Canadian Becomes a War Bride in Bermuda

@Corbin5 (115945)
United States
October 2, 2016 1:52pm CST
I thought the last war bride I was planned to share was from Jamaica, but this young war bride is actually from Canada, but spent the war years in Bermuda. Phyllis Hartney and U.S. Navy Ensign Ray Ford met in Bermuda. On Phyllis Hartney: She is from Canada, but according to my mother, Phyllis had an accent similar to that of one who comes from West Virginia. Even though Phyllis did not consider herself a war bride, the circumstances that allowed her to meet her husband were due to WWII, so a war bride she was. Phyllis was born in Saskatchewan, Canada. During the war: Phyllis studied nursing in Montreal, Quebec, but at age 21, was too young to serve overseas, so she chose to do civilian nursing in Bermuda. On Bermuda: Phyllis said of Bermuda, "The sky is always blue and the water has a turquoise hue which makes it a most picturesque place. Of course, the temperature is always moderate and there are palms and flowers everywhere." "After I arrived in Bermuda, the ship I had come over on The 'Lady Drake,' was torpedoed by a German submarine. It gave me a queer feeling to see the survivors streaming into our hospital. There were very few casualties, but I was still glad I had not been on it." On her husband: Phyllis met her husband Ray at a party. Ray was a Navy pilot who was part of the scouting squadron on the island, and later, a dive bomber pilot. On the war: "Naturally, we had a good time on the island as it was completely overrun with U.S. Army and Navy personnel, and there were many parties to attend. Because of the atmosphere of the place, very little was thought of the war, and it was more like a big party." "Of course, when one of our friends was reported missing or killed, we came back to earth and realized what was going on." Phyllis said there was absolutely no tourist trade allowed on the island during the war. The only people permitted to enter were those working for the war effort or other war-transients passing through." "One time Churchill came through, and we were all very excited." On the USA: "The big difference between Canada and the USA is the population. Although Canada is bigger than the United States, the state of New York alone has more people in it." Phyllis really did not consider herself of a different nationality since she came from Canada. However, Phyllis told my mother, "I would very much like to meet the other Centralia, Illinois, war brides, however." Note: Although there was little danger during the war regarding the island of Bermuda, there was a constant lookout for submarines. Photo: Mom's newspaper article
19 people like this
17 responses
@TRBRocks420 (82622)
• Banks, Oregon
2 Oct 16
Wow very interesting about Canada being bigger, but having less people.
4 people like this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
2 Oct 16
In the 1940s the population was probably much less that it is today. I should look that up.
1 person likes this
• Redlands, California
2 Oct 16
@Corbin5 I beleive Canada has only 23 million people now or was last I heard. It is to cold for many people to live there. Check that roughly 36 million in 2015.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
2 Oct 16
@crossbones27 That is a good number of folks. A little over 320 million in the USA means we are squished together in a lot of places.
1 person likes this
@salonga (27955)
• Philippines
2 Oct 16
I wonder why Canada has not much population. I have so many friends and relatives who have migrated there already.
3 people like this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
2 Oct 16
Canada probably has a bigger population now, but I suppose in the 1940s, the population was much smaller. It is a big place that could hold a lot of people.
1 person likes this
@salonga (27955)
• Philippines
2 Oct 16
@Corbin5 Obviously they are already getting bigger these days for they are now implementing a stricter rule for migrants.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
2 Oct 16
@salonga Yes, the migrant population is growing there.
1 person likes this
@RasmaSandra (19660)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
2 Oct 16
Thanks for sharing this interesting story. When there is no war it sounds like Bermuda is a wonderful place to visit or live.
3 people like this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
2 Oct 16
It sounded like a lovely place to me too.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
2 Oct 16
Aww, how lovely!
3 people like this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
2 Oct 16
It was a more cheerful war-bride story. Not as sad as some of the others.
@Happy2BeMe (74935)
• Canada
2 Oct 16
I love reading these stories. It sure was a different time back then. Thank you for sharing these stories with us.
3 people like this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
2 Oct 16
Thank you for reading them, my friend. I will pass those stories over to our son someday.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134918)
• Bunbury, Australia
3 Oct 16
For some, the war seemed to pass more easily than for others.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
3 Oct 16
She really was one of the lucky ones due to her war-time location.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (69882)
• Roseburg, Oregon
2 Oct 16
Very interesting about the War Bride in Bermuda. I got some old newspaper articles from my mother's stuff I should look through them.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
2 Oct 16
Oh yes. I would be very interested in reading some of the articles your mom saved!
• Preston, England
2 Oct 16
a great end to a fascinating series of articles
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
2 Oct 16
Thank you Arthur. I read you scary piece of writing. Gave me the shivers!!!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (45238)
• Gainesville, Florida
3 Oct 16
My college roommate was from Bermuda. Well, he was born in the Bahamas to English parents, but he grew up in Bermuda! We've often talked about going there for a vacation together with our families.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
3 Oct 16
I think I would definitely enjoy Bermuda. We both may make it there one fine day. Hope so.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (45238)
• Gainesville, Florida
4 Oct 16
@Corbin5 Except for an occasional hurricane or two, it couldn't get any closer to paradise!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
4 Oct 16
1 person likes this
@jennyjoy (1966)
• Bangalore, India
3 Oct 16
Wonder if the war brides ever did meet up?She was one of the luckier ones.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
3 Oct 16
Yes, it was my grandmother who suggested a tea for all the war brides in the area since her daughter, my mom, worked so hard on those interviews. I have the article that has a photo of all the war brides Mom interviewed. Will have to do a post and include that photo.
1 person likes this
@jennyjoy (1966)
• Bangalore, India
4 Oct 16
@Corbin5 What interesting times those were. looking forward to that post.
1 person likes this
@FayeHazel (19863)
• United States
5 Oct 16
Bermuda sounds lovely
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
5 Oct 16
You and I both deserve a free trip to Bermuda!! I will enter a contest and let you know!!
• United States
3 Oct 16
a very interestin' discussion :) i'm glad that ms. phyllis wasn't aboard when that ship t'was attacked. i reckon that folks ways 'f dealin' with the ugliness 'f war varies, dependin' 'pon their danger level??
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
4 Oct 16
Yes, some were safe during the war, thank goodness. Writing the interviews in which the horrors were revealed was heartbreaking.
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (26200)
• United States
3 Oct 16
Did I understand you to say that this is your last article of your moms ? If so I will miss them
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
3 Oct 16
Well, thank you so much for enjoying the articles. Yes, she is the last of the war brides, but I do have an article that has all of them, even the war groom, in the photo. Hope things are going well with your mom.
@amadeo (73144)
• United States
2 Oct 16
thank you again.for another interesting article.can be any colder than here in NH.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
3 Oct 16
Yes, Bermuda was a good place to spend the war.
@Susan2015 (21683)
• United States
2 Oct 16
It is interesting to hear how they met each other.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
3 Oct 16
It is. They both have more good memories than bad due to their location during the war.
@crossbones27 (21176)
• Redlands, California
2 Oct 16
What a nice respectful outlook this lady had.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
2 Oct 16
I was impressed by her too.
1 person likes this
@louievill (19673)
• Philippines
2 Oct 16
The U-boats were always a threat anywhere, even to commercial shipping.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (115945)
• United States
2 Oct 16
Yes, even the folks in the USA were on the lookout for them on the East Coast.
1 person likes this