If you have served in the military, merchant marines, coast guard, etc., and would like to be listed on this page, please email me your information.


Petty Officer "Ted" Arthur Montague Edward Durnford

Royal Canadian Navy
March 1943 - March 1946

Ted was born Sept. 12, 1924 the second son of Villiers Henry & Ada Estelle (Stella Morgan) Durnford in West Hill, Scarborough, Ontario. He married Norma Lea, Sept. 26, 1953. During World War II, Ted joined the Royal Canadian Navy in March 1943 in Toronto. He was transferred to Edmonton, Alberta where he received Electrical training. After a period he was transferred to Windsor, Ontario where he received mechanical training. He was shipped across the Atlantic to Scotland where he was assigned to the Canadian ship HMCS Stormont. Their particular assignment was to patrol the North-East Atlantic with four other ships looking for German submarines. In late 1944 they escorted a convoy of merchant ships to Murmansk, Russia. Their ship was also under heavy German mortar fire from shore and was shelled off the coast of Bordeaux, France. Ted was a Petty Officer (Electrical Artificer). He was discharged in March, 1946.

An interesting side note was that HMCS Stormont was de-commissioned and sold after the war. The ship was purchased by a Greek, named Aristotle Onassis, who converted the ship into his personal yacht.



Captain Fred Durnford

Royal Navy, Canadian Merchant Marines
& Canadian Coast Guard
1943 - 1978

Fred Durnford was born in July 12, 1916 in Rencontre West, Newfoundland. He was the oldest son of John Matt and Olive (Skinner) Durnford. During WWI he was a seaman in the Royal Navy stationed in Portsmouth, England. In 1943 he was on leave in London when the building he was in was bombed. Consequently, he was buried under a pot-bellied stove he had been standing next too and suffered burns to his right hand, arm and face. He suffered through almost a 100 operations at East Grinstead Hospital. He met his first wife, Doris Bulbrook at the East Grinstead Hospital where she was a nurse working for the Royal Navy. After the war he was the skipper of the south coastal hospital ship in Newfoundland. Later, in the 1950s he was the skipper a number of Great Lake merchant ships home ported in Montreal. In the 1970s he worked for the Canadian Coast Guard. His last duty was that as the relief skipper on the CCGS Simcoe and CCGS Griffen. He was weeks away from retirement from the coast guard when he passed away in 1978.


Leslie Durnford

Royal Canadian Air Force (retired)

Born in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1946, he is the oldest son of Capt. Fred and Doris (Bulbrook) Durnford. He was raised in Rencontre West, Newfoundland, Montreal, Quebec, and Brockville, Ontario before joining the Canadian Air Force upon his graduation from high school. He has been stationed in Toronto, ON; Moosonee, ON; Goose Bay, Labrador, northern Alberta; Comox, BC; and finally in CFB Greenwood, NS where he retired.




Chief Boatswain's Mate Cynde Durnford-Branecki

United States Navy (retired)
March 1983 - Sept 2004

Cynde Durnford-Branecki was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1958. She is the youngest daughter of Capt. Fred and Doris (Bulbrook) Durnford. Due to her parent's divorce when she was a baby, she lived in both in Brockville, Ontario with her father, and Southern Florida with her mother. After spending her high school years in Brockville, she returned to Florida. At the age of 25, although still a Canadian citizen, she joined the US Navy. After four years active duty, she transferred to the active reserves and retired after 21 years.

Served: Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, IL; USS Fulton (AS-11) Site, Groton, CT; Naval Submarine Support Facility, Groton, CT; USS L.Y. Spear (AS-36), Norfolk, VA; Portsmouth Naval Hospital (activated for Operation Desert Storm); Cargo Handling Battalion 10, Williamsburg, VA; Afloat Training Group, San Diego, CA; Naval Reserve Security Force; San Diego, CA.


Master Seaman (MCpl) Gordon Walter Durnford

Canadian Armed Forces–Navy (veteran)
Radar Plotter/Tech


Col. Dewey F. Durnford, Jr.

United States Marine Corps (retired)

Colonel Dewey F. Durnford Jr. U.S. Marine Corps, veteran of WW II, Korea and Vietnam. A fighter ace with 7 victories and holder of the following awards: Legion of Merit with Combat V, Distinguished Flying Cross (4 awards), Air Medal (10 awards) and numerous unit and campaign awards. Graduate of North High School, 1941 and the University of Maryland, 1958. Raised in Columbus, OH. Col. Durnford served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 29 years. 


CDR Harley James Higgens

United States Navy (retired)

Harley started out enlisted as in AS in 1942 and by 1944 was advanced to Chief with permanent appointment in 1945. He was made Warrant Officer in 1937 then was advance to Chief Warrant Officer and then advance to Ensign. In 1957 he was detailed to handle President Eisenhower's communications when he went to Bermuda on the USS Canberra and received a letter from Eisenhower commending him for an excellent job. He also handled the communications for the selection of the unknown soldier from the Korean War and the burial at sea of the two that were not selected. Harley spent four years on CINCPACFLT staff during the Vietnam War, the ACOS at COMNAVFORKOREA. The last four years before retirement were spent in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was awarded the Legion of Merit twice and the Meritorious Service Medal together with the Joint Service Commendation Medal.


Webmistress: Cynde Durnford-Branecki