CBC Digital Archives

Matthew Halton remembered by colleagues

"This is Matthew Halton of the CBC." So began Halton's war broadcasts. His reports were at times tender and sad and other times shocking and explosive. Halton was an unabashed sentimentalist who covered the war as a crusade, for which he was sometimes criticized but more often loved. Covering the major milestones of his generation – from the war trenches to the coronation of the Queen, Halton became Canada's most famous foreign correspondent. A thoughtful philosopher and determined idealist, Matthew Halton was an everyman poet who wore his heart boldly on his sleeve.

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At the age of 52, Matthew Halton passes away following stomach surgery to remove an ulcer in London. In this CBC Radio report, his colleagues remember Halton as a passionate idealist, an eloquent chronicler, a mentor, family man, and a perfect host of deep sympathy. "He cared about human freedom, human dignity and the right to live a life in peace," CBC journalist Norman DePoe explains. "Because he cared, he made us care too."
• Over the course of his career, Matthew Halton covered the Spanish Civil War, the Russo-Finnish War, conflict in the Middle East and the Second World War.

• Halton received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) award in 1945. The award was created in 1917 to honour combatants and citizens, including foreigners, aiding in the war effort.

• Halton acted as the CBC's foreign correspondent in Europe until his death in 1956. He covered the Queen's coronation in 1953, describing the procession in vivid detail. His last assignment was covering the Suez Canal crisis.
Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News Special
Broadcast Date: Dec. 10, 1956
Guest(s): Andrew Cowan, Norman DePoe, Richard Dimbleby, Don Fairbairn, Gilbert Harding, Charles Lynch, Rooney Peletier, George Rogers, Wynford E. Vaughan-Thomas
Host: J. Frank Willis
Duration: 22:16
Photo: National Archives PA 207726

Last updated: November 1, 2012

Page consulted on April 17, 2014

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