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Lest We Forget: Bombs and Barbed Wire

On November 11th, Goose Lane Editions pauses to recognize and remember those who gave their lives defending freedom and democracy.

This month we also celebrate a new edition in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series produced in partnership with the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society. Bombs and Barbed Wire: Stories of Acadian Airmen and Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 tells previously untold stories of Acadian veterans.

A copy of Bombs and Barbed Wire stands upright on a stack of two more copies of the book.

Based on interviews by Ronald Cormier, Bombs and Barbed Wire features first-person accounts of Acadian airmen who served in the Second World War, including those who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force as bombers and those who were captured and became prisoners of war.  

When the war began, almost 180,000 Acadians lived in the Maritimes. Approximately 24,000 served in every operation of the war, with 10,000 seeing combat. Little has been written about the contributions of Acadians to the war effort. In fact, it has long been assumed that Acadians opposed the war.

Bombs and Barbed Wire shows how far this is from the truth. Instead, it demonstrates the commitment of the numerous Acadians who served in the Second World, despite facing discrimination within the ranks of the Canadian military.

The book would not have been possible without the participation of Blair Bourgeois, Roger Pichette, Ulysse Gallant, Joseph Laurie Cormier, Henri Édouard Dubé, John Arsenault, Alcide Gallant, Armand Landry, Léo Vienneau, Léo Pitre, Guy Sirois, and their families, who shared their stories with Ronald Cormier. We thank them for their willingness to share their stories.

Bombs and Barbed Wire is volume 29 in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.

View the complete New Brunswick Military Heritage Series

If you are in Fredericton on November 9, please join us at the launch of Bombs and Barbed Wire at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. This event is sponsored the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society and the Canadian War Museum. Books will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of Westminster Books.

Left: Bombs and Barbed Wire book cover. Right, text reads: Book Launch at the Provincial Archives / Wednesday 9 November at 7 p.m. / Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.

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