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Captain King Whyte: Liberation of Belsen

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    Belsen, April 1945, Captain King Whyte in the foreground.

My father enlisted in the Canadian Army during World War Two believing it was his duty. His father served in the RAF during WWI and his grandfather served in the British military. My father wasn’t a combat soldier. He stationed in London and was on loan to the British. His background in radio broadcasting and journalism uniquely qualified him for various positions – narrating newsreels, writing reports for Radio Luxembourg, and reporting on the London blitz and the allied troops in Europe. In April 1945 my father was present during the liberation of Belsen. In a letter to my mother he wrote, “Tonight I am a different man. I have…

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Michael D. Spencer – November 9, 1919 – April 20, 2016

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    Michael Spencer holding a Bell & Howell Eyemo cine camera. Credit: The Way We Were by Ken Bell - © University of Toronto Press 1988.
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    Group photo Canadian Army Film Unit. Left to right: (back row) Michael Spencer, Gordon Sparling, Nadine Manning, Mrs. Moffit, Marjorie Cox, Gordon McClain (front row) Unid, Lew Weekes, Ken Ewart.
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    Four Old Sweats - Clockwise from top left; Michael Spencer, Alan Grayston, Nadine Manning, Gordon Sparling.
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    Army News interview on the occasion of the dedication of the new Editing Suite honouring the Veterans of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, Tuesday November 10th, 2009, National Printing Bureau, 45 Sacre-Coeur Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec.
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    Army News interview: Michael Spencer and Chuck Ross. Tuesday November 10th, 2009.
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    Canadian Forces poster presentation to Michael Spencer. Tuesday November 10th, 2009.
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    Group interview with Don Newman Tuesday, November 10th, 2009, Lobby National Printing Bureau, 45 Sacre-Coeur Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec.
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    Dedication of the new Editing Suite honouring the Veterans of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, Tuesday November 10th, 2009.
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    Presentation to Michael Spencer of Canadian Army Newsreel t-shirt during interview at his home, Oct. 25, 2007.
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    "Capt. Mike Spencer snapped by yours truly (Gordon Sparling) as he gazed from Hitler’s office in the Chancellery. July 1945." Photo by Gordon Sparling - courtesy, Brock Silversides, Director, University of Toronto Media Commons.

It is with great sadness that I create this post in memory of Michael Desbois Spencer, former member of the Canadian Army Film & Photo Unit. Michael was one of the four original members that formed the Unit in the fall of 1941. I was privileged to have met both Michael and his wife Maqbool on several occasions, the first being an interview I was granted to perform at their home on October 25, 2007. He will be greatly missed. ABOUT MICHAEL: Michael was born In England, and was on holiday in British Columbia when war broke out in 1939. Without a way to get back home, Michael decided to travel…

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