Veteran Stories:
Roy Ormiston Sr.

Army

  • Roy Ormiston in Brandon, Manitoba, May 2010

    Historica Canada
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"There were lots of times I shouldn’t have been here but I was lucky."

Transcript

At Caen [France], that’s where it was really wicked for us Canadians. And they were really set for us there. And we had a hell of a time taking them out of there. And we were put in the infantry which we knew nothing about really. But we knew how to fire a gun, that’s all you had to know. See, we [12th Manitoba Dragoons (18th Armoured Car Regiment)] were reconnaissance. We went first to find out what was going on. And we reported back. And then they would bring up whatever they figured they needed for the problem. See, we were not of any use except for used as infantry, if they haven’t gained enough ground. They had to get enough ground for us to get in there. Well, that was the first time we got into action in the sense of the word. We had lots of practice but never the true stuff. And they would send raiding parties over at night and they were always their best men too, you can be sure. And you never knew when you were going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But anyhow, we survived that, to make a long story short. And after, I don’t know how long it was but it seemed a long time at the time, three, four weeks we were sitting doing nothing except that darn guard duty, I called it. And it was a long period in the war. And then after that, they got them out of there and then they got enough room where we could get ahead and survey and find out where they were stopping and where they were going to start again and fight. So that’s the way it was all the way, leapfrogging across that part of Europe. And we were lucky and survived it all, so as I said before, everything went good for me. There were lots of times I shouldn’t have been here but I was lucky.
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