"It went, bang, landed right between me and the sergeant, threw my helmet off and then I never seen the sergeant since."
They were just ahead a bit, not too far. They heard the bang, then someone said, well, Newcombe got it over there, so then he knew it was me, so then he come over. Then after a while I went to the hospital. My second cousin, he was there too. He got wounded to the legs. We were all in there together, in the hospital. A big shell come down and struck between me and the sergeant, you know, there. It blew and drove in my knee. Because we [had] dug in about two or three times that day, moving up, I said, boy I can’t stand this too much longer and he [the sergeant] said, no. So it started to rain a little bit, so we took our ground sheets and the put the ground sheet over, to keep it from getting wet and didn’t have time to dig, and a big shell come over. It went, bang, landed right between me and the sergeant, threw my helmet off and then I never seen the sergeant since. I think, about later, three days, or two days, I guess, they took me to an old house and they were bombing that before we got back to the hospital. Then I never seen the sergeant since. I don’t know if he got killed or what because I was at the hospital there for a month or more, in the hospital.
They gave me a job there [at the hospital] after I was wounded. See, I couldn’t go back in the war. So I worked there in the kitchen in the hospital, serving the people, in the kitchen with three Italians. We did three meals a day… they wouldn’t take nothing off the plates, you know, to take home so, you know, they was pretty poor people, but they were awful good. One woman and two fellows was there. But I treated them all right, they treated me all right. But they couldn’t take anything out to the gates, take it off the plates and put it in their sacks; they wouldn’t get it out of there. But they never did anything like that.
Then I took sick and went to the hospital, and they put me in there. I was sick and went to the hospital ward. They come in, visited me pretty near every day. Yes, they were nice people like that. So then I gave them some stuff that they didn’t eat, you know, good stuff like cookies and stuff that was leftover, some people didn’t eat it. So I told her, you take it. I said, put it in your sack and take off. And they went home, yeah.
He was married before he left, and he had one child, but he didn’t see it. His babies, he didn’t see them. He had twins. Then he got a partial [leave] just an evening before we were in the war, you know, to take off. Then he said, Newcombe, do you ever think we’ll see Murphy’s Cove [Nova Scotia] anymore (that’s where we were brought up at)? He said, do you think we’ll get back home again? Oh, I said, I think so, I imagine, I don’t know, but you’ve got to take a chance on that. Then he got a big cake there from his wife. He chopped it up, gave me a piece and some of his friends there. Then he said, goodbye. The colonel come in and said, you’re taking off, he said, in about an hour’s time, he said. He says, good luck to you. So he was two or three days at the Hitler Line [German defensive line in central Italy] and then bang, he got it there then, yeah. But he never come back. He got right through, hit by a sniper, got it right through the head like that. He just slumped right over back. That was it. Yeah.