I’m better known as Bernie and I was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 9 August 1919. My father, James Vaughan was an accountant and my mother Mary nee Lane was a housewife. I am the oldest of four children. My brother Gerald is deceased and I have two sisters, Joan and Mary. I attended College Street School, St. Mary’s High School and St. Mary’s College, all in Halifax. Before I joined the military I was an accountant, just like my Dad.
I joined the military at the Halifax Armouries and took Basic Training in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. After Basic Training I was sent to Petawawa, Halifax, Botwood Nfld and then for Officer Training in Brockville. When I left Brockville I was a Second Lieutenant. The second phase of my training was held in Petawawa and on completion of that training I was promoted to First Lieutenant. Then I was sent to Shearwater where we did the training all over again.
In 1943, I went overseas aboard the QUEEN MARY landing in Glasgow. I went to Bramshot England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. I returned to Halifax in February 1946 aboard the ILLE DE FRANCE.
I have no regrets and would do it all over again if I had the chance. The experiences one encounters during war cannot be found anywhere else.
I can vividly remember meeting a close friend in Ghent and we planned to get leave together. I wrote him a letter but alas the letter was returned to me a month later. My friend was killed. I had the opportunity to visit his grave in 1995. I was one of the lucky ones who were not injured during the war.
In February 1946 I was transferred from the Regular Army to the Supplementary Reserves where I served until August 1969. Back then you could only remain on the Supplementary list until you reached the age of 50.
From April 1946 until October 1979 I was employed with the Department of Fisheries and was a District Protection Officer on retirement. In August 1946 I married Rita MacNab and together we raised four children, Elizabeth, Jim, Anne Marie and Margaret. Our son Jim passed away on 16 December 2004. We also have five grandchildren.
I like most sports and I am an active member of the Curling Club and The Truro Club where I have received commendations for my services from both.
I golf, fish, hunt, and play 45s. I am a 60-year member of The Royal Canadian Legion, Colchester N.S. Branch No. 26 Truro of which I was President in 1969. I received Life Membership in 1978; Past Officers Medal in 1979; Certificate of Merit in 1982; Diamond Jubilee Medal in 1985 and the 75th Anniversary Medal in 2000.