In 1939, at the outbreak of WWII and seven years after having been ordained to the priesthood, Rev. Michael Joseph Dalton (May 5, 1902 - April 6, 2009) volunteered to join the Essex Scottish Regiment of the Canadian Army.

Although he could have avoided front line service due to his age and position, he insisted that it was his duty to serve. Father Mike saw active duty in England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.

Father Mike was known to work on the front lines of military combat and often marched with his men, carrying their weapons when they grew fatigued. He was known to drive his jeep, often against orders, to the front lines of combat in order to hear confessions

Saying Mass until his death - just one month shy of his 107th birthday - Father Mike was believed to have been the oldest Catholic priest in Canada and Canada's oldest surviving serviceman from World War II. Father Mike kept a war diary documenting his service during the years 1939-1946. In 1979 he donated it to the National Archives of Canada.

Please join me as I transcribe his writings online.

Locations Since Enlistment

- Wrote to Bishop Kidd to enlist
- Commissioned as Captain of spiritual.  Called up dad to notify of my new field of labour.  My first funeral mass after ordination was mother in 1932.  My first funeral mass in uniform was Father R.I.P.
- Moved into East Windsor Barracks after Dad’s funeral, remained at St. Alphonsus Rectory previously.
- To Camp Borden tents
- Appointed Chaplain of 4th Brigade, including Essex Scottish, Royal Regiment of Canada Hamilton Light Infantry
- Embarked on S.S. “Empress of Austrailia”
- To Clyde, near Glasgow
- Brighton
- Back to Aldershot
- To Rye, Sussex
- Mountfield
- Camberley
- Suningdale near Ascot - Home of Count John McCormack, who sang for us often.
- Back to Rye, Sussex
- St. Leondard’s adjoining Hastings, scene of last enemy invasion of William Conqueror in 1066
- Uckfield
- Horam, in tents, cold
- Ashington near Horsham
- Isle of Wright - for special training in A.L.C. (Assault Landing Craft) - we found out later to perpare for Dieppe
- Fishbourne
- Fort Victoria at Yarmouth (Queen Victoria died here)
- Savoy amp near Fredwater, summer home of Tennyson.  Billeted in home of donator of Harmsworth Trophy.
- Back to Ashington
- Middleton at Bognor Regis, S. Sussex, Horsham, E. Grinstead, Billingshurst, Tillmanstone near Dover.

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