The Scottish lass is the granddaughter of Grand Falls-Windsor resident, Edmund Masters.
Born in 1917 to parents Douglas and Sarah Master, Edmund, their only son, lost his life aboard the HMS Avenger on Nov. 15, 1942, just west of Gibraltar.
Struck by a torpedo, by all historical accounts, the vessel quickly sank. Only 12 members of the crew were rescued.
“I always knew my mothers father was from Newfoundland, but we always thought it was St. John’s or something,” MacKay told The Advertiser Friday. “It wasn’t really talked about, it wasn’t until the last few years that mum felt able to open up.”
Armed with only a smidgen of information and her new computer, MacKay decided it was time for her to try and learn about her grandfather, and her Newfoundland family.
“I’ve only just entered the 21st century a few months ago, before that, I wasn’t able to find out anything. My mother never knew anything,” said MacKay. “It was 1942 when he met my grandmother, then my grandmother fell pregnant with my mother. He (Masters) was torpedoed off Gibraltar in November 1942, mother was born in 1943.”
MacKay says attitudes at the time played a large role in the lack of knowledge. In 1942 births out of wedlock were not discussed as a general rule, even if your grandfather gave his life to defend Queen and Country.
MacKay says Edmunds parents offered to take her mother in, inviting her and her unborn child to live with them in Grand Falls, but the offer was declined.
MacKay’s mother eventually married, and is still in good health.
Caroline can only dream of what might have been.
“We might have a whole heap of family over there we know nothing about,” said MacKay. “My mother would love to go over as well. She’s still kind of grieving, you know, cause she never knew him. I managed to find a photo of him in the Canadian war records. I sent that down to her and wow, that was amazing.”
MacKay’s desire to learn more about her grandfather and his remaining relatives never waned through the years and she is hoping The Advertisers’ readers can help.
Aside from Edmond, Douglas and Sarah Masters had two daughters, one who died from tuberculosis, and another who survived. Anyone who has information regarding the family is encouraged to contact The Advertiser.
In search of long lost Grandpa
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