John Boileau served in the Canadian Army for 37 years, retiring as a colonel in 1999. During his army career, he was stationed across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Cyprus, in various command, staff and training appointments. He is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick, the United States Army Armour Officer Advanced Course, the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, the British Army Staff College and the British Royal College of Defence Studies. During his last five years of service he was Military Attaché at the Canadian High Commission, London, England, and was also accredited as Canada’s first Military Attaché to the Republic of Ireland.
In retirement, John has commenced a second career as a writer and has authored nearly 475 magazine and newspaper articles, as well as 11 books. In 2005, the Year of the Veteran, he wrote Valiant Hearts: Atlantic Canada and the Victoria Cross. His most recent book, Old Enough to Fight: Canada’s Boy Soldiers in the First World War, will be followed this fall by a companion volume, Too Young to Die: Canada’s Boy Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen in the Second World War.
John is a Governor and Past Chairman of the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires. He is also a Director of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Society, the Nova Scotia Army Cadet League and Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) Regimental Society. He is a life member of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association (Cavalry) and the Halifax Rifles Armoury Association, as well as a member of the Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia and the Titanic Society of Atlantic Canada. John is currently the Honorary Colonel of the Halifax Rifles, as well as Chairman of the recently-formed Halifax Military Heritage Preservation Society. In 2012, John received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the history and heritage of Nova Scotia.