Props on Her Sleeve


A first-hand account of the experiences of a young Canadian airwoman who served both in Canada and on overseas duty, this series of 150 letters brings home the day-to-day immediacy of life in uniform during the Second World War. Moments of hilarity interspersed with impatience and frustration are recorded verbatim, along with an underlying sense of urgency about winning a war that hung in the balance for too long.

Written to the Dead of Women at Macdonald College in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Mary Buch’s letters lay untouched for over fifty years after her return to Canada from England in 1945. Today they serve as a looking-glass into the War Years that is tinged with the freshness of youthful spontaneity and the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

Carolyn Gossage has interwoven colourful contextual sidebars that provide today’s reader with an overview of times and circumstances that have become increasingly elusive in the intervening years.

About the Authors

Carolyn Gossage

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014

Carolyn Gossage

Carolyn Gossage is the author of books on Ethiopian icons and crosses. She has also published a number of historical titles, including Greatcoats and Glamour Boots and The History of the Frankfurt Book Fair. She lives in Toronto and has taught history and English in Canada and abroad for over twenty years. She is also the author of a number of books including: A Question of Privilege, Canada's Independent Schools (1977).

Mary Hawkins Buch

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014

Mary Hawkins Buch

Mary Buch was born in Montreal, and after World War II lived for many years in that city's Lakeshore community. She served on the local school board and was actively involved in education at the provincial level. After graduation from College Marie-Victorin she worked with Youth Protection in Montreal.