Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11, 2010




 If you look at the back right-hand side of a Canadian $10 bill, you will see an old veteran standing at attention near the Ottawa war memorial.
His name is Robert Metcalfe and he died last month at the
age of 90.

That he managed to live to that age is rather  remarkable, given what happened in the Second World War.

Born in England , he was one of the 400,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force sent to the mainland where they found themselves facing the new German warfare technique – the Blitzkrieg.
He was treating a wounded comrade when he was  hit in the legs by shrapnel. En route to hospital, his ambulance came under fire from a German tank, which then miraculously ceased fire. Evacuated from  Dunkirk on HMS Grenade, two of the sister ships with them were sunk.


 Recovered, he was sent to allied campaigns in  North Africa and Italy . En route his ship was chased by the German battleship  Bismarck .

In North Africa he served under General  Montgomery against the Desert Fox, Rommel.

Sent into the Italian campaign, he met his future wife, a lieutenant and physiotherapist in a Canadian hospital.

They were  married in the morning by the mayor of the Italian town, and again in the afternoon by a British padre.

After the war they settled in Chatham where he went into politics and became the warden (chairman) of the county and on his retirement he and his wife moved to Ottawa . At the age of 80 he wrote a book about his experiences.

One day out of the blue he received a call from a government official asking him to go downtown for a photo op.

He wasn't told what the photo was for or why they chose him. 'He had no idea he would be on the bill,' his daughter said.

And now you know the story of the old veteran  on the $10 bill.


  1. I learned something new today. Thank you, Sue!

  2. Wow! That's an awesome story! Thank you so much for sharing it! Especially because otherwise, many people wouldn't know it down here in the USA!

    Also, thanks for your comment on my blog today!

    God bless the Veterans ~ past, present and future!

  3. Quite a story...thanks for sharing it with us here in the USA...

  4. Interesting story, I'd never heard that. Now, I'll just have to go out and get a $10 bill to have a look for myself!


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