The last surviving family of a Canadian World War Two airman now has some letters and photos belonging to their uncle thanks to Veterans Voices of Canada’s History Interest and Learning Centre.
The letters, photos undeveloped film and other small items were dropped off at Al Cameron’s office about two months ago, he explains. The people who dropped them off had searched for connections on their own, but found no family. The collection included dated letters from the airman Lorne Allen to his family from the 1930s to the 1960s including during the Second World War.
Allen was posted in Ontario with the Royal Canadian Air Force and many of the letters were written to family in Kerrobert, SK. Somehow this all became lost.
Using social media, Cameron put out a public call. Although he got a good response, there was no connection to the family he was seeking. “Eventually, another woman who turns out to be the niece of other family members (who also grew up not far from the Allens while living in Kerrobert) contacted me to tell me about Dr. Dale Allen from Edmonton,” says Cameron. “(Dr. Allen) then contacted me, and it turned out he is the last surviving family member of the immediate Allen family we were searching for. He is the nephew of Lorne and Helen Allen, both named in the letters.”
While Cameron doesn’t normally act as a sleuth, he says “It makes me happy knowing that these letters, photos and other small trinkets are back in the Allen family. It’s so very important (that) people are not forgotten, and especially important family knows as much as they can about their ancestry.”
Veterans Voices of Canada continues to search for artifacts from all eras to be displayed at the History Interest and Learning Centre in Sylvan Lake. They are primarily a military history museum and accept anything from uniforms and accessories, flags, posters and “war trophies” brought back from overseas, especially if they have a local connection. “We want to ensure history is out there for all to see, and sometimes touch and feel.”