born in Quebec, April 16th 1924.
Grew up in Rexton.
Enlisted in the army on the 6th
1942, at the age of 17,
with the army service corps in
from an interview in 2000
In Halifax we were ready to
board the boats.
I went down to Halifax a year or so ago and then into
Thatís were all the troop trains hollered right in
alongside the docks there. And thatís were you would
jump right of the train right on to the boat and I donít
ever remember going through that building. I know I had
to go through it but I donít ever remember.
We crossed over in 1944. The ship landed in Liverpool
We went from Southampton to France after D day.
They needed truck drivers in France. This was in
September and they were moving everything up front for
I told the Old Sergeant Major: ĒI didnít come over here
to drive trucks. I want to see some actionĒ. He sais:
ďYouíll see action if thatís what you wantĒ and the next
morning I was on the way to the front lines. It happened
that the, I think, the Royal Hamilton Infantry was back
in the rest period and they needed reinforcements and
thatís what I landed with. I landed with the Royal
Hamilton Light Infantry.
The first time. It was at night and we were parading
up. I donít know were it was. I donít know the first
thing about it. All I can remember is, you would see
tracer bullets go here and there and we were going up
this road and what we stumbled upon was a dead German on
the road and that was the first thing I remember seeing
anything in action. Sending tracer bullets and that
there was my first Ö I didnít know what to make of it at
that time and I canít remember were we landed at all.
I remember we didnít go up the road but we were going up
through the field and there were mortar bombs, thatís
what they were. But they were landing in the field and
it was all soft mud so it wasnít too bad.
We stayed in the farm. In
the barn, I think 2 or 3 nights there. I remember that
pretty well. The Medic was with us and he was more busy
with the kids and stuff. The population. They were
looking for supplies and for treatment which they didnít
And they would bring their kids over and the medic would
do them up the best he could and away they go. But after
that were did we go Ö.we went out and paraded along the
dyke and we come down to..I donít know, a little town or
a settlement or, what it was and that afternoon I
remember we stayed in a church. We stayed in a little
church there that night.
The next morning we got up Ö it seemed to me that the
South Saskatchewan Regiment had taken the canal but the
town was about a half mile up from the canal and we were
supposed to take the town the next day. We went across
the canal with little boats and stuff and got on the
other side and we started going up towards the town and
I only got up on half way. I got wounded before we got
into the town. I donít even know the name of the town. I
went back to Holland at the 50th anniversary
and this girl, she drove me all over Holland I think
trying to find that place but I never could find it. You
were young then and I wasnít worried about the names of
towns or anything else.
But I got wounded at about
10 o clock in the morning and I think I laid there for.
..Oh.. It was after dinner before they picked me up. I
donít think they knew I was there. But what it was
before. I carried a 2 inch mortar and as far as I know
the sergeant wanted to lay a smoke screen and he called
me up so I started it up but I didnít get up. We just
parted ways and thatís it. And I donít know who it was
but somebody grabbed the mortar behind me and kept on
going. I donít know who it was. Anyway, I was laying
there and the only thing I was watching was, there was a
Rotor firing Typhoon was flying on the town. I was
watching them, more I was watching that thing going then
I laid there for 2 and a half hours anyway, before and
then, Ö laying there and I heard this fellow walking on
the sidewalk and Gee I said what is that, is that
another Canadian, a German, what is it?
I was in the back of a hedge and I didnít
know what to do, whether to holler out to him or not.
Anyway I thought Iíll take a chance so I hollered out,
and he answered me: ĒnoĒ he said, Ēno I canít help you
I got shrapnel in the backĒ, he said, ĒI am going to the
hospitalĒ. Good enough, keep going. So it was quit a
while when I heard this. It was the Sergeant. ĒGodĒ, he
said, ĒI didnít know you were hereĒ. I guess nobody
knows I am here.
I remember going down. There were 4
stretchers in the Ambulance and in one of them was an
old Dutchman and was he ever cursing at the Germans, He
had walked on a landmine and broke both legs and every
bump we hit he would be in pain I would imagine. Of
course I had a compound fracture of the arm and they
tightened it right up and put a cask on.
I got wounded on the 28th
of October 1944 and returned to Canada in February 1945.
The bullet hit me in the shoulder and I imagine it was
the impact of the bullet that caused the bone to break.