Daisy Wright was born and raised in the town of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The daughter of Jim and Daisy Wright (Sr.). She had lived with her brothers, sisters and parents in the same house on the same street all her life. The street in front of her little yellow house was a hard-packed, dirt road and they had a little white fence made of wood and thick wire twisted into ornate designs.
She was working as a waitress at the National Cafe in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan when she first met Ron. He had come in with a few other airmen to have dinner that night and sat at one of her tables. The young ladies of Moose Jaw at the time were quite excited about all the British airmen that had arrived in town and Daisy was no exception.
She had spent her life in this small Canadian town, and this war, that was so far away geographically had now reached onto her world in the form of numerous handsome men from England.
As Ron got to know Daisy, he found her a striking, dark-haired lady, an exceptional dancer, great conversationalist and great fun to be with. Also she was Canadian-born and of English descent.
Daisy's grandparents, Sara and Idmund Jackson.
Early picture of Daisy.
Early picture of Daisy.
Jean, Alyce, Daisy and Ellen.
Daisy's bother Charlie.
James Wright was a member of the Royal Fusiliers during the First World War as a member of the 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade . In his earlier days, Jim Wright was said to have been a hard-nosed, tough-as-nails soldier. He repeatedly raised the ire of the military police and took guff from nobody except his wife Daisy. Jim and Daisy were married at St. Michael and All Angels' Church in Islington, London, England in 1906 and made their home in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in 1910, in a house that Jim built by hand. Together they had eight children. Ellen (nicknamed 'Lal'), Alyce, Ted, Daisy, James Jr., Jean, Charlie and Edith who passed away at a very early age from Dyptheria.
They remained in that same house and raised their family from birth to adulthood where all but Jean married and went their separate ways. They both lived long and full lives until Jim passed away from a heart attack in the early seventies. Daisy passed away a short time later. Their daughter Jean continued to live in the same house until her death in 2011.
Daisy Sr. with the family car.
Daisy Sr. showing some attitude.
Jim Wright during retirement.
The armistice was signed at 05:10 on 11 November, 1918 by Matthias Erzberger and a delegation of German representatives. The ceasefire would take effect at 11:00 of that same day to allow the information to be distributed to all officers on the Western Front.
Sargeant Henry Gunther is listed as the last man killed during World War I. According to reports, he was killed by German machine gunners one minute before the ceasefire took effect on 11 November, 1918. In the heat of a battle in the Argonne Forest, Gunther was a member of Aplha Company, 313th Regiment, 79th Infantry Division. They came across a German machine gun ambush near the French town of Chaumont-devant-Damvillers, north of Verdun.
Word had just arrived at his unit that the war would come to an end with the hour. Gunther was under fire and fixed his bayonet before scrambling from his position and charging the machine gun position. He was struck in the head and killed. It was 11:59 am. The ceasefire took effect one minute later.
Daisy took a job as a waitress for the National Cafe on Main Street, downtown and liked the work very much. Before long there were English Airmen coming into the town and frequenting the cafe. On weekends it could be a very busy place and her boss, a Chinese gentleman named Sam would treat the staff well.
On yet another Friday night, Daisy was working her shift and business was beginning to pick up as it would tend to after five o'clock. She had bussed a table and was carrying an armload of plates and dishes into the kitchen when Sam told her that one of her tables was filled. She nodded, dropped off the dishes and went to serve them. One of the men at that table was Ron Liversuch.
They seemed to catch each other's attention in a special way that night and when he returned on a later visit, he asked her out. They went to the lively place in town at the time; the number 59 Royal Canadian Legion. Ron turned out to be a pretty good dancer, interesting talker and was quite attentive. Not long after, they began dating in ernest. Ron considered Daisy his girl and he was her man.
Even in peaceful Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, the demands of the world war were evident. Daisy and Ron were just beginning their romance when he was told that he would soon be shipped back to Europe. They had been dating for less than a year at the time and there was a threat that they would be torn apart by the demands of the military. Ron proposed and Daisy accepted.
They were married on Christmas Eve, 24 December, 1942, because Ron was to be remustered back to England on 1 January, 1943. They were later told that the transfer was delayed, so they had to make other plans. Daisy continued to work at the cafe and Ron spent his time at the air base.
Daisy set out and found them a modest apartment that they could live in together. They could spend their evenings and nights together and Ron would catch a bus to the base while Daisy caught another bus to the cafe.
One day, Daisy received a letter from the War Department. It essentially said that if she could find lodgings and a way to care for herself and her son Ron Jr., they would transport her overseas to be closer to her new husband. Inwardly, she wanted to jump at the chance. Outwardly, there was cause to hesitate. She had felt that it would be difficult to let her parents know of her intentions.
She was right. Her mother (also named Daisy) was broken-hearted at the mere thought. According to Daisy (junior), her mother cried for days and days while she was making the plans and arrangements to go. It became annoying to Daisy that she finally gave up and said that she would change her mind and refuse to go.
She thought that would end it but her mother disagreed. She told Daisy that she had to go. Ron was her husband now. She had made her bed and had to lay in it.
And with that, Daisy had the reluctant blessing of her parents.
Daisy quickly sent a telegram to Ron, telling him that she was planning a trip immediately to visit with her brother Charlie. Upon reading this, Ron was delighted. At the moment he was reading the telegram, Charlie was sitting across the room from him in Wales.
Daisy along with her little son Ron Jr. traveled across Canada. On 30 January 1944, she boarded the SS Jamaica Producer at a port in New York, bound for the UK and found it both exciting and intimidating. Here she was, a 23 year old, a small town, mid-western, Canadian woman making her first trip to europe alone except for her infant son. She didn't know when or if she was ever coming back. Perhaps they would choose to make their home in Wales. Even more, she was leaving the idilic peace of a town and a country that only knows about the Second World War, what they had read in the newspapers or heard on the radio. All that to step straight into the middle of the European conflict.
She boarded a ship and was shown to a private cabin only big enough to accommodate her and Ron Jr. In it's cramped quarters, it had a cot style bed for her and a strange looking bed for the baby. It looked somewhat like a small torpedo with a glass lid. When she asked about it, she was told that if the ship be attacked and sank, she should lock her son in the bed and it would float until he could be rescued.
She spoke of this later as a bit of a wake up call. It brought home the fact that the war was not just a headline in the papers but now a tangible and dangerous part of her own life.
One night during Atlantic crossing, feeling lonely, Daisy left her sleeping son to be looked after by one of the other ladies on the ship and wend for dinner. After eating, she decided to go out on deck. This meant following the rules of opening and fully closing an inner door before opening the outer door that led to the upper deck. This was to prevent light from getting out and making the ship a target for marauding U-Boats.
She went out into the quiet, dark night and found people strolling quietly and looking over the rails at the churning water below the boat. Not thinking, she lit a cigarette and the match caught the attention of one of the officers on deck. He immediately went to her and bawled her out for lighting the match and putting the ship in danger. Daisy was taken aback and tried to apologize but he continued with his rant.
This display brought over an older and more worldly lady who scorned the officer for being so rude to the shy Daisy. When he tried to scold her as well, the lady threatened to thrown the officer overboard and that promptly shut him up. He stormed away and the lady smiled as Daisy.
The two ladies would remain friends for the rest of the journey.
A picture sent from Daisy to Ron.
SS Jamaica Producer.
Photo Credit: Bobby Sinclair
Daisy and Ron Jr. boarded the Jamaica Producer in January 1944, but on 11 March 1943, it was reportedly struck by two German torpedoes from uboat 590, commanded by Heinrich Mullar-Edzards. There is more information through the link below.
Daisy arrived in Cardiff, Wales to a very warm welcome from her new in-laws, Jessie and Albert.
Obviously they were excited to see their first grandson. They quickly set about spoiling him as grandparents tend to do. They also did their best to make Daisy feel at home in their most Cardiff home.
Even with everybody's best efforts, it would still not be easy for Daisy. She was only able to see Ron when the Airforce and the demands of war would allow.
It was not until Daisy had arrived in Wales that Ron would be able to hold his son Ron Jr. for the very first time.
Finally Daisy and Ron could be together again. He would take her for romantic evenings and tours around Cardiff and introduce her to his hometown.One evening they ate fish and chips out of cones of newspaper while walking in the drizzling rain along the docks and looked out across the Atlantic. Daisy said it was a bit cold but very romantic.
She was introduced to Ron's brother Bert. One weekend when Ron was unable to get a leave, Bert took Daisy to the local movie house. As they were walking home, the air raid sirens began to sound and the lights of the city all went out. With the streets plunged into darkness and the wailing of the sirens, Daisy became nervous. Bert was well used to this by now and took Daisy by the hand. He led her safely to an air raid shelter and protected her from the crowd that moved in the darkness. He was not going to let any hard to his new sister-in-law.
While raising her three sons, Jessie had been a doting mother and now she was proving to be a doting grandmother as well.It sometimes seemed to daisy that she had to compete for time and attention of her own son. As well, the two ladies had differing views on how to handle the day-to-day dare of little Ron. Thos led to some bad feelings between them sometimes.One time, when Ron Sr. was on leave, Daisy complained to him and he came up wih a solution.
He arranged for a little getaway for Daisy. He took her and Ron Jr. to London to the house of his aunt Ada. Daisy spent a week with Ada and it was a refreshing break. One evening after putting little Ron to bed, Daisy went out to the front step of Ada's row house and lit a cigarette. Ada came out with a cup of tea for each of them and they began talking and admiring the quiet of the evening and the view overlooking London.
Suddenly the air raid sirens began to sound and Daisy and Ada cound see the lights of the city being extinguished one area at a time. Shortly afterward, they cound hear the approaching drone of the German bombers. In the distance the watched as bombs exploded within the city with their white, oramge and yellow blasts.
Daisy and Ada saw that the bombs were gradually getting closer. Ada told Daisy to run upstairs and get baby Ron. The went through the house to the back yard where Ada had a small bomb shelter. It ws a corrugated sheet of metal between mounds of dirt and a small put for them to sit in. On top of the metal was a small garden where Ada was growing beets and other vegetables to share with her neighbors. There they waited out the bombing as it passed not far from Ada's house.
The next morning, when Daisy came down for tea, Ada spread out some metal shards on the table. When Daisy asked what they were, Ada explained that they were bomb shrapnel fragments that she had found in the garden.
Daisy with her first daughter.
Daisy with her kids in Cardiff.
After a short stay in Moose Jaw, Daisy and Ron finally made the move to Calgary, Alberta where the raised eight kids. Along with her husband, Daisy joined the Royal Canadian Legion where she served on the Ladies' Auxiliary for a number of years.
Before Christmas each year, she would travel with her sister Ellen back to Moose Jaw to join their mother and sisters, Jean and Alyce to do some Christmas baking, but really it was an annual ladies' getaway and a chance to see their parents again. She and Ron would make another visit back to Moose Jaw each summer with the kids to visit with the grandparents. This trip was usually made during the night to avoid the heat of the Saskatchewan summer days as their cars didn't have air conditioning back then. Upon leaving Moose Jaw, they would go back through Alberta to British Columbia for a bit of camping.
She worked at the Woolworth's Store in downtown Calgary and other jobs when she was not busy raising her preschool children.
Daisy with her kids.
Daisy at the Legion.
Daisy with her granddaughter Melissa.
Ron Jr., Daisy, Ron Sr. and Ray Liversuch.