Book explores Yorke Island’s Uncertain War

Some British Columbians are fine with BC Hydro installing smart meters in their homes. Others are totally opposed.  - Photo submitted.
Some British Columbians are fine with BC Hydro installing smart meters in their homes. Others are totally opposed.
— image credit: Photo submitted.

A new book that delves into the rich history of Yorke Island and the uncertainty surrounding World War II has hit the book shelves.

Campbell River author Catherine Marie Gilbert’s new book, Yorke Island and the Uncertain War, Defending Canada’s Western Coast During World War II, has just been released by Ptarmigan Press.

Yorke Island is a tiny island in the Johnstone Straits, six kilometres northeast of Kelsey Bay (Sayward area), that was chosen as a coastal defence site to ward off a potential Japanese attack during the Second World War.

This unique look at the history of the Yorke Island fort includes more than 100 photos, both archival and modern, and stories from local residents living in Kelsey Bay and on Hardwicke Island when the fort was being built.

The author reveals how the members of these small communities were affected by the influx of hundreds of soldiers and sailors, and explains how the island fort developed over a period of eight years.

The book also contains highlights of memories and excerpts from letters that were written by veterans posted on Yorke Island, and a collection of excellent sketches by wartime artist Orville Norman Fisher.

Editor Neil Cameron said Gilbert’s novel dives in to the unknowns of the area.

“I knew of Yorke Island and its history prior to getting a copy of Catherine Gilbert’s book,” Cameron said. “Now I know how much I didn’t know.

“In Yorke Island and the Uncertain War, Catherine has produced an immensely fascinating book, well-written and with excellent pictures to enhance the reader’s journey through time.”

The book can be ordered from Kask Graphics (250-286-0878) and is currently available at the Museum at Campbell River Shop, Stillwater Books & Art, Coho Books, Save-On Foods, Book Bonanaza (Quadra) and Laughing Oyster (Courtenay).

Watch for upcoming book signings in your area.

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