Veteran Stories:
Joseph Patric “Pat” Despres

Army

  • Private Joseph "Pat" Despres, Canadian Infantry Corps, 1944.

    Pat Despres
  • Joseph "Pat" Despres, Fredericton, New Brunswick, July 27, 2010.

    Historica Canada
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"I was working in a mine and I got buried there. And I said, the army can’t be any worse than this so, hey… I was 16 years old when I went in."

Transcript

I was working in a mine and I got buried there. And I said, the army can’t be any worse than this so, hey… I was 16 years old when I went in. After I joined in, I went into basic training in Edmundston, New Brunswick [No. 71 Canadian Army (Basic) Training Centre]. And after basic training, this was in the spring, so we went to [Camp] Utopia, near Saint John, St. George. So after that training, we were transferred to [Camp] Debert, Nova Scotia. So there wasn’t a draft for overseas when the war finished. So they heard, I guess, I was coming so they quit. [laughs] We was a replacement for the Carleton and York infantry. The training on skis there in Edmundston on them hills up there and we had this guy was with us, Patrick Doiron, and he couldn’t ski at all. So he was up there, he was up on them hills; and we was having the dinner, we cooked our own dinners, [we] all laughed when he came in with his skis on his back and snow right up to his waist [laughs] because he couldn’t get used to that skiing. Everyone was happy when the war ended. I remember that day. We was on a route march between St. George and Utopia, about 11:00 in the morning, when they told us the war was over. It was fun for us, you know, we had good times. You know, lots of friends and you never get lonesome.
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