Fonds 292 Danny Rycroft fonds

fonds-292

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1944-1997. — 1 cm of textual records. — 56 photographs. — 1 maps.


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Biographical Sketch

Daniel Rycroft was born in Spirit River on October 24, 1924 to Helen and Robert Henry Rycroft. In 1928 the family left the area to eventually reside in Smoky Heights where Danny took all of his school. In November 1942, shortly after his eighteenth birthday, he enlisted in the RCAF. He was on duty overseas in 1944 when he was reported missing in action. A month later his mother received news that he was alive. His plane had been forced down but he had bailed out and had been taken in by a French family. The French underground were able to assist his return to England where he was hospitalized for a fractured spine and ribs. After returning home, he married Violet Spry in May 1945. They raised a family of six children: Loraine, Greg, Bill, Neil, Jean, and Jack. Danny became a grain buyer for National Grain Co. and then Alberta Wheat Pool for eighteen years. In 1974 he went to work for the County of Grande Prairie. Danny Rycroft died on April 13, 2011.

Custodial History

The records were donated to the South Peace Regional Archives by Danny Rycroft in 2008.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of written memories of Danny’s war time career during WWII and his return visit to France in 1997, 56 photographs from two of his albums, (1942-1997), a silk map of Europe, a CANADA badge, and a poster of a replica of a Lancaster Bomber.

Notes

 

Table of Contents

Series 292.01Danny Rycroft Personal Stories
Series 292.02Photographs

 

Series 292.01Danny Rycroft Personal Stories. — 1944-1997. — 1 cm of textual records. — 1 maps.The series consists of copies of stories and documents related to Danny’s WWII experience with the RCAF. Included is a silk map and a CANADA badge from his uniform.
 
Danny Rycroft’s Silk Map, 1944
1 silk map, 2 sided; 72 x 72 cm.
The silk map (worn as a scarf) contained details of roads, terrain and borders through Belgium, Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland. It helped airmen who survived being shot down find their location and try to make their way to friendly territory.
Location: 0292.01.01
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Series 292.02Photographs. — 1944-1997. — 56 photographs.The series consists of 56 photographs related to Danny’s WWII experience and his reunion with the French family who harboured him after his plane was shot down in 1944.
 
1649 Aircraft, 1944 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
1649 R.C.A.F. – World War II fighter plane.
Location: 0292.02.01
R.C.A.F. Crew, [1944]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
R.C.A.F. Crew: Top Row : John Kinsey (Engineer), Pop Powel (Mid Upper Gunner), Will Nesbit (Wireless Operator). Jack Porter (Pilot) Bottom Row: David Jones (Navigator), Dan Rycroft (Rear Gunner), Mickey McLeod (Bomb Aimer)
Location: 0292.02.02
Local Boys Who Enlisted, 1944 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
“Local ” boys who enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Location: 0292.02.03
Wireless Operator, 1944 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Wireless Operator, Will Nesbit.
Location: 0292.02.04
Original Crew of Five, 1944 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
R.C.A.F. – Original crew of five, Danny Rycroft is second from the right.
Location: 0292.02.05
Home on Christmas Leave, 1944 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Home on a Christmas leave in Sexsmith. Picture taken at Sexsmith Train Station. From Left: Ross, Hawkstead, J. Johnson, Danny Rycroft, Sorken
Location: 0292.02.06
Crew from First Course, 1944 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Royal Canadian Air Force Crew on their first course.
Location: 0292.02.07
C- Patrol, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Sam Rycroft ( Dan’s brother) is front row second from left.
Location: 0292.02.08
Air Gunner Graduation, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Quebec graduation as Air Gunners. Danny Rycroft is third from the left.
Location: 0292.02.09
Bessent Twins, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Bob and Bill Bessent twins.
Location: 0292.02.10
Crashed Lancaster, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
September 16, 1944 of Dan in front of the Lancaster that crashed August 25, 1944.
Location: 0292.02.11
Boult-Aux-Bois, n.d.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Boult-Aux-Bois village next to Belleville-Sur-Bar.
Location: 0292.02.12
Street Scene, n.d.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Street in French town.
Location: 0292.02.13
Belleville-Sur-Bar, n.d.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Belleville-Sur-Bar from Rene Bocquet.
Location: 0292.02.14
Burial Place of 7 Crew Members, n.d.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Arial photograph of the cemetery where 7 of the crew members from “S” crew were buried. Cemetery is between Boult-Aux-Bois and Belleville-Sur-Bar.
Location: 0292.02.15
Grave Markers for the Crew of Seven, n.d.
7 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Photographs of the original grave markers and grave site for the 7 crew members.
Location: 0292.02.16 a-g
Rene Bocquet, 1959
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Rene Bocquet July 6, 1959 (Robert and Germaine Bocquet’s son). The Bocquets hid Danny Rycroft after his plane crashed in France.
Location: 0292.02.17
Rene Bocquet, 1950 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Rene Bocquet (Robert and Germaine Bocquet’s son). The Bocquets hid Danny Rycroft after his plane crashed in France.
Location: 0292.02.18
Children Placing Flowers on Graves, 1950 c.
1 photographs; b & w; 4 x 6
Local children putting flowers on the graves of the 7 crew members.
Location: 0292.02.19
The Bocquets and Dan Rycroft, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
(From left) Germaine Bocquet, Dan Rycroft, Robert Bocquet in Bellville-Sur-Bar, Septmber 1944.
Location: 0292.02.20
The Bocquets and Dan Rycroft, 1986
1 photograph; colour; 4 x 6
From left : Robert Bocquet, Dan Rycroft, Dr. Rene ? , Germaine Bocquet, in Belleville-Sur-Bar.
Location: 0292.02.21
The Bocquets House, 1986
2 photograph; color; 4 x 6
Bocquets house in Belleville-Sur-Bar where Dan Rycroft was hidden in 1944. Upstairs window shows the room where Dan was hidden.
Location: 0292.02.22a, b
French Girls on a Woodpile, 1944
1 photographs; b & w; 4 x 6
From left: Yvetter Garrer, Amie Marie Moffit, Denise Debourer (Mayor’s daughter).
Location: 0292.02.23
Danny Rycroft and the Bocquets., 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Danny Rycroft (center), with Germaine and Robert Bocquet September 19, 1944, right before Dan left to England.
Location: 0292.02.24
Friends of Danny Rycroft, 1944
1 photographs; b & w; 4 x 6
Back of photo states: “a l’aviateur Canadien Daniel.”
Location: 0292.02.25
Friends of Danny Rycroft, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Back of photo states: “Pierre Garrec, Jean Garrec, Vive le Canada.”
Location: 0292.02.26
Dan with Local Residents, 1944
2 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Photos of Dan Rycroft with local residents. Lady is Denise (Mayor’s daughter) and a Polish Jew and her husband that were also been hidden.
Location: 0292.02.27a, b
Photos of Young Men, 1944
3 photographs; b & w; 4 x 6
Photographs of young men from Belleville-Sur-Bar that were given to Dan Rycroft.
Location: 0292.02.28a-c
Neighbor from Bault-Aux-Bois, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Neighbor from Bault-Aux-Bois, Germaine Bocquet, Dan Rycroft and Robert Bocquet.
Location: 0292.02.29
Cous Family, n.d.
2 photographs; b & w; 4 x 6
Cous family from England who went back to France to visit the graves and sent Dan Rycroft pictures.
Location: 0292.02.30a, b
David Jones and Family, n.d.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
David Jones and his family.
Location: 0292.02.31
Will Nesbit’s Wife, 1944 c.
2 photographs; b & w; 4 x 6
Chris Nesbit, wife of Will Nesbit.
Location: 0292.02.32a, b
Friend of Chris Nesbit, 1944 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Betty, friend of Chris Nesbit.
Location: 0292.02.33
Chris Nesbit and her Sister, 1945 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Chris Nesbit and her Sister after the war.
Location: 0292.02.34
Chris Nesbit, n.d.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Chris Nesbit after she remarried.
Location: 0292.02.35
Graduation Class, 1941
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Graduation class, Jack Spry front row middle.
Location: 0292.02.36
Danny and Fellow Airmen, n.d.
2 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
A couple of Danny’s airmen friends and a group of four of them.
Location: 0292.02.37 a, b
Danny Rycroft, 1943
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Danny Rycroft in uniform at Souris, Manitoba
Location: 0292.02.38
Airforce Recruits, 1942
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Front Row: Bill Bessent, Danny Rycroft, Bob Bessent. Back: Dave Pickering. November, 1942.
Location: 0292.02.39
Sexsmith Recruits, 1942
1 photograsph; b & w; 4 x 6
Gordon Rycroft, Ted Murray ready to enlist. Ted Murray was too young and was sent home.
Location: 0292.02.40
Sexsmith Boys Home for Christmas, 1942
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Ken Nelson, Gordon Rycroft, Allen Tink come home for Christmas.
Location: 0292.02.41a
Danny Rycroft, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Danny Rycroft
Location: 0292.02.41b
Will and Chris Nesbitt, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Will and Chris Nesbitt on their wedding day.
Location: 0292.02.42
Home From Duty, 1944
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Ken Nelson, Violet Spry, Gordon Rycroft, Jean Mc Kenzie, Allen Tink, and Margaret Mc Kenzie stand in front of a car on Sexsmith main street.
Location: 0292.02.43
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