London & Middlesex Branch ‘Exploring a Soldier’s Second World War Experience: Beyond the Standard Narrative’

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Date(s) - November 6, 2021
10:00 am - 11:00 am


London & Middlesex Branch invites you to join us on Saturday, [ ], at 10 a.m. for a Zoom presentation: “Exploring a Soldier’s Second World War Experience: Beyond the Standard Narrative”.

Captain (Ret’d) Michael O’Leary, CD, The RCR

Michael O’Leary served in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1979 to 2019. He joined the Princess Louise Fusiliers in Halifax as a soldier in 1979 and, in 1982, transferred to the Regular Force to serve as an officer. Over his career, Michael served in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Battalions of The Royal Canadian Regiment. Retiring from the Regular Force in 2008, he continued to serve as a Reservist, with 31 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters in London. 

Michael has had articles published in the Infantry Journal, the Army Journal, and in the regimental journal of The RCR. He maintains the website “The Regimental Rogue” where he collects, writes and displays a variety of information on military subjects. A collector of badges and medals to The RCR, Capt O’Leary continues to further his understanding of his Regiment and its soldiers’ experiences. In 2015, he was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers for his work on researching First World War soldiers and for sharing his work with the Canadian public through his website.

Michael lives in London with his wife, Reverend Laurie, and they have three children and three grandchildren.

Sarah Coates, MA

Sarah Coates is the Public Programmer at The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum. She received her Master of Arts in History at the University of Toronto in 2014, and has worked at the museum since 2017, administering tours and developing education material. Sarah enjoys researching and recreating historical clothing from a variety of time periods. In 2013, she published the article “Identifying a Photograph’s Age Based on Women’s Fashion” in Families – Ontario Genealogy Society.


Synopsis: During the Second World War, soldiers had unique and individual experiences. It can be challenging to understand the wide variety of military service experiences had by different soldiers. Depending on an individual’s role and where they were working, the story of their service could vary dramatically. Using a variety of sources to expand on service records, we try to ‘fill the gaps’ to get a better understanding of their individual experiences. Join Michael and Sarah as they share how to learn about someone’s military experiences beyond the standard narrative.

The event is free and all are welcome to attend and share this with your friends and family. Registration i s required. To register, visit