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Archival description
William Atkinson fonds
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Career – Naval and Civilian

Series consists of records documenting Atkinson’s career on merchant steamers in the 1930’s, as a member of the Royal Naval Reserve from the late 1930s, his career as an officer at sea during the Second World War, including his first command on the ‘Manitoulin’, and finally with the ‘Loosestrife’, and his activities in the RNR in 1946 and 1947. He ended the war with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Also documented are his activities as a civilian, with Child’s restaurant in Toronto and the Glen Manor Inn in Blenheim, Ontario in particular, and with the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve. He joined the Canadian Navy as an officer in 1951 and successively at bases in Windsor, Vancouver, Halifax, Quebec, and Ottawa. There are also records documenting his activities in Indochina during 1956-1957. His ‘retirement’ from the Navy late in 1959 is thoroughly documented.

The series contains correspondence, reports, and other documents received by Atkinson from the National Archives of Canada (Library and Archives Canada). These relate to various personal aspects of his career in the Canadian Navy.

His post naval-career is also documented, beginning with his running the first coin laundry in Montreal. This is followed by his stints as a manager of various golf courses in Quebec and Ontario, and a hotel in Barbados. Also included are files on his membership in ACTRA and his acting career.

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