Fonds RC0332 - McDaniel family

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McDaniel family

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  • 1938-1945 (Creation)

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16.5 cm of textual records and graphic material.

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Biographical history

Cpt. Bernard J. “Ben” McDaniel (1884-1947) was born in Margaree, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. In 1916, having moved to Saskatchewan, he joined the 209th Infantry Battalion of the CEF as a lieutenant. McDaniel then went on to practice law in Regina, rising to the status of King's Counsel. A Liberal, he entered politics by winning a provincial by-election for the riding of Regina City in 1938 but lost his seat in the general election of 1944. He was also a member of the local council of the Knights of Columbus and of a Saskatchewan Maritime association. Bernard J. McDaniel died in 1947. While in England during the First World War, he married Beatrice “Beattie” Minshull (b. 1895). She was the daughter of Frank Minshull (1863-1941) and his wife Anne, who by 1940 lived at Fordcombe in Kent. Beatrice had four sisters, Gertrude (Mrs. Bertschinger of Guildford, Surrey), Hilda, and Olive (also in England) and Jessie (Mrs. William Higginson of Windsor, Ontario) in Canada. Beatrice was active in several organizations in Regina, often connected with Liberal politics, and was an accomplished pianist.

Bernard J. McDaniel and Beatrice Minshull had five children. During the Second World War, the two elder sons joined the RCAF. Bernard M. “Bain” McDaniel studied at No. 1 Technical Training School in St. Thomas, Ontario in 1940 as an aircraft maintenance crewman. After a brief time at No. 4 Service Flying Training School in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1941, he departed for England at the end of the year. He was assigned to No. 408 (Goose) squadron, working on a variety of bomber aircraft. For a time he was attached to No. 9408 Echelon. He met Gwen Murray of Stonehouse, Scotland while stationed at Leeming, Yorkshire, and they were married in June 1944, leaving for Canada early in 1945. Francis Joseph “Wit” McDaniel (1921-2005?), his younger brother, also studied at No. 1 TTS in St. Thomas, and thereafter spent time at No. 5 Bombing and Gunnery School in Dafoe, Manitoba. He embarked for England in May 1942. There he served as ground crew with No. 409 (Nighthawk) squadron. He was briefly attached to 3063 Echelon. In May 1944 he transferred to No. 408 squadron, his brother’s unit. He returned to Canada in the middle of 1945. Their friends from Saskatchewan in military service included P/O Bernard Heintz and O/S Charles “Baz” Bazinet. The other McDaniel children remained in Regina during the war: Muriel “Babe” McDaniel (b. 1924); Mildred “Millie” McDaniel; and Maurice Roy “Maury” McDaniel (1931-2002).

Custodial history

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The fonds primarily consists of correspondence between the family during the Second World War.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Fonds (33-2007) acquired from Alexander Books of Ancaster, Ontario in October 2007.


Fonds consists of two series: Correspondence; and Clippings and Ephemera.

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