Veteran Stories:
Harold McCarthy

Army

  • Harold McCarthy (wearing a kilt) and his friend in Camp Borden, Ontario, July or August 1940. The picture is the last time Harold McCarthy saw his friend, who was killed on D-Day.

    Harold McCarthy
  • Harold McCarthy's Service Medals: 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal; War Medal (1939-45).

    Harold McCarthy
  • Irish Regiment of Canada's Pin.

    Harold McCarthy
  • The Irish Regiment of Canada's Pins, with an Irish harp and the motto "Fior Go Bas".

    Harold McCarthy
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"Anyway, I started to get to the back of the carrier and I got hit. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t walk, so I crawled out to the road, which was quite a distance"

Transcript

So the Toronto Scottish [Regiment (Machine Gun)] became a Bren Gun [Universal] carrier [lightly armoured tracked vehicle], so I was driving a Bren Gun carrier. So when we eventually went to Europe, we were a Bren Gun carrier outfit. Oh, I guess about the second or third day there, we were crossing a field and we came under fire, so we stopped. You wonder why you stop when you come under fire, but these are things that happened. So I heard a cry from the first carrier, it was the one with the officer in it. So I ran over there and I saw the officer laying kind of half in and half out of this trench they started to build. I don’t know why you’re building a trench when you’ve got carriers, the same thing, but however. So I called for the stretcher bearer or for the first aid chap, when he came I went back to my carrier and I figured, well, I don’t know what, I had only had the sergeant in my carrier. He was off, I guess he was off making sure everybody was, whatever they were doing, I don’t know. Anyway, I started to get to the back of the carrier and I got hit. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t walk, so I crawled out to the road, which was quite a distance; and just as I got to the road, a jeep came along with a stretcher on top of it, so they picked me up and took me to the hospital. I presumed I was operated on in the hospital and then transferred back to England. The first thing I remember is being on the boat going back to England. So that meant I went to another different company and different outfit. Then after two months, I had two months in the hospital and whatever, and after two months I went back to the continent. By this time, we had just taken Brussels actually. Because I was a driver, although I was a driver mechanic, because I was a driver, what you did when you were there, you went on parade every morning and then you got called out for some whatever it was, then you went there. Otherwise, you had the day off. Well, the first day, I had the day off and we went to Brussels actually and the next day, I got, because I’m a driver, I got assigned to an artillery services unit. So that was the end of my fighting days, if you will. When we were in Nijmegen, we spent a winter in Nijmegen, waiting for the, like, because of the winter, right. The people were very good. I’m in the auxiliary services, but this time we were in Holland. I had access to a lot of the candies and supplies and whatnot, so we treated the kids. They really thought we were great Canadians because we were giving them candies and cookies, and all kinds of stuff. The Holland people were very, very appreciative of the Canadians.
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