Veteran Stories:
Fred George Lackey

Army

  • Fred Lackey training on a Norton motorcyle in Ashtead, England, 1942.

    Fred Lackey
  • Fred and Ida Lackey posing for the camera in traditional Dutch costume during their honeymoon, Volendam, The Netherlands, December 1945.

    Fred Lackey
  • Juno Beach at 18:30 hours on June 6, 1944.

    Fred Lackey
  • Fred Lackey's medals (left to right): 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal; War Medal (1939-45); Normandy Medal.

    Fred Lackey
  • Fred and Ida Lackey on their wedding day, December 5, 1945, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands.

    Fred Lackey
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"We had a nice landing; there was a lot of activity going on, but we expected that."

Transcript

I was in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. I took most of my basic training in Kingston at Vimy Barracks and then I went overseas from there. Landed in Greenock, Scotland, the Clyde, and then I went from there down to a place called Cove. It’s near Farnborough Airport; and that’s where the signal corps did all their training. And then I went to Ashtead, which is near Leatherhead. We were billeted there in private homes. I went out and worked for the Southern Railroad for nine months, repairing lines that were being blown down by the Germans. So we put them back up. We stayed in boarding cars down in a place called Woking. I came back from there and started getting training, I guess, for D-Day. We landed at a place called Sword Beach; it was with the 50th British [Northumbrian Infantry] Division. It’s right near Juno Beach, probably beside it. That’s where we landed about 6:30 at night. We had a nice landing; there was a lot of activity going on, but we expected that. Some German cables had been put in the ground along the beach, different [cables] each to do with their war effort; and we were to see if we could find them. Well, we finally ended up, we got a couple of French, well, they worked for the French telephone people. They showed us where it was; and we went in and cut the thing, and that was it. I worked from there all up and down the coast for a bit, then we went up to Falaise, just worked our way all the way up the coast in France and into Belgium, and then into Holland. I was just at the Reichswald Forest when the war ended. I had spent some time up in Groningen, which is in Holland. But we worked repairing lines and stuff that were destroyed. We were repairing lines, both the private and the ones the army put in ourselves. We put our lines in ourselves a lot of places. We would go and repair them, here, there and all over, I guess that’s the way you’d put it. I met her [Ida, his wife-to-be] at the 99 Club and eventually we got engaged and decided to get married on December the fifth [1945]. And that was about it. We had a nice honeymoon up in Amsterdam.
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