John Griffin, a member of the Swift Current Legion Branch 56, grew up with the history of the Canadian military ingrained in his blood. 

Due to family ties, Griffin has spent countless hours researching and building a book that details the statistics and histories of those that fought in the 8th Recce. 

Long before Griffin was born, his grandfather, John Ivor Griffin was a trooper in the 8th, and lied about his age in order to serve as a Bren gunner with the reconnaissance unit. 

The book, ‘Compiled Information on the 8th Recce (14th Canadian Hussars)’, has been available at the Swift Current Legion since its completion last year. 

Photo from Camp Borden (now CFB Borden), Ontario, winter 1942His grandfather, John Ivor Griffin dons the cover of the book (far right with tilted helmet).

Although Griffin did not originally intend to publish said book, international interest in the project became prevalent. 

“Originally, when I started the project, it was kind of going to be just the one for the legion and that was kind of going to be it,” he explained. “The amount of interest that there was in the project and in the book at the Legion, kind of made me rethink my position there as I had quite a bit of interest. Way more than I thought I ever would, even from as far away as the Netherlands, and France. 

“Pretty much just all around the world, there's been quite a bit of interest. I decided, there's so much interest in this, why don't I produce a commercial copy that people can purchase and then have one at home?” 

Griffin began the project in an effort to learn more about his family history. He began with extensive research on his grandfather, digging deep, researching his comrades in arms, and stories from when he served. 

While researching, he found out that a written history of the 209th Swift Current Battalion from the First World War was located at the Swift Current Legion. 

Griffin noticed that they did not have one from the local regiment during the Second World War and sought to rectify the situation. 

He noted that the published book is extremely similar to the copy displayed at the legion, with a few tweaks to make it more user-friendly. 

“The only difference is it's got a slightly different format,” he explained. “It’s a lot easier to read instead of being straight information, just for reader usability. It also has some updated information, with each of the military awards, it has a paragraph that kind of explains when the award was incorporated, the sort of criteria that would be required to be awarded that award, and that kind of thing.” 

back of a book

The commercial version of the book was self-published by Griffin through Amazon Kindle Direct and is his first published book. 

Griffin has sold 65 copies worldwide and also worked with Joel Stopples Battlefield Tours in the Netherlands, for historic battlefield tours across the Netherlands and Europe. 

The cover image of the book features Griffin’s great grandfather, John Ivor Griffin, and was taken at Camp Borden (now CFB Borden) in Ontario, in the winter of 1942. 

It is available in paperback and hard copy on Amazon and on Griffin’s website

Right now, all signed hardcover copies of the book come with a limited-edition print of the cover photo made from the original photograph in Griffin’s personal collection. Each print comes with a certificate of authenticity.