Veteran Stories:
Harry Gower

Army

  • Painting by Harry Gower, 2009-2010.

    Harry Gower
  • Painting by Harry Gower, 2009-2010.

    Harry Gower
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"And they were always thrilled to get mail and I always enjoyed giving it to them because it was, to see that they were happy and hear from home, it was a big deal for them."

Transcript

I was stationed with an English family. They took two of us, one of the men in the army with me and we lived with this English couple, actually, a Mr. and Mrs. George, and they had a young daughter named Molly. And I worked at the post office in London and the railroad station unloading boxcars, taking them to the postal station where they were sorted and delivered on to different units. That included cartons of cigarettes, which of course people were sending over by the thousands. We had a lot of fun sorting the mail. It was just tedious; it was long hours and hard work, because we had to unload trains of the shipments that came in from Canada and sort them out and send them down to the terminal, where they were sorted into units and so on and then shipped out again to the different areas of the country. From London, I was tied down in Aldershot for some time where I had delivered mail there. And we had a truck and a driver and we took mail around to different areas around the Aldershot area. One was called Hogs Back and different small towns there, where there were military units posted. And they were always thrilled to get mail and I always enjoyed giving it to them because it was, to see that they were happy and hear from home, it was a big deal for them. Because you were away from your family for several years, in some cases. I was fortunate of course because I was not in a dangerous area so a lot of people were in a much worse situation than I was. As I was interested in seeing a lot of England, one of the men that I chummed up with, we had the same interests so we went to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, of which I took photos of course. Winchester Cathedral, Romsey Abbey, St. Paul’s, Westminster, St. Ives, Torquay, Canterbury, Penzance, Bath and Land’s End. One of my neighbours in Toronto gave me an address of a relative in Scotland, in fact, two different ones; so one day I took the bus and went up to visit them in Fifeshire and spent New Year’s Day with the one family. And the other family I went to was at, what they call Rest-and-be-Thankful, which is a mountainous area on a long twisty road through the area of Port Arthur, Scotland. And I spent I think it was a week with that family. It was a great time. I really enjoyed being in the army as far as the company was concerned and so on.
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