Veteran Stories:
J. Kenneth Davy

Navy

  • The White Ensign, the official Royal Naval flag. Mr. Davy asked the signals operator on board the HMCS Forest Hill to fly the flag when they heard about VE-Day. The HMCS Forest Hill was a day outside of Halifax when they heard the news.

    J. Kenneth Davy
  • HMCS Forest Hill, the corvette on which J. Kenneth Davy served as a sick bay attendant and looked after the health of over 100 men.

    J. Kenneth Davy
  • Crest of the HMCS Forest Hill. It was designed by the Disney Studio.

    J. Kenneth Davy
  • J. Kenneth Davy's Navy uniform with the crest on the arm identifying him as a sick bay attendant. This jacket was not government issue, or a "pusser" as it was called. Sailors preferred to buy their jackets themselves.

    J. Kenneth Davy
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"Sometimes now, years afterwards, I find myself almost getting a cold sweat thinking of the responsibility of looking after all those people with my miniscule medical training."

Transcript

My full name is John Kenneth Davy, but I'm more often known as Ken Davy. I was quite young when the war broke out. I think I was thirteen years old, and it certainly was a point of great interest for me at that age, and I really never thought that I would be old enough to serve in it. I joined the Navy band at HMCS Star in Hamilton when I was sixteen. In my seventeenth year, I coaxed my father into allowing me to go into active service. He had been a veteran of the First World War and had a very tough time of it, and wasn't too keen on his only son going off to war. But I finally won him over by convincing him that I should go into the medical section of the Navy, as it was non-combatant. Anyway, I had really no interest in medicine whatsoever, but I won the day and I joined the Navy as a probationary sick-bay attendant. I trained at HMCS York in Toronto for a month, and then went down to Halifax and took so-called 'medical training' at the hospital in HMCS Stadacona. I was on active service throughout the war for two years. I was posted to a Corvette, the HMCS Forest Hill. Our ship was on what they called the 'Triangle Run'. This was to convoy merchant ships from the United States ports of New York and Boston through to St. John's Newfoundland, and back to Halifax. The ships were then picked up by mid-ocean escorts and carried across the Atlantic. Often people think that it was a fairly safe area, being on this side of the Atlantic, as all the war seemed to be taking place overseas. In fact, the German submarines throughout a good part of the war were very active along the eastern seaboard, and right down almost to Quebec City in the St. Laurence River, so the shipping losses were quite high. Sometimes now, years afterwards, I find myself almost getting a cold sweat thinking of the responsibility of looking after all those people with my miniscule medical training.
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