Bride Stories > Margaret (Elliott) Button
| Margaret Button in a Toronto
Daily Star article. Click to read.
|Margaret came to Canada on the
for larger image.
Contributed by Larry Button
My mother, maiden name Margaret Mitchell
Elliott, was born near Berwick-on-Tweed where both her father
and grandfather worked as gamekeepers for Lord Joicey at Ford.
Later her family moved to Raby Castle in County Durham where
my grandfather was head gamekeeper for Lord Barnard.
She married my father W.O. Tom Button an RCAF pilot on June
2, 1945, in Stranraer, Scotland. My father returned to Canada
shortly thereafter in July 1945 however it was not until April
1946 that my mother was able to join him in Canada.
My mothers recollections are as follows:
"When I received word to leave for Canada I had waited
for almost a year, it was still very hush-hush. I well remember
the very sad expression on my mothers face, my father
rarely showed his feelings. I went up to see the Elliotts
on the Scottish Borders, they too did not like the idea of
me leaving Britain, but we parted on good terms. Then good-bye
to all my friends at Raby and a final walk in the woods with
my dogs - Ben and Jet the black labs, Barney the border terrier,
Sandy my yellow lab and Towser the spaniel.
Then the train to London, staying overnight in Park Lane,
the next morning another train ride to the port of Southampton.
It was a sunny April day, the fields and gardens of southern
England were beautiful and green. As we reached the docks
the Aquitania looked enormous - we had a great send off. On
board was Field Marshall Alexander one of our greatest war
heroes who was coming out to Ottawa to be Governor General.
When the pipe bands played "Will Ye No Come Back Again?"
and we slowly began to move along the English Channel there
lots of tears.
It was very interesting to meet girls from all over Britain,
many war correspondents and members of the various services
all very happy to be returning to Canada. On the last night
before reaching Halifax there was a great concert for us,
great interest when an iceberg was seen.
There was a wonderful welcome in Halifax, a large contingent
of Mounties, military bands and pipers and reporters everywhere.
Thousands of us will always remember Union Station in Toronto
- this was where we said goodbye to friends who would continue
on to the Prairies and British Columbia.
Before setting off for Hamilton I went to have lunch. Enjoying
my soup I was joined by a photographer from the Toronto
Star newspaper who took my picture and interviewed me.
I was upset at the time as one of the war brides who was supposed
to be met by her husband had not been able to find him; when
she called his home number he informed her she could go back
to Britain as he had met someone else. I found a Red Cross
lady to help her as I was on the last leg of my journey. I
have often wondered whatever happened to her."
My mother also included this poem on the next page:
Southampton harbour in the Spring
On a sunny April day
The shouts of stevedores pulling ropes
And a liner huge and grey
Some anxious soldiers march and pace
The busy, noisy dock
A sweeping seagull screams farewell -
the echo seems to mock
The liner shifts her great hulk;
A shrill salute to this great ship
on her last voyage bound
Six hundred war brides crowd on deck
to watch the fading shore
The wartime years - "blood sweat and tears"
go deep in memorys core
White capped water, smoking stacks
the land now ribbon thin
When can we hope to see again
Our country and our kin.
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