Wait for Me

Summerland veteran among the soldiers in famous picture

A Summerland veteran is one of the people standing in line in a famous World War II photograph.

A Summerland veteran is one of the people standing in line in a famous World War II photograph.

The picture, Wait for Me, Daddy, was taken Nov. 1, 1940 as members of the B.C. Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles) were preparing to board the S.S. Princess Joan at the New Westminster CPR docks. It shows Warren Bernard running to his father, Jack Bernard. To the left his is mother Bernice Bernard.

Farther back in the line and to the left is Charlie Bernhardt, a Summerland veteran.

Bernhardt, now 93, enlisted in Kelowna on June 15, 1940, when he was 19.

He served until October, 1945.

Reflecting on the picture, Bernhardt said it depicts one of the most difficult aspects of war.

“Home and family is the foundation of our society,” he said. “Here we have the separation.”

Bernhardt and the others in the picture sailed to Nanaimo. From there, he went to the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, Nova Scotia and later to the United Kingdom.

He was with the 3rd Canadian Infantry on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and was part of the second wave of soldiers who landed that morning at 10 o’clock.

Reflecting on the war and its aftermath becomes difficult for Bernhardt as he thinks of those who died in action during those years.

“It’s the waste that bothers you,” he said. “Everybody loses in a war. Everybody.”

Today, only four of the people in the picture are still alive. Earlier this year, an event was held to honour them, although two were unable to attend.

A bronze image of the photograph was shown at the ceremony in New Westminster. A commemorative stamp and a $2 coin were also unveiled.