About Colin Castle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe second picture shows Colin with his grandson Andrew – at the Vimy Ridge Canadian memorial, in France in 2012.


Colin Castle is a Canadian who was born in England on 19 January 1936. After ‘interesting’ wartime years at primary schools in Scotland and England, most of his schooling was at fee-paying boarding schools (similar to the one Rufus attended many years before). He left school at 18, spent two years in the British army in Berlin and three taking a history degree at Oxford. After brief encounters with accountancy, advertising and urban gardening, he became a history teacher in 1961 and remained one until his retirement in 1998. He met his Canadian wife, Val Johnston, on a ski trip to Austria in 1963 and they were married in London, England, in July 1964.

Their early married life was in Westmorland, England, and their two sons were born there. However, in 1969, they uprooted their small family and emigrated to Kelowna, BC, where Colin had found a job teaching history and social studies in what is now West Kelowna. Their daughter was born in 1971 and the three children grew up in the Okanagan. The family skied and skated in winter and the children played sports – mainly soccer. Summer holidays, when they weren’t spent visiting the UK, were a blur of camping at mountain fishing lakes and swimming or sailing in the big lake. Christmases were usually with Val’s parents in Vancouver, and they considered their countless perilous trips over Allison Pass on studded winter-tires to be just part of living in the interior. The children thrived on it and, in order of age, now live and work in Victoria, Vancouver and Glasgow.

 Since his retirement, Colin Castle has written four books:

  • Lucky Alex a biography of Group Captain Alex Jardine (2001);

  • Canada’s Story – an (as yet) unpublished history of Canada for children;

  • a family history of the antecedents and descendants of Allan C. Macdiarmid and Grace B. McClure, his Scottish grandparents; and now

  • Rufus, the life of the Canadian journalist who interviewed Hitler – to be published soon by Granville Island Publishing, a biography of the foreign correspondent Lukin Johnston who, in 1933, died tragically at the age of 46.

4 thoughts on “About Colin Castle

    1. He was a good-looking guy in his early years but his looks were wearing thin by his forties.But his face was never his fortune – rather, it was his flaming red hair and his singing voice. As a choir-boy, he was known to the clerics at Canterbury Cathedral as the Flaming Seraph!

  1. Colin:

    Have you done any ancestry searching? My grandfather (Harry Thomas Castle was born in England on September 17th, 1886. He had 4 brothers and 5 sisters. My grandfather and one of his brothers, Charles, lived in Calgary. My father, Richard Harry Castle was born in Nanton, AB on September 10th, 1916. I am wondering if we might be related.


    Art Castle

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