Wait For Me, Daddy Monument New Westminster

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 — 9:04am PST
Comments 4

The most reproduced Canadian photograph from World War II will soon be immortalized in New Westminster. Wait For Me, Daddy was captured by Claude P. Dettloff on October 1, 1940 as troops headed off to war with the BC Regiment. Recently the CBC met up with Warren (Whitey) Bernard, the little boy in the photo broke free from his mother’s grasp and ran towards his father, Pte. Jack Bernard as he marched down 8th Street.

Wait For Me, Daddy

1940: Claude P. Dettloff, Vancouver Daily Province. Archives# CVA LP-109.

Bernard, now aged 79, lives in Tofino but returned to New Westminster for a dinner in his honour. Revisiting the scene, he says he can still recall the day he made a break for it — and his mother’s emotions. “She was pretty upset because I guess over here the soldiers were all milling around and everybody was saying goodbye — and then they were heading for the ship.”

The photo made the next day’s morning paper, but not long after it was featured across North America, including an October issue of Life magazine. It was eventually hung in every school in B.C. during the war. Although it will always be a touching statement on war and family, for the young boy, it became much more than that.

While his father’s regiment ended up being stationed in Nanaimo, BC, for more training before eventually heading off to fight in Europe, Bernard and his mother got by on a modest income in their rented Vancouver home. During the summers of 1943 and 1944, the young boy joined a touring group that travelled the province encouraging people to buy war bonds to support the soldiers fighting abroad. [Source: CBC Vancouver]

Bernard told the CBC that for him, the war ended when his dad came home safely, but he wants to ensure the memory of it is never forgotten by generations to come so he is donating memorabilia to the local museum.

Monument to be Installed in New Westminster

Two sculptors, the husband-and-wife team of Edwin and Veronica Dam de Nogales, have been commissioned to memorialize the famous photograph. A bronze monument, with three figures, representing the boy, his mother, and his father, will stand near 8th and Columbia in New Westminster. The city plans an unveiling later this year, followed by a re-enactment of the soldiers’ march in 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

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  1. Bill (W.A.) Brown says:

    The solider right behind the solider where the little boy I running up to… Is my Dad… Charles Henry Brown. Harry as he was called lived in Armstrong with family until he passed away in 1986. Harry was 28 years old when picture was taken.

  2. Joseph says:

    The 3rd man in line is Jack Angus, who died about 10 years ago. He served in Europe and maybe Africa ,returning safely in 1945 as a Sargant Major.
    He carried a rosary with him through out the war, which he passed on to me when he died.
    Jack attended St Patricks School in Vancouver. He was married with 2 sons, but divorced and had very little to do with his family.
    He was member of the Newton Legion, and his favourite songs that he would sing with gusto to the delight of his fellow members were On the road to Mandalay, and Danny Boy.

    Feel free to contact me if you wish, Joe.

  3. Ruth Roberts says:

    The third man in the parade (second man behind Jack Bernard) is Hugh Glen MacNicol, called ‘Jack’ and behind him –with his ears sticking out — is his brother, Albert Vimy MacNicol. The family has at least one photo of these brothers which proves the likeness plus family knowledge over the years. Jack always said that he was close enough to touch the little boy.

  4. Derek Bodner says:

    The man directly behind Jack Bernard is my grandfather, Pte. Joe Bodner. Our family also has numerous photos of my grandfather in uniform and civvies, as well as a vast family knowledge.

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