Skip to content

Preeceville Veteran recalls war years

Soldier shares his Navy accomplishments
War visit_result
Bill Lesko, left, and Hein Bertram visited with 99-year-old Melvin Stone of Preeceville recently, recalling his years enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War.

PREECEVILLE - Melvin Stone of Preeceville, who is 99 years old, can vividly recall the Second World War when he had been enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy as a decoder. He served for three years before he was discharged.

He was born and raised in Montreal and after the war he met the love of his live and the couple settled down and raised two children.

“As a decoder for the Navy I had an important job of decoding message before they could be sent to the ground troops,” said Stone. “Many of the messages were very difficult to decode and I was provided with some training but learned the trade quickly. I was never deployed to the ships and did what they asked me to do.” he said.

Stone served in Newfoundland as a coder, where he met his wife. After the war in 1945, he went back to Montreal to be discharged from the navy. He got a job in a knitting factory where he lost his finger. The couple stayed in Montreal for a while before they moved to Dartmouth to be closer to their son for a few years. In retirement, the couple moved to Preeceville in 2006 to be near their daughter.

In his interview he was very modest in saying that many men did way more than he did but he played an important part in defeating the Germans in the war.

When his wife’s health started to fail the couple moved into the Preeceville Personal Care Home located in Sturgis. When his wife passed away and the home in Sturgis closed its door he was moved to Preeceville, where he is currently residing.

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is Canada’s naval force consisting of approximately 12,570 Regular Force and 4,111 Reserve sailors, supported by around 3,800 civilian employees. The mission of the Royal Canadian Navy is to generate combat-capable, multipurpose maritime forces that support Canada’s efforts to participate in security operations anywhere in the world, as part of an integrated Canadian Armed Forces.