We remember our Tony Strachan and Deidre Cowan this time of year and on November 11th…
Remembrance Day is a time to pause and reflect, to honour and give thanks to the men and women around the world who have fought (or are fighting) in wars and conflicts; and who served (or are serving) in peacekeeping operations to protect us and defend human rights.
We are honoured at Cap Church to know some of these fine people, and among them were Tony Strachan and Deidre Cowan.
Tony Strachan was born in the English Midlands in 1920. He served as a junior officer in the British army at the outbreak of the Second World War, and in April 1940 he fought in the British landing at Narvik, Norway. He was captured near Lillehammer, and spent five years in a POW camp at Spangenberg, in central Germany. He and his fellow prisoners of war were liberated by Gen. George Patton’s Third U.S. Army on April 25, 1945.
Tony settled with his family in Canada in 1967. He lived a full life and is remembered for his keen wit, extraordinary memory, tenacity toward life, and his gentlemanly ways. He passed away in 2014.
Deidre Cowan was born in England in 1915. During World War II she enlisted as a FANY, with the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. Her significant contribution to the war effort was in signals. Stationed near Bletchley Park, she worked as a decoder for underground agents in France and in the Far East. Because of the Official Secrets Act, she was not allowed to tell anyone about her work. As a result, her parents thought she was “just a waitress” who did nothing to help with the war effort.
Deirdre immigrated to Vancouver with her family in 1954, and enjoyed a full and rich life. She became an avid tennis player and skier. She is remembered at Cap for her wisdom and grace, her inquiring mind, and her love for her family not least of all her son Cappers James Atkins (her son) and her daughter-in law Barbara. Deirdre passed away in 2019.
Lest we forget, let us be grateful for their giving and all those who work and sacrifice their lives so that peace can be realized. (Jocelyn Pedder)