THE VETERAN ON
OUR TEN DOLLAR BILL
If you have a Canadian $10 bill, look at the back right
side of the bill.
At the age of 80 he wrote a book
about his experiences and on his retirement he and his wife moved to Ottawa. One
day out of the blue he received a call from a government official asking him to
go downtown for a photo op. He wasn't told what the photo was for or why they
- You will see an old veteran standing at attention near
the Ottawa war memorial.
- His name is Robert Metcalfe and he died last month at
the age of 90. That he managed to live to that age is rather remarkable,
given what happened in the Second World War.
- Born in England, he one of the 400,000 members of the
British Expeditionary Force sent to the mainland where they found themselves
facing the new German warfare technique - the Blitzkrieg.
- He was treating a wounded comrade when he was hit in
the legs by shrapnel. Enroute to hospital, his ambulance came under fire
from a German tank, which then miraculously ceased fire.
- Evacuated from Dunkirk on HMS Grenade, two of the
sister ships with them were sunk.
- Recovered, he was sent to allied campaigns in north
Africa and Italy.
- Enroute his ship was chased by the German battleship
- In North Africa he served under General Montgomery
against the Desert Fox, Rommel
- Sent into the Italian campaign, he met his future wife,
a lieutenant and physiotherapist in a Canadian hospital.
- They were married in the morning by the mayor of the
Italian town, and again in the afternoon by a British padre.
- After the war they settled in Chatham where he went
into politics and became the warden (chairman) of the county.
"He had no idea he would be
on the bill," his daughter said.
And now you know the rest of the story of the old
veteran on the $10 bill.
SOURCE: Ex Air Gunner's (Short Bursts) -
September 2005 issue.