Canadian Artist Brings WWII War Brides Home With Exhibit At London Museum
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Canadian Artist Brings WWII War Brides Home With Exhibit At London Museum.
During the Second World War, thousands of European women met and fell in love with Canadian soldiers stationed overseas, leaving their home countries to build new lives with their husbands in Canada.
Calgary-based artist Bev Tosh has been documenting the lives of these so-called "war brides" for nearly 20 years. She has a new exhibit at the Royal Air Force Museum London that explores the deeply personal stories of the trials and tribulations experienced by these wartime unions.
"It feels right, so many of the women came from Britain, from London," Tosh said. "I wanted to bring them back here in a public way."
The exhibit, War Brides: One-Way Passage, features the portraits of 40 war brides on their wedding days along with their stories printed on silk beside them.
Tosh's work focuses on war brides from the Second World War. From 1939 to 1945, half a million Canadian soldiers were stationed in Britain, many for three or more years. During that time, as many as one in 10 of these servicemen married local women, leading to an influx of European women immigrating to Canada in 1946.