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Albert Thomas "Bert" Hendry
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Birth: Sep. 30, 1919
Ontario, Canada
Death: May 5, 1995
Ontario, Canada

The son of Roy Franklin Hendry and Bertha Elizabeth Coupland.

He served in the 48th Highlanders of Canada during WWII.

The husband of Audrey Marie Gunn. Father of Brian Keith, Robert Barry and Nancy Jean.

Bert was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving veterans and their families and the perpetuation of remembrance. Legion Branch: Todmorden in Toronto.

He died at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto of respiratory failure.

Albert Thomas Hendry
Albert ("Bert") Thomas Hendry enlisted with the 48th Highlanders as soon as Canada declared war on Germany on September 1, 1939. The 48th Highlanders are a militia reserve unit. The 48th Highlanders were mobilized with the declaration of war, and on October 7, 1939 they marched these young untrained recruits from the University Armories to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds. The Horse Palace was transformed into a barracks, which is why to this day the 48th Highlanders parade every year on the CNE grounds on Warriors' Day. On December 16, 1939 under Major Bill Southam the 48th marched onto trains at the railway sections on CNE sidings. Audrey Marie Gunn, Bert's fiancée, watched and waved goodbye as the trains departed for Halifax. With the pipers playing the regimental march "Hielan' Laddie" the 48th Highlanders were led aboard Troopship E9 the Reina Del Pacifico (Queen of the Pacific). They were with the first contingent of the Canadian forces, as part of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division. After a rough passage that extended over Christmas, the ship arrived in Glasgow, Scotland on December 31, 1939. Tired, and happy to be on solid ground, the troops were however immediately boarded onto troop trains directing them to Aldershot. "Training in England was interrupted briefly in 1940 when they were sent by Prime Minister Churchill to France; just two weeks after the Dunkerque evacuation had been completed. The battalion thrust 300 km into enemy-occupied France before being recalled." (48th Highlanders, Retrieved 2011-10-21 from:
They remained in England training and securing the coast. However, Bert was not to see active combat as the following excerpt details the unfortunate end to his active service. He commanding officer at the time was coincidentally Lieutenant-Colonel Hendrie (note: different spelling) newly promoted from Major on January 16, 1942.

An external watch had been kept on the Channel coast since 1940. Pill boxes and defense positions were in place along the full length of the coastline, with sentries and patrols always alert, especially at night; they expected surprise raids. The Highlanders regularly manned positions along the Littlehampton coast. Each stretch of their beach which might give access to a raiding party was wired and mined, and some dangerous ground extended close to areas used by the Highlanders for training. One patch of this deadly ground was now responsible for the most serious training accident the 48th Highlanders suffered in England.
The unfortunate episode took place near the Windmill, outside Littlehampton. No. 8 Platoon, commanded by Lt. W.A. Beatty, had just been declared winner of a Brigade contest, based on a questionnaire on army-air co-operations, with a one-day "at home" at Odiham Airport as the prize. They were now on a Battle Drill exercise with the rest of A Company, when they entered a mine field by some evil chance. They climbed over, or through the barbwire surrounding the danger area, and at least two mines were exploded by ill-fated feet. Three men were killed: Cpl. W.S. Pierce and Privates R. McKeown and T.A. Partridge, and Pte. Bert (A.T.) Hendry had both legs broken and mangled. He was also seriously shocked. Two other men went to hospital with shock.
The entire Battalion was upset; all would have attended a funeral of the three victims of the accident if it could have been arranged, but Brookwood is a long distance from Littlehampton. As it was, the largest group of Highlanders to attend a funeral service in England travelled north to Brookwood: Lt.-Col. Hendrie, Capt. Don Banton, the Adjutant, and A Company in full strength. The service was taken by Padre Nicoll, and Brigade H.Q. and all 1st Brigade units sent representatives.
The enquiry ordered by Brigadier Rod Keller, with Lt-Col. Howard Graham, C.O. of the Hastings, as Chairman, was held three days later. No blame for the accident could be attributed to anyone. The Battalion did not need the renewed instruction on care with such danger areas; it had been a costly lesson. (Beattie, Kim. 1957 Dileas. History of the 48th Highlanders of Canada 1929-1956. The 48th Highlanders of Canada: Toronto, pp 163)

The date of the "accident" was Friday February 13th, 1942. The family does remember that Bert was forever wary of Friday the 13th. Bert's right patella (knee cap) was destroyed in the blast, and as he was being transported out of the field, stretcher bearers dropped him breaking his left leg. As he was being loaded into an ambulance Lt-Col Hendrie came to his side. "Is that you Hendry?" To which Bert replied. "Yes sir, but I'm the Hendry who spells his name correctly." Physicians made history saving Bert's leg by fusing his knee and ankle which negated the need for amputation. Bert was hospitalized first in England. He returned home on the Queen Mary in the company of Edward G. Robinson, who Bert bragged had signed his cast and invited him to visit him in Hollywood. Upon arrival in Canada, Bert was admitted to Christie Street Hospital, Toronto. This veteran's hospital happened to be directly across the street from his parents' store. The store was on the corner of Christie Street and Melita Avenue and his parents' home was at 209 Melita Avenue. Bert recuperated for the better part of two years. Being given weekend passes, he married Audrey and their first child Brian Keith was born while he was still officially an in-patient. His parents' home was a 3-storey house and Audrey, baby Brian and later Bert lived on the second floor until they purchased their own home in Leaside in 1946.
Bert wore his veteran status publically since the fusion of his right knee left him with a stiff leg. He was hospitalized several times over the course of his life due to complications of poor circulation to that limb. Following a fractured left hip and due to multi-infarct dementia, Bert spent the last 7 years of his life in the veteran's wing of Sunnybrook Hospital. His stiff leg was eventually amputated during that time due to worsening circulation that decalcified the bone causing it to disintegrate. Despite family concerns for him following surgery to amputate this leg, all he said post-operatively when he learned that his leg was gone was " Well I guess I won't be trying out for football this year." Despite the confusion that his dementia caused, his quick and wry sense of humor persisted and presented itself at unexpected times.
Albert Thomas Hendry was a decorated war veteran. He marched proudly with the 48th Highlanders every Warrior's Day at the CNE. He also maintained membership with the Canadian Legion. His post-war professional life saw him working as an ad executive in advertising for many years. He was active in his community of Leaside, at one time teaching Sunday school at the Leaside United Church. He was involved with his sons coaching both hockey and baseball and he continued working with the executive for the atom ball association long after his sons were grown. "Bert's" own battle with failing health ended at the same time as the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII, he passed May 5th, 1995. The 48th Highlanders attended celebrations in Holland at that time. Fortunately one 48th Highlander piper returned in time to be available to play Amazing Grace at Bert's funeral. He was the son of the piper Bert served with overseas.
Nancy J. Hendry, 2011-10-23

Family links: 
  Roy Franklin Hendry (1895 - 1976)
  Bertha Elizabeth Coupland Hendry (1894 - 1973)
  Roy Franklin Hendry (1916 - 1988)*
  Gordon Hendry (1918 - 1918)*
  Albert Thomas Hendry (1919 - 1995)
*Calculated relationship
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: His ashes were added when a yellow rose bush was planted by his widow at the family residence.
Created by: worshacf
Record added: Oct 17, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 78611936
Albert Thomas Bert Hendry
Added by: Nancy Hendry
Albert Thomas Bert Hendry
Added by: worshacf
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Because of your service to your country, it is a free nation. But freedom doesn't come free, I know the war memories were hard on you. I'm so happy that I was able to meet you and Audrey at the reunion that your brother Frank held in my honor at Orangevil...(Read more)
- worshacf
 Added: Oct. 17, 2011

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