This photo has haunted me for years. The three young men here are first cousins. They are all Mackays. Their fathers were brothers, each of whom served in World War I’s Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). From left to right they are Thomas Colson Mackay, William Bruce Mackay, and James Birch Mackay.
As near as I can make out, the photo was probably taken in or close to 1937, perhaps at Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, where at least one of the older generation had recreational property.
The boys were all 16 or 17 years old. My guess is that the photo may have been snapped on a Friday, late in the day, after driving from Winnipeg. Quite the sharp dressers: Tom appears to sport two-toned shoes in the full-length photo, Bruce with his tie. Or, who knows, perhaps they were off to attend a local dance.
Tom, who was my half-brother, joined the RCN; Bruce (as he was known) the RCAF; and Jim the Canadian Army, so between them they covered all the bases.
It’s my intention to go deeper into the careers of each of them in future blogs and editions of Forces With History; I hope you’ll come along for the ride.