Regular dad was crack WWII code breaker
To his four kids, he was a regular dad with some irregular talents. Cliff Stewart could fix the family toaster in a blink. Radios, television sets, family cars — anything with wires that went on the fritz, and out came the tools.
“His ability to solve problems — his technical skills — he could always figure something out and make it work. He could literally fix anything,” said Tom Stewart, his eldest son.
To his family, Cliff Stewart was Dad, the super-whiz. But to his World War II comrades, Cliff Stewart was something else. Behind the extraordinary technical talents around the house was an extraordinary secret, a tale of intrigue and espionage that featured Mr. Stewart at the centre of it as a super spy and code breaker.
It was an occupation he never, ever, spoke about, not until the last years of a long life that ended when Mr. Stewart passed away at his home in suburban Charlottetown last weekend. He was 91.
Mr. Stewart’s spent time at Camp X, a top-secret training facility in southern Ontario where he honed his craft with budding assassins, demolitions experts, frogmen, forgers, a man called Intrepid and Ian Fleming, a British naval intelligence trainee and future author of the James Bond books.