Veteran Stories:
Romuald Fournier

Army

  • Romuald Fournier's Service Medals (reversed, from left to right): Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and War Medal (1939-45).

    Romuald Fournier
  • Romuald Fournier in uniform, October 1941.

    Romuald Fournier
  • Cap badge of the Canadian Provost Corps.

    Romuald Fournier
  • Romuald Fournier, 2010.

    Romuald Fournier
Enlarge Image
Listen to this story

"For a young man from the Gaspé, it was incredible."

Transcript

I would have enlisted sooner, but my father needed me. I enlisted with friends from school. There were several of us, including some anglophones who joined the Royal Rifles of Canada and went to Hong Kong. There were three veterans of the First World War. I had to choose which regiment I wanted to join. I had some friends who were in the Canadian Provost Corps. I had the opportunity to have an interview with the Depot Commander, Major Draper. I was bilingual … It was my ease in communicating that helped me. At the train station, I had to check that each soldier getting on the train had first a leave pass, then a ticket. We worked the Gare du Palais train station in Quebec City and the Lévis train station, near Lévis. We patrolled the trains. Sometimes we would turn a blind eye and let one through. Poor little soldiers; we weren’t all that bad. The ship Queen Elizabeth arrived with German prisoners. It had gone around Africa. There were 11 trains that had left the station in New York. We went all the way to British Columbia and Alberta, through the Rocky Mountains. They were war prisoners from the Afrika Korps [the German expeditionary force that had fought in the North African campaign]. For a young man from the Gaspésie, that was huge. I ended up in Victoria and was transferred to Nanaimo. We patrolled the streets and the dance halls. We were essentially bouncers. There was a brawl in Halifax. The worst were the civilians. We caught people burning fur coats. They had surely stolen them. We entered a house where they were burning a fur coat. I remember that. It was shocking. We had to deal with soldiers and civilians. I was lost, there was no work. We had a small allowance. When you’ve spent four and a half years in the army getting kicked in the backside and being ordered about, sometimes unjustly, you feel pretty lost.
Follow us