Veteran Stories:
Jean Hubbard

Army

  • Jean Hubbard and Joan Fawell in Niagara Falls, 1944.

    Jean Hubbard
  • Jean and Tom Hubbard at their wedding in 1947.

    Jean Hubbard
  • Jean and Tom Hubbard after their engagment in Kitchener , Ontario, 1944. Tom was serving in the Tank Corps at the time.

    Jean Hubbard
  • Jean Hubbard with her father who was in the RCMP in Manitoba, 1945.

    Jean Hubbard
  • Jean Hubbard (2nd from the left) cuts the cake at her 18th birthday and induction into the Canadian Woman's Army Corps in 1944.

    Jean Hubbard
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"he kept saying, I’m going to marry a girl from Flin Flon Manitoba. So I thought, well, that was nice that whatever happened overseas, like in Vegas stays in Vegas, he came back and we were married"

Transcript

My first night in the army, I was in the top bunk when the fire alarm went off and I jumped out of bed, forgetting I was up there, fell on my hands and knees and cracked my nose, which later on, a veteran doctor said, oh, you’ve broken your nose earlier on. After swearing in, my sister was also CWAC [Canadian Women’s Army Corps] and when I got to the room, there she was with the sergeant and the officer and a photographer. And I noticed a cake on the table with one candle on it, which was for my first day of the army and my 18th birthday. That was kind of fun and was a picture for the Winnipeg Free Press for recruitment. The most exciting part I think of being in the army was meeting my future husband on a troop train. As our group went through the men’s coach for dinner, they all went, “whoo-hoo, hey, girls!” and our officer said, keep going. Coming back was the same, we had to go smartly back to our coach and the next day as we came back from breakfast, lo and behold, we were allowed to mingle with the men as the two officers stayed at the back of the coach. And I met Tom Hubbard from a little town in Saskatchewan, Maidstone. And we just hit it off so well and when he got off the train at Borden, I had tears and so did he. We corresponded and we met two weekends before he went overseas. I sent cookies and candy and cigarettes and letters went back and forth and he was in the tank corps and innocent me, I thought, oh no problem, he is going to be quite safe in his tank. Well, apparently, that wasn’t so but kept me feeling good. Another thing, a girlfriend and I were down in Niagara [Falls], New York, for a weekend and we saw the parade going across the Rainbow Bridge to Niagara [Falls], New York. And we were in Niagara Falls. So we thought, why not? So we got on the end of the parade, walked across and then we were being waved at and whatnot. Got to the other side, went, just walking around the streets and two burly sergeants came up and said, have you young ladies got a pass to be in the States and we said, no. And they said, well, I think we’d better walk you back across the bridge before you’re in trouble. Which they did, took us to dinner, met us the next day for breakfast and saw us to the bus. And we thought that was pretty exciting for 18-year olds. We were young; we were ready for adventure, first time away from home. It was pretty exciting. And I don’t think we really thought about the future. I don’t think the fellows did. They just knew they had to go to war and they didn’t think, I may not come back, really. I may be there for a lot of years. I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t remember [him] because we’d only had two weekends together, which were very, yes, they were very -what am I trying to say - very innocent. We went to the service center, we danced and we had, we played the games and things. And so we really hadn’t got to know each other that well although he wouldn’t let me go to the train with him when he left. And I thought, well, that wasn’t very friendly. And a friend of his said, no, he didn’t want you to see him cry when he left. And I thought that was so sweet. The soldiers were coming off the train, I knew which one he’d be on and there was a little old lady standing near me who didn’t seem to be excited about meeting anybody. And when he came off, he had his kit bag and he put it down and she said, I’ll look after the kit bag - go! And so we had our reunion and I thought, oh no, I remember him! But this little old lady was just there to see all the returned soldiers coming back and to be part of it. She probably had lost some in the war, so. But no, it was very special and oh, it was just, … just a dream come true that he had come back. And he had spoken to one of his friends overseas, who told me this later, he said, he kept saying, I’m going to marry a girl from Flin Flon Manitoba. So I thought, well, that was nice that whatever happened overseas, like in Vegas stays in Vegas, he came back and we were married in 1947.
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