Archives: HMS Mauretania  

The Only Russian Warbride

“This time you really did it, girlie!” It was the greatest love story in Canadian history: the arrival of 47,783 women, mostly British, at Pier 21, Halifax, newly hitched to their handsome Canadian soldiers and ready to take a chance in a new country after…

The Missing Thousand Days: THE CLUES

On March 27, 1940, in defiance of her mother’s wishes, Rosa Butorina (my mother’s real name) married a swarthy, Rudolph Valentino-esque man 20 years her senior. This is the last known photograph of her before she was captured by the Nazis in Poltava. The Nazi…

“She was like the proverbial Wandering Jew…”

That summer’s night in ’48, the steam driven train announced its approach to the prairie town with a long, sustained whine. You could hear that horn all the way from  the previous whistle stop,  six miles down the track. And that’s God’s truth. Twilight draped…

Love In The Time Of Chaos And Rubble

“They are immortalized at the moment of their greatest joy, their eyes brimming with optimism.” My mother, Agnes Spicer, is part of an extraordinary art exhibit of 22 remarkable Canadian war-brides ‘going home’ to Holland. In August, 1946, on board the RMS Mauretania, she traveled…