By all accounts, it was a nice day in late May 1944, when a car pulled up to the home of Dorothy Stockdale of Windsor, Ontario. The driver approached the house and knocked on the door. When the door was opened, the driver handed Dorothy a telegram the contents of which informed her that her 23-year-old son, Corporal Robert J. Adair, serving with the Perth Regiment in Italy, was Killed in Action on 26 May. She was shocked at the news. She was only one of many families who received a similar telegram that day. (Note: Dorothy Stockdale had divorced Frank Adair in 1935 and remarried.)
Four months later the driver appeared at the door of the Stockdale home again. This time Dorothy was informed of the death of Sergeant Charles F. Adair, serving with the RCAF, on 9 September 1944. Charles was only 19.
And as if that was not enough, three months later, on or about Christmas Day, a third telegram arrived informing Dorothy of the death of her son 22-year-old Private Kenneth A. Adair, who was serving with the Perth Regiment in Italy, on 20 December 1944.
Fortunately, Dorothy’s eldest son, Frederick, survived the war.
Adair Boulevard in Strathroy, Ontario is named after the four brothers.
In the end, Dorothy, mother of Robert, Kenneth and Charles Adair, suffered a mental breakdown and father Frank was crushed.
The soldiers, sailors and airmen were not the only casualties of war. Lest We forget.
For more information on the Adair brothers click here.
Reference: Bruce Ricketts. Images from Commonwealth War Graves Commission.