Veteran Stories:
Charles Howard “Chuck” McGarvie

Army

  • Charles McGarvie in Fredericton, New Brunswick, July 27th, 2010.

    Historica Canada
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"There’s no soldier can say, well, I come home and I forgot all about it. There’s no such a thing as that. You don’t, you never forget that."

Transcript

First of all, we went to [CFB] Petawawa and had some training there. And then to Sussex [Military Camp], New Brunswick; we trained there and then we boarded a boat there in February, I think it was, 1943. And we arrived in England. And we took more training in England in Aldershot [British Army Home Command]. What they called advanced training and then from there, we were shipped across to, what did they call it, from England to Ghent, Belgium. Well, that’s where we took part in the, I remember I took part in the liberation. The liberation was going full swing then. It went pretty well because we stayed in Belgium for quite a while and then in 1945, there was a big hit Holland and the North Shore [(New Brunswick) Regiment] was the one that, as everybody knows, the Canadians were the ones that liberated Holland. My twin brother, I have a twin brother, he was there with me too and he had already completed the war in Italy with [Benito] Mussolini. And he come down through there; and he went along with me. But he was lucky enough, I got hurt in Holland and; as a result, today, I’ve only got one kidney because they had no hospitals. There’s only field hospitals. But, anyway, I was lucky. My lorry [truck], we called them lorries, was blown up and I was thrown out of it. And I hit a rock and it damaged the kidney; and there was not much they could do there, but after the war, they sent me to a regimental hospital in Saint John, New Brunswick. And I was in there for a whole year before I got out. Oh, it changes a man an awful lot. There was a, it was a good ten years before I got over that, before it really leaves you. There’s no soldier can say, well, I come home and I forgot all about it. There’s no such a thing as that. You don’t, you never forget that. It’s something that’ll stick with you for quite a few years. But thank God, it does leave you, but at the same time, you’ll always remember though. All I can say, I just hope there’s never another one like it.
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