Lloyd Billingsley


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Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Our Time After a While: Reflections of a Borderline Baby Boomer, a memoir about growing up in Windsor, Ontario.

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Bid a Thankful Farewell to a Canadian Hero

May 12, 2017 — Lloyd Billingsley


On May 9, Canada lost a hero when James Richard Billingsley passed away at his home in Vancouver at the age of 94. This is a man all Canadians should get to know, because he played a role in securing the peace, freedom and prosperity Canada has enjoyed for decades.

His father Lorne Henry Billingsley was a veteran of World War I and one of the first victims of German gas attacks. James Richard Billingsley was the second of his eight children, raised in Saskatchewan in difficult conditions. Through the Depression of the 1930s, the family pulled together and prevailed.

James Billingsley enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan but in the spring of 1942 he left his studies to enlist in the Canadian Army. He served with the Eighth Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment, which saw plenty of action.

On April 12, 1945, troops of the Eighth Canadian Reconnaissance “B” squadron liberated Camp Westerbork in Holland, a Nazi transit station for Jews en route to extermination camps such as Auschwitz and Sobibor. The Canadians liberated 876 inmates and their actions surely saved many other lives.

James Billingsley’s major engagements included the Battles of Groningen and Oldenburg, on the enemy’s home turf. He was wounded in action twice, once by a German sniper. Army brass wanted to steer him into intelligence work but he returned to his unit and fought on.