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The Second War Generation (1940-1950)

The End of the Depression

At the time of the Second World War, Lennox & Addington was predominantly rural. The south of the County had the highest population, with the Town of Napanee and Township of Ernestown having the greatest density. Most were born in Ontario and those born outside were mainly from the British Isles. Over 65% of the residents were over the age of 16.

World War II began on September 1, 1939, and unlike the First World War, Canada was not automatically drawn into the conflict with Germany when Britain declared war. Canada entered the war willingly on its own terms with its own declaration of war approved by Parliament on September 10, 1939. Again, Lennox & Addington was quick to serve. Over 1500 people from Lennox and Addington offered themselves for military service.

Two units were mobilized for overseas duty, B Troop of the 34th Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery; and the 47th Battery of the Royal Canadian Artillery. Volunteers eagerly joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Navy, and many men and women worked on the home front.

Lennox & Addington's servicemen and women took part in naval operation in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, participated in air battles over Europe and Africa, and fought battles in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany until the end of the war.

Napanee photographer, Harry Skitch, captured a remarkable record of this generation, with many portraits of servicemen and their families taken before going overseas and after their return.

The County Memorial Building in Napanee was built in honour of the men and women who served. A plaque to the World War II war dead was inset into the south facing mound at the cenotaph at the Courthouse. Other memorials stand in Wilton and Flinton, and plaques are found throughout county churches to commemorate those lost in the conflict.

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