Accession consists of records documenting the Heaps family. Included are general letters and postcards, wartime correspondence, political materials, photographs, and newsclippings. Of note is a 1948 letter written (but perhaps not sent) to David Ben-Gurion describing various issues he was finding with the Israeli army. There is also a great deal of correspondence between Leo, David and A. A. during the war, including some letters describing his escape from Arnhem and a letter describing the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945.
Leo Heaps (1923-1995) was born in Winnipeg in 1923, the son of A. A. Heaps and Bessie Morris. His father A. A. was a founder of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, the forerunner of the New Democratic Party. Leo Heaps was raised in Winnipeg and received an education at Queen's University, the University of California, and McGill University. During the Second World War, at the age of 21, Heaps was seconded to the British Army and found himself commanding the 1st Battalion's Transport. He participated in the Battle of Arnhem as a paratrooper.
Leo Heaps was awarded the Royal Military Cross for his work with the Dutch Resistance. His brother, David, had also achieved the same distinction, thereby making them the only Jewish brothers during the Second World War to win the decoration. After the war, Heaps went to Israel and aided their army in the establishment of mobile striking units. Whilst there, he met his wife-to-be, Tamar (1927-). Together they had one son, Adrian, and three daughters, Karen, Gillian, and Wendy.
During the Hungarian Revolution he led a special rescue team to bring refugees out and across the border. In the mid-1960s he returned to Britain where he dabbled in various entrepreneurial projects as well as writing several books, notably "The Grey Goose of Arnhem", telling his own story of Arnhem, the aftermath of the battle, and also the stories of other Arnhem evaders and their dealings with the Resistance.
Leo Heaps spent most of his life in Toronto, Canada, and was amongst the forty Canadian veterans who returned to Arnhem in 1994 to mark the 50th anniversary. He died in 1995.