Less We Forget Poppy

The Life and Times of Hubert Brooks M.C. C.D.
A Canadian Hero

Less We Forget Poppy

Chapter 1: RCAF: Enlist - Training (Canada/UK) / 419 Moose Squadron First Missions

Section 1.0 : INTRODUCTION to "The Story"

Section 1.01: Weekend Magazine Article "Escape to Danger"

The following images are from the introduction to the two–part Weekend Magazine articles Refs: 1.1 & 1.2 "Escape to Danger" written by Hubert Brooks. This recount of some of his war time activities was contained in the October 5th and 12th 1957 Saturday supplements of various newspapers across Canada. A similar version appeared shortly thereafter in the French Canadian press.

Weekend Magazine Logo Saturday October 5,1957

Ottawa Citizen Newspaper Header Friday October 4,1957
Ottawa Citizen Newspaper ETD Text Ottawa Citizen Hubert Brooks Photo
Ottawa Citizen Editors ETD Comment

As an aside, there were a number on other occcasions when the story of Hubert Brooks' war time exploits was told.

All of the key information in the foregoing and more (for example from sources such as MI9 Debrief Reports and records from THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES in the UK Ref: 1.6, 1.7, 1.17, 1.19 and the MILITARY ARCHIVES in Canada) Ref: 1.6, 1.12, 1.14, 1.21 is contained in this Life and Times of Hubert Brooks M.C. C.D. story.

Section 1.02: FOREWARD : 'ESCAPE TO DANGER' from the Weekend Magazine Article

The item in the Montreal newspaper some time after the end of the war was so brief I almost missed it. I did see it however. I read it and I knew at once that it was a message for me.

The story, cabled from London, said that a Polish Officer in London had received word from his daughter, a Polish partisan still in Russian occupied Poland, requesting him to contact a certain Canadian. She knew only his undercover name, "Mr. Hubert",and that he came from Montreal. That was all.

I have forgotten what the headlines were that day and I have no idea whether the editor of the newspaper ever assigned a man to discover the true identity of the mysterious Mr. Hubert. If he did, he failed. As for me, my two years fighting in the Carpathian Mountains with the Armia Krajowa (A.K.), the Polish Underground Army, were still vivid in my mind. So were the officers and men, the blonde and brunette couriers from Cracow that remained behind in Poland after the Russian Occupation.

It would have taken a very smart newspaperman to link up the elusive Mr. Hubert with an RCAF navigator named F/L Hubert Brooks since my story is full of changes in identity.

At the start it was very simple. I was just a young RCAF sergeant baling out of a blazing bomber over Germany. The confusion started when I switched identity with a New Zealander in prison camp and busted myself to private. Later on, I disguised myself – unsuccessfully as a large lump of coal on a freight car and – successfully – as a laborer in a jam factory. And finally, by the time I'd met the blonde brunette couriers from Cracow, I'd been promoted again to Lieutenant in the Armia Krajowa and was busy skiing down the Carpathian Mountains of southern Poland liquidating Gestapo agents.

I may as well tell you now – although I don't expect you to believe it – that I spent much more time with an indomitable old Polish schoolmarm of 80 than I ever did with the blonde or brunette couriers from Cracow. Beautiful partisan girls are a great asset to fiction. When you're fighting in the hills with a price on your head and no quarter given, it is easier to stay alive without them. Women and this kind of warfare don't mix -- unfortunately.

However to start the story at the beginning.....


The Life and Times of Hubert Brooks M.C. C.D.

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