Veteran Stories:
Garnet Elias Bourgaize

Army

  • Garnet Bourgaize in uniform during wartime years.

    Garnet Bourgaize
  • Garnet Bourgaize on July 12, 2010.

    Historica Canada
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"I got wounded there in France; my arm, my hand. My right arm was all smashed. I hurt my leg too at the same time. I’ll tell you what happened was they dropped a hand grenade."

Transcript

Well, I spent five years over there. I went 1940 to 1945. It was okay, a lot of bombing there in England. Oh, you didn’t know when you went to bed, if in the morning your building would be blown up or something. I was in Manchester when they dropped the bomb there where I was sleeping; the bomb went right down, scorched the side of the bed going down, right in the basement. The bomb dropped, you know. Lucky it didn’t explode, it only just burned like the side of the bed, went right through, went right to the basement. People there, they had all little buildings that they’d go in, cement buildings for them, for bombs. They were bombed so much, you know. Yeah, it wasn’t very nice. I joined in the [Royal Canadian] Engineers. If the trucks went to pass, cross over the river and if there was no bridge, they couldn’t pass; we had to make a bridge for them to get across. That’s what happened. Depends on the river, how big the river was. If the river was only small, well, you’d just put the pieces across, that heavy lumber, put it across like this and then you put the boards on top and all that. Heavy lumber anyway. It had to be heavy lumber for the trucks to pass on them. Depends on the men you had. Sometimes it didn’t take very long but take about, I’d say about five, six hours. You had to be in a hurry. Everything was in a hurry, everything, get that done. Sometimes it would take longer, just depends. Depends on the river too. I got wounded there in France; my arm, my hand. My right arm was all smashed. I hurt my leg too at the same time. I’ll tell you what happened was they dropped a hand grenade. They put splinters on my hand there, a little, six splinters and they bandaged it all up. After I come back there, I was just about six months in the hospital in Quebec, they had to break it all over again. Then they sent me back, in 1945, the troops was coming back at that time; that’s the time they sent me back. I landed in Halifax.
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