Our dad’s name was James Ernest Thompson, F/O. He went by Ernie, and in WW2, he was known as Tommy. Our mom was a Belgian war bride. I am number 11 of the 12 children they had after marrying in 1946. Dad was born and raised on a farm near Bowden, Alberta, and together they raised us a stone’s throw from his parent’s farm. There was an RAF training base on my grandparent’s land, and today the Bowden Penitentiary sits on that land. We were raised on the land directly east, across the QE2 highway.
I will send a link to a YouTube video of an interview with mom and dad when they were in their early 70’s. A local student interviewed them for her high school social studies class, and in this interview dad spoke more words about his Bergen-Belsen experience than I had ever heard, although it’s still not many. The clip is only 13 minutes long, but it will give you a good idea of the man dad was, and his experiences during the war. There are 2 other interviews as well, which depicts mom’s life in Belgium as an occupied territory and a touch of their world after the war.
I’m sure your uncle experienced the same feelings as dad…
Of the 12 children, there were 9 boys and 3 girls, the oldest will be 75 this year, and we recently lost our first sibling so now there are only 8 boys. All are interested in dad’s history, but my brother Dwayne, 62 years old, is by far the most knowledgeable, sharing the same passion for history and planes as dad. His mind is a steel trap for details, and he is passionate about the RCAF history, but he’s not on Facebook. I will let him know about your group as well.
Chantal (Thompson) Bennett