Skip to content

York Region loses 101-year-old Second World War veteran

Markham's Jack Paley passed away Nov. 30, funeral service to be held Dec. 9
Markham Second World War veteran Jack Paley, 101, passed away Nov. 30.

York Region has lost a celebrated veteran as Markham’s Jack Paley passed away last week.

The 101-year-old was a widely recognized Second World War veteran, serving with the SAS (Special Air Service) Second Parachute Regiment in the British military and the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry. A visitation and funeral are scheduled in Markham Dec. 8 and 9.

“He will join many comrades and dear friends who have a deep understanding of war, sacrifice and courage,” his obituary said. “Jack will be reunited with (brother) Bernard and these dear souls in paradise.”

For his service, Paley has long been celebrated in York Region and beyond, including a celebration of his centennial birthday at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in 2021. He was born in the United Kingdom in 1921, with his twin brother, Bernard, passing away one month after his birth.

The Canadian Airborne Forces Association said Paley served with the British Army in its parachuted regiment, deployed in North Africa, Italy and North-West Europe. After the war, he moved to Canada and served in the Canadian Army. He has lived in Markham for 34 years.

The Canadian Tactical Officers Association recounted presenting a quilt of valour to Paley in 2021 and spoke about his service in the British military. 

“He was involved in several significant battles during the liberation of Europe,” founding member Mike Babineau said on social media. “A true warrior and Canadian hero.”

Herb Kennedy of the Edmonton branch of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Association responded to the obituary on behalf of the branch.

"Once a Patricia Always a Patricia," Kennedy wrote. "At the going down the sun and in the morning we will remember him." 

There will be a visitation at Dixon-Garland Funeral Home Markham, Dec. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m.

That will be followed by a funeral service the next day at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Markham at 1 p.m. 

The obituary said memorial donations could be made to the Markham Veterans Association, the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church or Salvation Army.