NO. 2

Published at the Hespeler, Ontario Plant of Dominion Woollens and Worsteds, Limited

In Memoriam

Albert Parsons


Killed in action June, 1944

Loren Small


Died from injuries received in action, June 16th, 1944.

What we seek
They have found
Eternal Peace

Introducing Chief Elmer Simmen

To the school children and to the grown-ups of Hespeler, the Chief needs no introduction. During the short time that he has been on duty in town, he has become one of its most popular and respected figures. No, this is an introduction to the boys and girls of Hespeler who have been wearing the King’s uniform with such distinction. When they come home we want them to feel at home. Among other things, we want them to feel at home with the Chief.

He was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, of English parents. In 1913, realizing his boyhood ambition, he came to Canada to joint the far-famed Royal North West Mounted Police. But the red tunic hadn’t graced that broad back for very long, however, before war broke out and in 1915 we find the Chief on his way to France with the Fort Garry Horse of Winnipeg. There, his natural ability again emerged – he became an “Intelligence” man first with the Canadian Cavalry Brigade, next with 5th Cavalry Division Headquarters and finally the 5th Army Headquarters. Engaged in counter espionage work, Regimental Sergeant-Major Simmen was in his glory.

For the nine years before his coming to Hespeler, our chief constable served on the police force in Guelph. With the cooperation of Chief Constable Nash, he organized and developed the famous Guelph Junior Band. So rapidly did he graduate musicians to the adult bands that at times he had difficulty in keeping up the strength of his organization if not the quality of its music. Always a great believer in applying the “ounce of prevention” theory to the juvenile delinquency problem, Sergeant Simmen of the Guelph Police Department made a tremendous contribution to the welfare of his community.

And now the Chief is at it again. There is going to be a Hespeler Junior Band. When Johnny comes marching home again, it is just possible that little Johnny will march out to meet him “making with the hurrah, hurrah” on his shiny fife or banging out a welcome on his big bass drum.

Elmer Simmen

Summer Playground

Summer Playground

The spirit of Muskoka! Scenes of nearby Puslinch Lake.


R89844 Cpl. R. Oliver,
R.C.A.F. Overseas.


“As you see by the papers the second front has come at last and it keeps us rather pushed. I trust the fellows on the beachheads appreciate the air cover they are getting because I have been working 19 hours every day since ‘D’ Day. However, it is worth it. I now have five hours flying time in a Mosquito and am getting 30 minutes regularly each day. I am in the T.A.F. and since we are supposed to be mobile we live in tents. Living in tents may be alright if you pay for it for a holiday, but since it is compulsory it loses all its glamour. The D. W. & W. Uews arrives regularly and judging from the pictures there are several inmprovements to the scenery since I left. I always leave at the wrong time. Remember me to Bob Gibson and all the gang in the department.” Thanks Bert and cheerio.


W80105 Pte. Ruth Zvaniga,
No. 12 V.T.S., C.W.A.C.,
Saskatoon, Sask.


Sending her thank for regular copies of D. W. & W. News, Ruth continues: “Since I have been away from Hespeler I hear that the Mill has employed more girls and also that the town is booming. Keep up the good work. I met Tommy Highton here in Saskatoon one night and didn’t recognize him but he knew me and it was just like being home for a few minutes. Tommy had a stop-over here for an hour while on his way west. Saskatoon is a very beautiful city but I wouldn’t trade it for good old Hespeler. In closing I want to say keep up the good work and keep the boys equipped.” Thanks Ruth, we’ll do our best.


A35338 Gnr. W. Walker,
43rd Batty., 12th Field Regt.,
Royal Canadian Artillery,
Canadian Army Overseas.


Bill writes from Normandy as follows: “I just received my first carton of smokes from the mill since we arrived in France. Boy! They sure were a welcome gift. We are over the first excitement of landing and are now settling down to living in a hole in the ground. I haven’t seen any of the local boys over here except Bill Stark but I suppose Fred Condon and Bruce and Alex McLaughlin are around here somewhere.” Glad to hear from you Bill and the best of luck.


A105806 Pte. Cox, W.J.,
H.Q. Coy., P.P. C.L.I.,
Canadian Army, C.M.F.


Now stationed in Italy Bill typewrites his letter and says in part: “You will now find me with the famous first division. I arrived one day after Hitler’s line was still on the mountain side but clearing out fast. I then helped in the capture of two towns until I hit this rest area where I started to tinker with the coy typewriter. Things are dead around here now, not even Vino around. As my one finger is getting sore I say thanks again and see you all soon.” Thanks Bill, write again.


Here is news that will interest you boys and girls on active service. A rehabilitation committee is being formed to ensure each returning soldier, sailor, or airman every possible change to get re-established at the plant.

The committee will be made up of three veterans of the last war and two representatives of the Company. If the homecomer is unsettled and finds normal routine difficult, the committee will recommend transfer to more congenial work or offer whatever help and suggestions that may be needed to make the way easier. The names of our committee members are not available at the time of writing, but they will be men who faced similar problems after the last war and will be both sympathetic and understanding.

An election has been held in the Woollen Yarn Mfg. Section and Charlie Smith and Isobel Rife are the new shop stewards.

Some of the boys are anxious to try out the new horse-shoe pitching stand. No cheating now, boys. Jack Curtin tells us that anyone caught using magnets will lose their amateur standing. Whatever that may mean. Maybe there won’t be many records broken as the scenery nearby is too interesting with Gordon Hall on one side and Winston Hall on the other. Or could we persuade the girls to learn how to toss the iron hoof covers? That would make the game more interesting.

The boys who are overseas appreciate the letters and smokes that are sent by the folks back home. Are you doing your part to keep them happy? A nice friendly letter can be written in half an hour and the cost of smokes is moderate. Most of us waste enough money in a month to buy a good supply. Let’s keep the Post Office busy with letters and smokes for the boys who are giving Hitler so many sleepless nights.


A105841 L/Cpl. Bruce, M.R.,
“C” Coy., Perth Regt.,
Canadian Army, C.M.F.

Maurice writes, “The cigarettes come in handy and the mill paper keeps one up-to-date on happenings around the plant. My section all read it and think it swell. In fact one fellow has a girl friend who works there. They say they are coming to Hespeler when this scrap is over. You guess why. I often hear from Johnny Durnford and he is O.K. There are a couple of Hespeler boys in the Regiment and when we see one another we have an old boys’ reunion. Sorry to hear about the Dahmer boys. It’s a tough break for anyone. It’s almost a year since I left Canada. I’ve seen a lot of country in my travels. The first excitement I had was just past the Rock. We were attacked by Jerry’s bombers and I had a dip in the Mediterranean. The next time I met Jerry was on land and I’ll always remember those two experiences. But I’ll still take the army. I’m no sailor but I’ll give the Navy boys credit. In the June issue of D. W. & W. News I see the display of Hespeler made war material. Well, some of our ball bats were made in Hespeler and we do all right for sports, folks. Must close now. All the best to everyone.” Thanks for your letter, Maurice.

The Sprightly Water Sprite

Ruth Richards

Ruth Richards rises to the occasion as she comes out of a perfect swan dive. 



Tpr. Ronald Lindhorst, reported wounded in action in Normandy on July 28th, has now been reported as having died from wounds received. Prior to his enlistment in August, 1942, Ron was a member of the Weaving Department. He went overseas with the tank corps in May of last year. Ron, who was twenty-two years of age, leaves a wife and two small children. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Lindhorst.


Word has been received by Fred Scott of the Cloth Finishing Dept. that his son, Harry, was killed in action in France. Harry was a former employee at the mill. At the time of his enlistment he was working in Toronto. He is survived by his wife, of Toronto, his parents, a sister and three brothers, Bob, a sergeant in the Dental Corps; Tait, with the Navy in London, England; and Pilot Officer Norman, a prisoner of war in Germany.

Our sincere sympathy is extended to the bereaved of the two boys.


Congratulations and best wishes to Doug. Wilson and Nettie Hadfield whose marriage took place on July 5th. Both were members of the Worsted Yarn Section. Nettie was presented with an end table by the members of the night shift of that department and Doug. was presented with a walnut smoking stand.

Sgt. Ted Cakebread called in to see his friends in the mill while home on a 14-day furlough from Newfoundland where he is stationed with the R.C.A.F.

Reg. Winfield is the new night foreman in the Woollen Card room. He replaces Cecil Butler who left here to work in Toronto. Prior to leaving Cecil was presented with a pen and pencil set and a bill fold by the boys in his department.

L.A.C. Ken Ferris, home of furlough from Moncton, N.B. visited a number of his friends in the Woollen Carding.

Fred Welsh of the Woollen Spinning Dept. has been off work sick for the past eleven weeks. The boys are glad to see you back Fred, and hope you are feeling well again.

Pte. Ruth Zvaniga visited the mill while home on leave from Saskatoon where she is stationed.

Chester McEwan of the Woollen Card room returned to the farm to give his father a hand for the summer months.

Annie Stoddart was home on furlough in July and called in to see her pals in the Worsted Spinning Dept. Annie is stationed at Claresholm, Alberta, with the R.C.A.F. (W.D.)

Word has been received that Sgt. Harry O’Krafka and L/Cpl. Jim Reid have been wounded in action overseas. Harry has been overseas since September of last year. His wife and baby daughter reside in town. Jim has been overseas for nearly three years. He is the son of Mrs. John T. Reid. We are glad to hear that the wounds in neither case were serious and we hope they both will soon be on the road to recovery.

Chief Petty Officer Tommy Davis, home on a 28-day furlough from the east coast, called in at the mill to see some of his old friends and to convey his sincere appreciation for all the cigarettes and copies of the news which D. W. & W. has sent him. This is Tommy’s first visit home in seven years. He was a member of the Worsted Spinning Dept. and left here in September, 1936, to join the Navy. Since the outbreak of war, Tommy has seen plenty of action in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, while on convoy duty. Tommy related that he was aboard the first Canadian destroyer that sailed to the United Kingdom, and was in England during the “blitz.” He is now stationed at H.M.C.S. Buxton, Digby, N.S. Tommy brought his wife and two daughters, Julie Ann and Vina, home with him.

Pte. Fred Baker, M.M., son of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Baker, was home on furlough from Italy last month. Fred said that it sure felt wonderful to be back home. Referring to his service in Italy, he said it was on Jan. 17th they went into action and it was that “show” that he won the Military Medal. He is the first Hespeler man to be decorated in this war. Incidentally, Fred arrived home just in time to celebrate his fourth wedding anniversary. Congratulations, Fred.

Two more D. W. & W. boys, Gnr. Alex McLaughlin and Rifleman George Edmonds, are listed among those wounded in action overseas. Alex enlisted in June, 1940, and has been overseas three years. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. McLaughlin. Two brothers are also serving overseas, Ken in Italy and Bruce in France. George Edmonds enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war and has been overseas for nearly four years. He is the son of Mrs. Ethel Edmonds. It is not known as yet to what extent these boys were wounded, but we sincerely hope it isn’t serious.

Bert Johnson has returned to work after spending two weeks with Reserve Army at Petawawa.

Good News! A supplement of active service addresses is at the printers is now and will accompany the September issue of the “news.”


Congratulations to Flying Officer George Ovens who has been awarded the D.F.C. George was a member of the Toronto Accounting Office before enlisting. He enlisted in July 1940, and has been serving overseas with the R.C.A.F. since early in 1941.

Boom!  Boom!  Boom!

H.M.C.S. York Band

The famous band of H.M.C.S. York on parade during a recent carnival in aid of war services.


Our entry in the Industrial League is still in the same position as last month. However, the boys have been playing a much better brand of ball and when the playoffs come, they should be able to give their opponents a run for their money.

And speaking of playoffs, have you put your voice in order for that time? If not you should get out to some of the remaining games and get a little practice cheering, because the boys will be able to use some real support when the time comes.

The club’s fall and winter program will have been discussed by your representatives before the paper comes out. See your representative and ask about the coming activities. Get behind and push, now!


Army……………….…. 118
Air force ………………. 75
Navy………..………….. 17

We would enjoy hearing your thoughts on our Newsletter.

We appreciate comments from our men and women based in Canada and overseas. If you have anything to add, we encourage you to also leave a comment here. If you'd like to contact us privately, please write to our switchboard operator. Our Office will respond to your letter as time permits.

1 Comment

  1. Howard Greaves

    My mail has been coming through a bit better lately to what it has been, so I feel much better for that. One of the things a fellow looks forward to getting most is mail, especially when you are so far away from home and enjoy keeping in touch with all the events happening back there. I am out of the hospital now, as perhaps you already know, and am back on the job again. I am looking forward to the day when we will have this job finished and I will be back in good old Hespeler and back working in the mill again. It won’t be long now for the boys are doing a wonderful job as you can see. Please remember me to all my friends in the Spinning Room, especially Carl Krueger.

    A56867 Pte. Greaves H.,
    11 Coy., 3rd Btn., No. 1 C.B.R.D.,
    Canadian Army, C.M.F.


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