Geography

Assignment: It's September, 1939

Teacher's Instructions

Hand a card with only the name, age and birthplace to each student. These are all real people whose age in September 1939 is identified. At the end of the lesson(s), call for each student to read their card and then read to them the role and the fate they had during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Cards (PDF format)

People

IntroductionRole and Fate
Itís September 1939. You are Andy Irwin, a 14 year old selling the Vancouver Sun newspaper in New Westminster, BC. You serve on HMCS Algonquin in Norway and on the Juno beach landings on D-Day. You are 20 when the war ends.
Itís September 1939. You are Werner Hirschmann, a 16 year old in Berlin, Germany. You have just completed high school. You eventually join the Kriegsmarine U-boat service. Surrenders on U-190 after sinking HMCS Esquimalt. You are a 23 year old POW when the war ends.
Itís September 1939. You are Jullie Hallett, a 13 year old schoolgirl in Croydon, England. You are afraid that Germany will bomb your town. WREN. Working at Western Approaches HQ In Liverpool.
Itís September 1939. You are Billy George, a 13 year old schoolboy in Liverpool, England. Your dad is in the merchant navy and youíd also like to be a sailor. First person killed by enemy in Canada since 1812. You are 16.
Itís September 1939. You are Vi Cappello, a 14 year old schoolgirl in Hamilton, Ontario. You have just heard about a war starting thousands of miles away. Becomes Rosie the Riveter. Marries Bill Connolly.
Itís September 1939. You are Bill Connolly, a 17 year old High School student in Hamilton, Ontario. You want to get involved with this war. Joins Navy serves on HMCS Athabaskan. Torpedoed Apr. 1944. Captured. POW. You are 23.
Itís September 1939. You are Bill Stewart, a 16-year-old High School student in Hamilton. You, your brother Jim, and your cousin George, want to get involved in the war. Little brother Ed is far too young. Killed in attack on HMCS Athabaskan. You are 22.
Itís September 1939. You are John Garland, a 17 year old from Gallagher Ridge, NB. The war has excited you and you want to get involved. Killed when HMCS Charlottetown was sunk by U157 (Hartwig). He had attempted to save the ship mascot, a dog. You are 20.
Itís September 1939. You are Norman Rattray, a 16 year old Toronto teen. You want to sign up and be a sailor but youíre too young Ė so you lie about your age! Joined HMCS Prince Robert. You are 23 when the war ends.
Itís September 1939. You are Tommy Henshaw, a 16 year old from Liverpool, England and you have just signed as a steward on to a cargo ship in Liverpool. Torpedoed twice. Survives two sinkings. You are 22 when the war ends. You stay in the merchant navy.
Itís September 1939. You are Margaret Loos, a 16 year old high school girl in Toronto, Ontario. The war news worries you but you want to help. WRCN. Takes German signal for U-boats to surrender. You are 23.
Itís September 1939. You are David Hughes a 17 year old farmerís son from Wetaskiwin, Alberta. You hear about the declaration of war on CBC radio and you want get involved. Lost on HMCS Esquimalt Last HMCS ship sunk. Off Halifax. You are 23.
Itís September 1939. You are Alexis Papadopoulos, a 16 year old from Piraeus, Greece, serving in the Greek Merchant marine. Your ship is SS Mount Tagetus. Died in the sinking of SS Mount Tagetus in St. Lawrence, 1942. You are 19.
Itís September 1939. You are Ted Davis, a 17 year old High School graduate from Esquimalt, BC. You live by the sea and the Esquimalt Naval Base. As soon as you hear the news, you decide to join the Canadian Navy. Survivor of HMCS Guysborough last Canadian ship lost overseas. You are 22.
It is September 1939. You are Olaf Ingberg a 17 year old from Oslo, Norway. You have just signed up on the Norwegian ship Inger Elizabeth as a deck hand. SS Inger Elizabeth is sunk in St. Lawrence. Olaf goes down with ship. You are 20.
Itís September 1939. You are Hardy Kropp, a 16 year old from Kiel, Germany. You are proud that Kiel is the HQ of the U-boats and you want to become a submariner. Killed when U94 is sunk by HMCS Oakville. You are 19.
Itís September 1939. You are Bill Brown, a 17 year old from Calgary, Alberta. You have read about the life at sea and fancy joining the Navy. You sign up as soon as you can. You were in the HMCS Chambly boarding party to seek secret files from the U-boat they have just captured. Germans have booby-trapped the Uboat and it begins to sink Ė you are trapped and go down with it. You are 19.
Itís September 1939. You are Joachim Thederau of Heidelberg, Germany. You are a 15 year old member of the Hitler Youth and wish to help the fatherland. You join the Kriegsmarine and pass the examination for U-boat service. You serve on U765. You go down with the ship. Sunk by HMCS Morden in 1942. You are 18.
Itís September 1939. You are John McBride, a 15 year old high school student in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The war seems to be an exciting event and you plan to join the navy when youíre 17. You eventually get a ship: HMCS Athabaskan. Youíre killed and your body is washed up on shore near Plouescat, Brittany, France. The locals bury you with other Athabaskan victims. You are 19.
It is September 1939. You are Bill Fisher, a 17 year old from Brandon, Manitoba. Youíre just out of high school and when you hear that Canada is at war, you decide to take the bus to Winnipeg and join up. You pick the navy. Youíre assigned to the HMCS St. Croix. A U-boat sinks St. Croix, September 20, 1943. A British warship picks up you and 81 shipmates; HMS Polyanthus was sent to pick up survivors but is also sunk by a U-Boat. HMS Itchin, another British ship picks up the 1 survivor of HMS Polyanthus and the 82 Canadians from St. Croix. On September 22 the HMS Itchin is sunk by a Uboat and there are only 3 survivors in total. One from the Polyanthus, 1 from the Itchin and 1 from the St. Croix—Bill Fisher! You are 21.
It is September 1939. You are Peter Jones, a 19 year old from Sault Ste. Marie. You work in a garage and when you hear the declaration of war, you canít wait to join the navy. Your grandfather was in the British Royal navy in WWI and you always wanted that adventure. You become a signalman on HMCS Haida and serve in all of its actions. You are 25 when the war ends and you decide to take the officer training course and stay on with the RCN.