Veteran attends a new ceremony
by Sandy Lindsay

November 14, 2015

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Veteran Robert (Bobby) Vanstone chose to attend a new Remembrance Day ceremony this year, 2015.

From Kitchener, where he lives in a retirement home, Vanstone traveled with friends to Southampton (ON) to spend Remembrance Day.

Dressed in his Scottish regalia, including his Gordon Highland tartan kilt, having served with the Gordon Highlanders, Vanstone had the opportunity to also visit the Southampton Branch Legion.

Vanstone, was born in England of a Scottish mother and Irish father .  "My father was a British Royal Marine," he said, "and one of the strongest men I ever new and was a boxing champion."

Vanstone served with the British artillery in France and fought alongside the Canadians in Amsterdam, Holland.

"War is a terrible thing," said Vanstone.  "With Hitler conscripting what were really children at 14 years of age, we were fighting children.  But we could not think of that because if we did, we would be the ones who would be killed.  It was a terrible thing."

Vanstone returned from the war to marry his sweetheart, Poppy, who had waited for him while she served in the Women's Land Army who kept the farms running in order to provided food during the war.

In 1964, the couple moved to Canada where Bobby Vanstone became a long-haul truck drive, first for Intercity Trucking and then for McKinley Trucking, traveling throughout North America.

Following the death of Poppy, Vanstone later married his second wife Joyce, a musical stage performer and, together, they became involved with the K-W Silver Stars, a group of senior entertainers who perform musical 'vaudevillian' type shows.

Vanstone, despite the passing of his second wife, remains active in the senior musical group, and the 404 Kitchener-Waterloo Wing of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Although he no longer has the breath control to play the pipes, it is still his music of choice. 

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Robert (Bobby) Vanstone at the
Southampton Cenotaph
November 11, 2015

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Saturday, November 14, 2015