Veteran Stories:
Duncan Nickles

Army

  • The Memory Project, Historica Canada
Enlarge Image
Listen to this story

"We were in England about a year and about a month or so after D-Day, we left England and went over to France and then we joined the 2nd Canadian Corps. We moved up the coast, up along through Belgium and Holland, and up as far as Germany. We just got inside the German border when the war was over."

Transcript

I was in a sound ranging troop [pinpointed enemy gun positions for artillery neutralization]. We have a system set up, but it was, I think it’s five or six mikes [microphones], about 1,000 feet apart and all they’re hooked up to a headquarters’ machine. Then there’s an advance post that when they hear guns go off, they turn on a recorder back in what they call headquarters, and it takes a picture of the different mikes.

The way it works is that each one of these mikes has a little disk with wires across it. When the sound strikes it, the current is going through this disk all the time and when the sound strikes it, there’s a flux that kicks on the wire and it kicks back on the machine in headquarters, and it’s all recorded. Then by means of what they call a totem board, we had a sound call for different mikes and that’s for gun location, that’s what it’s for.

We were in England about a year and about a month or so after D-Day, we left England and went over to France and then we joined the 2nd Canadian Corps. We moved up the coast, up along through Belgium and Holland, and up as far as Germany. We just got inside the German border when the war was over.

We had a 1,500 [tonne] weight truck and see, we had mike crews, you know, I told you about these mikes we put out with the disks in them? Well, each mike had a crew that looked after it. We had to run wires to the mike and we traveled pretty well in the 1,500 weight truck.

When we got over in France and that, we had mostly what they called M and V [mutton and vegetable stew, an unpopular military ration] in tins. It was mutton and vegetable, but I don’t know. I think it was goat probably. It wasn’t too hot. The only thing was, we used to get a very good pudding. It used to come in tins and was sweet and we really enjoyed it, but there was a lot of wasps over there in the summer. They like the dessert too.

Follow us