World War II was the defining moment of his life. He liked talking about his wartime experiences, the good and the bad, which included learning to drive a bren carrier during his training in England. He put the vehicle in gear and it lurched forward into a telephone pole. The pole fell over, landing on the driving instructor's head, knocking him unconscious. He sat in the commander's seat, unconscious, Grandad feared he was dead at the time, but happily this was not the case. I remember him showing me a photograph of the men in his company, pointing out those who were killed in action, giving the details of how they died. His younger brother, Robert Newman, was killed in the battle for Caen after D-Day, serving with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. He is buried in Calais.
I remember taking him on day trips in the last years of his life. His eyesight was failing and he could not drive his car any longer. He had a Buick that was built like a tank. I recall careening down Highway 416 (the Veterans Memorial Highway) in his Buick on one of these trips at 100 miles per hour. I did not realize the speedometer was set for mph as opposed to kilometers per hour. I wondered why everyone was driving so slowly, until I finally clued in and slowed down, luckily before getting nabbed for speeding. He liked visiting old friends and colleagues who were still living and the towns and cities in Eastern Ontario he lived during his post-wartime military service. He was a good and decent man who responded to the call of duty in 1939 when Canada declared war on Germany. He got on with his life following the war becoming a loving husband and father. He was predeceased by his wife Sally Gibbons and his daughter Lorraine living to the ripe old age of 83, passing away peacefully on July 27, 2005. May he rest in peace.