Veteran Stories:
Gordon Hansford

Army

  • Gordon Hansford, with Monte Cassino in the distance, during a trip to Italy in 1985.

  • Gordon Hansford's Army-issue canteen that, in Italy, was used more for wine than water because the safety of the drinking water there could not be trusted.

  • While fighting in Ortona, bayonets, like this one, were often used by jamming them into the side of a wall and hanging a grenade on them so soldiers could blow a hole through a wall. It was safer to work through town this way than use the streets.

  • Medal from the City of Ravenna, Italy, the last city to be liberated by Allied Armies.

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"...I was attached to different units in the 1st Canadian Infantry Division all the way up Italy."

Transcript

My name is Gordon Hansford, and I live in Kemptville, Nova Scotia. During the Second World War, I served in England and went to North Africa for a short while. I landed in Sicily at a place called Augusta. I went to the 1st Canadian Infantry Division. At that time, I belonged to the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps, and I was attached to different units in the 1st Canadian Infantry Division all the way up Italy. And later on, I was transferred over from the 8th Army (we were with the 8th Army at that time) to the 5th Army, on the west coast of Italy. I ended up with the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade. Then, later on, we were transferred up into Belgium and Holland, and I was at that time transferred over to the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. We ended up in Oldenburg, Germany. That was the last place where we were.
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