I’ll try and do my best, it maybe isn’t too much, I’ll see what I can remember of when I went into Holland and what I did. They called me “Wild Bill,” in the army because I drove a Harley Davidson motorcycle. I was a dispatch-rider. I’m sure the veterans appreciate everything you have ever done for us.

Grandpa's Army Story – emailed by his son Tom Berrow

I enlisted in the army in December 1941, at 17 years old and 120 pounds. I had tried several times before but was refused because I wasn’t old enough or heavy enough.  I was sent to England in August 1942, after 8 months of training, as a dispatch rider assigned to the 69th Canadian General Transport Company. After 2 years of training to haul tanks, we shipped out and landed on the beach in France, shortly after D-Day.  Our job was to supply ammo and rations to the front line artillery guns. I rode escort on the convoys, mainly at night with no headlights, which was quite a challenge. In Antwerp, Belgium, a V-2 rocket landed nearby, blowing an abandoned schoolhouse apart and later, in Schilda, in what they called Buzz Bomb alley, we were hit with a V-1 or DoodleBug. Luckily, we didn’t have too many casualties. We moved into Holland in March 1945, our first stop being Hertogenbosch, then to Groesbeek on April 12th, 1945.  After six days, we crossed the Rhine River at Kleve-Emmerich, and then to Oldenzaal, our last camp before the war ended.   While in Hertogenbosh, I took my Harley one evening, without permission, and headed back to Belgium for a visit. About 2 blocks from my camp a little girl ran out onto the road and I couldn’t avoid hitting her. She was lying face down without a sound and I was sure that she was dead.  A doctor appeared on the scene in moments and when he rolled her over she started to cry.  Her face was a terrible mess but he said that she would be okay. I was so relieved.  But I had a problem – I would have to report this to my officer.  The doctor spoke English so I told him what I would do.  He told the girl’s mother, who said not to report it as it wasn’t my fault.  I visited many times, taking her chocolate bars and such.  The last time I saw her, she still couldn’t eat properly, as she was missing teeth and a piece of her tongue.  I hope she is still living a good life without any scars or problems from the accident.  Not many days go by that I don’t think of that day.
Reg #K-71694, Rank PTE Berrow W.L. (or “Wild Bill”)


Buzz Bomb alley

Interview Mr. Bill Berrow
(April 2005)
WWII veteran - Dispatch Rider

Reg #K-71694, Rank PTE Berrow W.L. (or “Wild Bill”)

Liberator of the Netherlands
Photo:, June 9th, 2005
Surrey BC