• James Parry

World War II nurse Maxine Bredt invited to attend 100th Anniversary of Battle of Vimy Ridge


PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

Together with fellow Hudson Legion members recently, 97 year-old Maxine Bredt and her daughter Christine raised a glass to legendary British songstress Dame Vera Lynn, forever known as the Forces' Sweetheart, who celebrated her 100th birthday last month.

Just 30 months shy of her own centennial, Hudson's indefatigable Maxine Bredt flew to France this week as an honoured guest of the Canadian Government and the only military nurse invited to attend official ceremonies marking the 100th Anniversary of the World War I Battle of Vimy Ridge being staged on the very same day, April 9.

Invited by Veterans Affairs Canada and accompanied by her daughter and caregiver for the trip, Christine, she boarded a Department of Defence plane on Wednesday for the flight to Lille following a briefing in Ottawa as to what the itinerary entailed through April 12. Then she will be back in Hudson with certainly many emotional memories and tales to tell at her beloved Royal Canadian Legion Branch #115.

Just prior to her departure, Bredt - who joined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps as a nursing sister in 1944 and who finished her service in 1946 having tended the sick and the dying in both Italy and England - told Your Local Journal in her inimitable style, “I am so thrilled and looking forward to it. But I don't know how or why they chose me. After all, I was just doing my job during World War II and was lucky enough to survive. But I am proud to represent our little town of Hudson and all the members of our Legion.”

Bredt, who had just returned from the hair salon then apologized for cutting our conversation short. “We are leaving for Ottawa right now. I have polished all the buttons and medals on both my original battle dress and blue and white uniform with its veil, but I still have to put them in the suitcase. I'm taking them both because I'm not sure what the weather is going to be and I always like to be prepared. So if you forgive me James, I have to dash but will talk when we get back.”

That we certainly will Maxine and looking forward to seeing the photographs to be taken by Christine who told YLJ, “We are all so proud of our Mom. It will be an emotional trip for her but she is so eager to get there she is almost like a young girl again.”

On behalf of all your many friends and admirers for whom you will be forever young, have a safe and wonderful trip Maxine and see you upon your return.

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