The Wartime Correspondence and Diary of John Edwin Gardiner, RCAF (1919-1942)
John Edwin Gardiner was the eldest son of James "Jimmy" Gardiner, the most prominent Liberal politician of his day in western Canada. Edwin was called up by the RCAF in November 1940, received his wings in October 1941, and travelled to England in early November 1941. On August 18, 1942, on the eve of the Dieppe Raid, Edwin wrote to his father: "At long last we're going to take part in something big which you will read all about in the papers long before you get this letter." Edwin Gardiner was killed when his plane went down on the following day. James Gardiner, who had lost two brothers in the First World War, had now lost his son to war. His wife, Violet, found the grief unbearable and took her own life in October 1944, yet another casualty of war.