Veronica Foster the Bren Gun Girl was a non-smoker, except on the occasion of a wartime NFB photo shoot

Old Mill Toronto has a close connection with military history.

By way of example, I recently learned, on a CBC The Current broadcast, that Veronica Foster – also known as Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl during the Second World War – performed as a musician at Old Mill Toronto during the postwar years.

Despite the image associated with her “Ronnie” persona, Veronica Foster was a non-smoker. At an event at the Small Arms Building at Dixie Road and Lakeshore Blvd. East in Mississauga, her daughter informed me that Veronica Foster only smoked when asked to, during the National Film Board photo session that established her persona as Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl.

A Nov. 10, 2015 CBC The Current article, which includes a link to a video about Veronica Foster, is entitled: “Famous across Canada as ‘Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl’, meet Veronica Foster.”

Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl: Veronica Foster. Source: Libraries & Archives of Canada PA – 119766. Veronica Foster was actually a non-smoker, her daughter informed me some time ago. She only smoked for the photo session where this photo and others were taken.

Old Mill Toronto is also the site of the Malcolm Campbell High School 60s Reunion & Celebration of the 60s, which took place on Oct. 17, 2015.


A Feb. 7, 2019 Unwritten Histories article is entitled: “Guest Post: Rosie the Riveter and Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl: Exploring the Historical Roots of a Gendered Visual Symbol.”


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