This is the beginning of
a section dedicated to the brave and
sometimes heroic people of Nova Scotia who experienced W.W. II
To the Memory of the Men of Western Kings, Who Gave Their
Lives in the Wars of 1914-1918, 1939-1945 and Korea
Serving with Armed Forces Berwick District
(can't find date)
Note: There are months if not years of information (social, racial and political) leading up to the Second World War which is not included in this collection. We have decided to start with Britain and France and their Declaration of War against Germany and then (eventually) come back to the Kings County families and how it changed their lives.
Wednesday Evening, September 6, 1939
Britain and France At War With Germany
Japan, Russia and Italy
George Broadcasts Message of Hope
and Determination to Empire
London, September 3. Great Britain and France went to war with Germany today.
As the fateful news was made known the King sounded a rallying call to his people scattered throughout the British Empire "to stand calm, firm and united" against Germanys challenge to civilized order in the world.
Meanwhile Japan, Russia and Italy remained neutral. Reuters News Agency reported from Shanghai that according to a reliable source Japan has assured Great Britain of its neutrality.
Moscow observers stated Soviet troops would not march, even to the extent of lending economic aid to both sides of the war, and it was reported Britain and France would demand a statement of Italys intentions.
The King broadcast his message of hope and determination a few short hours after Neville Chamberlain, Great Britains 70-year-old Prime Minister, announced a brief, simple statement: "This country is now at war with Germany."
While Britains navy, army and air force prepared to co-operate with the military machines of France and Poland in a struggle against Hitlerism and everything it stands for, the quiet voice of their commander-in-chief was addressed to "my people at home and my people across the seas who will make our cause their own."
Seated alone in his study in Buckingham Palace, dressed in the uniform of an admiral of the Fleet, the King addressed this message to every British subject:
"If one and all we keep resolutely faithful to it, (the cause) ready for whatever service or sacrifice it may demand, then in Gods name we shall prevail."
Shortly afterward it was revealed that members of the royal family, as in the Great War, were ready immediately to stand with their subjects in the duties of war.
The Duke of Kent, a simple Admiralty announcement said, has taken a war assignment as a rear-admiral.
The machinery of Government was immediately adjusted to the new conditions. As predicted, the Prime Minister shuffled his Cabinet, and first to be included in the war-time ministry was Winston Churchill, who became First Lord of the Admiralty, the same post he held just a quarter of a century ago, at the outbreak of the great War.
Lord Hankey, one of the Empires most brilliant civil servants and a confidant of all prime ministers since the Great War, emerged from retirement to serve in the ministry. Anthony Eden, former foreign secretary, became Secretary for Dominions.
France Follows Old Ally
Paris, September 3. France followed her old ally, Great Britain, into war with her historic enemy, Germany, today when the French ultimatum expired at 5 p.m. (1 p.m. A.D.T.) with no reply from Adolph Hitler.
A French army of more than 3,000,000 and a potential reserve of another 5,000,000 men moved into war positions, but just how and where Great Britain and France would go to Polands aid remained a military secret.
In a broadcast to his countrymen tonight. Premier Daladier placed blame for the war on Hitler and said: "The cause of France is the cause of peace, and it will be victorious."
Wednesday Evening, October 18, 1939
Britain Rejects Peace With Hitler
Offers German Chancellor Choice Of
Lasting Peace Or War To The
Prime Minister Chamberlain in a stirring speech before the British House of Commons last Thursday, voiced the British Governments attitude towards the peace which Adolf Hitler had projected, based upon his conquest of Poland. The announcement offered the German Chancellor his choice of war to the bitter end or a real lasting peace fortified by effective guarantees against further aggression.
Without naming specific peace conditions, Prime Minister Chamberlain told the House of Commons:
"The issue is plain. Either the German government must give convincing proof of the sincerity of their desire for peace by definite acts and by the provision of effective guarantees of their intention to fulfil their undertakings, or we must persevere in our duty to the end.
"It is for Germany to make her choice."
Stern of voice, the 70-year-old prime minister declared that Great Britain would never accept peace at the sacrifice of her honor or abandonment of the principle that international disputes should be settled by discussion, not by force.
Mr. Chamberlain spoke only 16 minutes, but again and again he was forced to stop in the reading of his manuscript by prolonged cheering from the crowded house. His voice took on a unusual tone of uncompromising firmness. Not once did he lean his elbow on the big red despatch box as on other occasions. He stood stiffly upright, his face set and his voice almost resonant.
In blunt language Hitler was told that acts not mere words must come from him "before we, the British peoples, and France, our gallant and trusted ally, would be justified in ceasing to wage war to the utmost of our strength."
Mr. Chamberlain, in making it clear that any move by Germany must be backed up by more than promises, expressed doubt that Hitler would give the required guarantees.
"The plain truth is that after our past experience, it is no longer possible to rely upon the unsupported word of the present German government," he said.
November 8, 1939
On this day of solemn remembrance I join with the Mayors of Cities and Towns in all parts of Canada to issue this Proclamation:
REMEMBRANCE DAY recalls the courage and sacrifice of the past. It bids us reconsecrate ourselves to the nations highest service, in whatever field our duty lies.
Shortly before Their Majesties visit, the Mayors of Canada passed a resolution calling for Moral Re-Armament as the need of the day.
The world-wide response showed a world-wide need; and war has intensified that need.
In time of war our homes require this kind of spirit to enable them to bear its anxieties, as well as to give them a lasting unity and purpose.
Such a spirit will make for co-operation in industry and throughout the whole nation. It will make us eager to put national interest before personal security and personal profit.
With a sense of individual responsibility, we shall achieve true economy of man-power, money, and national effort.
The morale of the people and the health of the fighting services will be at their best. Furthermore we need no longer accept as inevitable the moral casualties of war.
The two minutes silence on Remembrance Day forms a link with the dead. It can also link us with the future and with life.
On this day, while remembering our glorious dead, let us use these two minutes to seek Gods Plan and to find out how best to serve Him, our King, and our Country.
Recognizing our own faults and our own failures, let us set ourselves to put right what is wrong in our lives and so help to free our country from greed, fear and hate.
Then we shall truly honour those whom we recall to memory today. Then we can build the sort of world they died to bring about.
GOD SAVE CANADA - GOD SAVE THE KING
Mayor, Berwick, N. S.
Issued by the Mayors of Canada under the auspices of the Canadian Federation of Mayors and Municipalities.
November 11th, 1939.
Proclamation September 25th, 1940