit to Ottawa by Mr. Churchill (War record PL6524). 

A squadron of Harvards in flight at a training school.

Flight schools, T-6 (Training plane), Training planes, World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations 
Building a Bristol Bolingbroke IV at a Fairchild Aircraft factory for use by the RCAF, circa 1942 (CN Images of Canada Collection — CN001869).

Black and white image of factory members assembling an airplane. There two pairs of unattached large landing gear with wheels sitting on the floor in the forefront.

A member of the RCAF Women’s Division does welding work on an aircraft, circa 1942 (Ingenium image no. PL6529). 

 A group of RCAF pilots double check a course, to ensure that there are no problems once they are in the air (War record CN001935).

Construction of aircraft in the Hurricane plant in Fort William, Ontario, Canada (War record CN001875).

Women assembling aircraft parts (War record CN001863).

A Royal Canadian Air Force maintenance crew gives a last-minute overhaul to an aircraft of a Canadian Bomber Squadron before take-off in Britain (War record PL4500).

A Royal Canadian Air Force inspector checks aeronautical instruments during the Second World War, 1939-1945.

A member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Women’s Division, at work in the parachute packing section at an air force base, circa 1942 (CN Collection no. PL6968).

Kittyhawks in line at a Royal Canadian Air Force fighter station in Canada (War record PL8504).  
Two aircraft mechanics work on an engine (War record PL7716).

Aerial operations Royal Canadian Air Force Fighter Squadron pilots plot the day’s course during the Second World War, 1939-1945 (War record PL8505).

After an alarm sounds, Royal Canadian Air Force air crew members run for their fighter aircraft where ground crew stand ready to help them into parachutes War record PL4484).

Three Canadian Army Cooperation pilots are shown scanning a map before take-off (War record PL4378).

Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Women’s Division, at work in an operations room in Eastern Canada, circa 1942. (War record PL8356).

A soldier and a nurse share a conversation in a hospital car (War record X-17336 / CN002007).

Women workers sew a fabric-covered airplane wing (War record CN001861).

An aircrew in front of a Bolingbroke bomber gun turret (War record CN001918).

A RCAF Catalina flying boat floats in the water (War record CN001943).

The RCAF Beaufort Bomber crew who defeated a German Heinkel 115 and a Nazi pocket battleship (War record PL4326).

A Royal Canadian Air Force Fighter Squadron, flying in formation, returns after executing manoeuvres (War record CN001962).

Blue Teal slide 

Lest we forget

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Canada Aviation and Space / Musée de l’aviation et de l’espace du Canada    (logo)

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Canada word mark logo

The Legacy Series is an original documentary film series showcasing powerful, personal accounts of the Second World War through the lens of aviation. You can find testimonials of women working during the Second World War in Episode 4 of the Legacy Series:

Photography Spotlight: Jack Ford (1922-2019)

Head shot of a happy man wearing a suit and glasses, in his late 80s with his hands crossed in front of him.

Jack Ford at Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.

After training at the Rockcliffe airport in Ottawa, Ontario during the Second World War, Jack Ford was a photographer for the RCAF No. 414 Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron. Ford was sent overseas right after the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944. He and his fellow squadron photographers followed the Allied troops from air base to airbase, capturing moments in daily life in the face of danger, horror, and great change. 

To see just a few of the amazing photographs he and his fellow photographers took from France to Holland, watch a short video tribute to Jack Ford.

[Video begins; music plays in the background of a slideshow of images.]

Dedicated to the Memory of Jack Ford (1922–2019) and the members of No. 414 Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron, RCAF (1943–1945)

A close up of Jack Ford’s face.

Member of the RCAF No. 414 Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron installing a specialized camera on a fighter aircraft.

Allied gliders landed in France during D-Day invasion of Normandy. Many crew were injured in these landings due to the sheer numbers landing in the same field.

Members of the RCAF No. 414 Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron in action: An arriving fighter pilot, just turned in his camera to the photographer crew for processing in the “developing truck” used as the dark room to develop the photographs.

An aerial view of the German-occupied city of Caen, France, burning after being bombed.
Nazi prisoners of war being marched in the streets of Arrass, France.

An old church with its damaged roof, in Falaise, France.

Military vehicles drive on a desolate street full of damaged buildings and rubble in a liberated French town.

Tethered barrage balloons would offer protection from low-flying enemy aircraft, which could get tangled in its cables.

Photographer Jack Ford hangs his hand-washed laundry on tree branches to dry.

Three Allied fighter aircraft fly above the clouds.

Photographer Jack Ford gives a haircut to the barber of the RCAF No. 414 Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron.

Winston Churchill in the backseat of a Lysander aircraft.

A pilot poses before getting into his fighter aircraft.

In the last days of the war, a Luftwaffe pilot landed on an Allied airfield and surrendered to the Allied forces.

Aerial view of a heavily bombed target, site unknown.

An open jeep driven by a military official, with passengers King George VI (right) and Field Marshall Sir Bernard Montgomery.

A nervous pilot smokes a cigarette after landing. After being chased by a Nazi aircraft, he accidently hit power lines and damaged his wingtip trying to escape and land safely.

Early morning Nazi raid on Eindhoven, Holland airfield on Jan. 1, 1945. The surprise attack on an Allied occupied airfield resulted in the destruction of approximately 90 percent of the aircraft there.

Sky trails left by American day bombers flying at 6.1 km altitude, on their way to Nazi-occupied Germany. Their fighter escorts ran out of gas and were on the ground; they could no longer protect them.

A disabled American bomber makes a safe emergency landing on RCAF field in Holland, with a deployed drogue shoot. Unfortunately all eight crew onboard died of bullets wounds, including the pilot who was found hunched over the yoke in the cockpit.

New Year’s Day, 1945: Nazi Luftwaffe Air raid at the Eindhoven air field in Holland where the Canadian squadron was operating from.

New Year’s Day, 1945: Nazi Luftwaffe Air raid at the Eindhoven air field in Holland where the Canadian squadron was operating from.

Writing letters was a form of release; Jack Ford writes a letter to his mother and father from captured Nazi barracks.

Aerial view of a heavily bombed area of Falaise Gap, France.

Nazi prisoners of war in a temporary camp, just days before the end of the war.

Taking a bath was a rare luxury. Using a broken Nazi airplane gas tank as a tub, Jack Ford takes a bath.

Nazi U-boat submarines docked in German port.

Ominous skies over Germany as people move to escape the incoming Russian army.

Pilot “Cookie” Gilcrest sitting on his plane.

Night time search lights and bullets flying up over a squadron’s campsite in France, as a low-flying German aircraft appear.

Aerial photograph of prisoner of war camps positioned amidst war factories, with fake red crosses painted on the factory roofs.

Long-awaited mail from home finally arrived with news from loved ones, lifting everyone’s spirits.
Dutch people would walk for kilometers to find dead trees, to burn and heat their houses. They would use their bicycles to carry the trees back to the city.

Local Dutch children in wooden shoes during winter, in front of a mess hall building.

Members of 414 Reconnaissance squadron in Lunenburg, Germany, prior to going home. Back row, from left to right: M. Blunt, B. Orme, R. MacDonald, L. Nelson, C. Thompson, G. Hill, P. Thiboutot. J. Ford. Front row, from left to right: C. Brunelle, R. Machabee, A. Blow, R. Reinhart, B. Dowsett and J. Hutchinson.

After the war, waiting to go home seemed like an eternity for Jack Ford and the members of the 414 Squadron, circa 1946.

Lest we forget.

All photos are courtesy of the Jack Ford collection.

A special thank you to Tracy Ford and the Ford Family and to Art Therapist Ana Seara from the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.

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Canada Aviation and Space / Musée de l’aviation et de l’espace du Canada (logo)

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Canada word mark logo

A portion of the Jack Ford Collection is on permanent display at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto.

You can find portions of Ford’s testimonials in the museum’s docu-series, The Legacy Series. Ford is featured in: