Marguerite Dorval

There are thousand of stories like ours, people who owe their lives and their futures to amazing organizations. I’m certain that if it weren’t for the Red Cross, my father wouldn’t have survived WWII.  Henri Dorval was one of the 72 soldiers reported missing in action after the Dieppe invasion of France in September 1942.

Wounded by shrapnel he was taken as a Prisoner of War. His parents, and my mother, who was then his fiancé, didn’t hear from him for almost a year after his capture. They didn’t even know if he was alive.

My father later told me, he and the other POW’s had no contact with the outside world at first.  But then the Red Cross packages started to arrive. These packages were lifelines to POW’s, letting them know that people were thinking about them, that someone cared enough to send them something from home, even though they didn’t have much to spare during the hard years of the war.

He said, “If it wasn’t for the Red Cross I don’t think I would have made it.”  After three years in captivity, he was finally released in the spring of 1945 and married my mother in England that July.

When my mother was pregnant with me, my father came back to Canada to find a job and prepare our home. In late 1946, my mother and I arrived on a ‘War Bride Ship’ at the famous Pier 21 in Halifax. From there, the special Red Cross war bride escort officers helped us reunite in Ontario.  It was the first time my father held me in his arms.

These very personal memories of the difference the Red Cross made in my parents lives, at times when they needed help the most, prompted me to take my support beyond regular donations.

That’s why, several years ago I decided to join the Red Cross Legacy Circle. We’re a group of committed donors who want to help the Red Cross be there for future generations. I know my mother and father, would be proud of my decision.

I still get quite emotional when I think about the difference the Red Cross made in the life of my family, first helping my father survive the horrors of the POW camp, and then helping us all reunite on Canadian Soil.

I’m grateful that the Red Cross was there for my family. And I know that was possible only because of the generosity of donors and volunteers. That’s why I am proud to be doing my part to help people in the future, when they need it most.