Veteran Stories:
Alfred Victor Stevens

Army

  • Photo of Alfred Stevens in uniform after the war, 1945.

    Courtesy of Alfred Stevens
  • Document illustrating the journey of the Perth Regiment throughout World War Two.

  • Mr. Stevens found this pouch on the ground in France or Italy during the war.

  • These shoes were given to Mr. Stevens by his girlfriend's family in England during the war.

    Courtesy of Mr. Stevens
  • Photo of Mr. Stevens war medals.

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"It was one of those things you go through in life that you’ll never forget."

Transcript

From England where we were, they put us [The Perth Regiment] in boats, two different big boats, there would be about 150 to 200 of us and they took us down the shore until we got on the back of where we were to be battled. They never had a clue that we were going to do this. So it meant that all we had to do, we went there at night, with the ships, no lights on the ships, not a light showing anywhere, and we went along, not too far offshore, until it was just breaking daylight. They put us ashore and just coming daylight, up we go over the advance to where they [the Germans] were. They were asleep yet, you can picture this. And they were so surprised that they couldn’t move. Half them, we didn’t have to do anything to beat them, shoot them or anything. They just couldn’t put up with us coming in like that, so they dropped everything. They never even went to reach for a gun in their room where they were sleeping. And this went on until we got up past I would say, we moved along, oh, I’d say maybe 20 minutes or half hour, through all those people. And they were all, I don’t know. I would say they were so surprised that they didn’t know where they were, what we did. We pulled such a quickie on them, so we had no problem. So everything was looked after. We owned her. That was our first start. Out they got, all the Germans, out they got, over to Germany, took right off. Holland was our next move. And as it slowly, we moved up that way. Knowing that everything was safe where we were. The Germans were gone, the Holland people couldn’t wait until we got there. They were so pleased to think that we were going to take over and take them out of there and that’s what we did. We moved up and what Germans was there, we kicked them out. We didn’t even have to fire a shot. They went to the water and went across. It was only a short distance from across from where we were. Can you imagine those Holland people, they were so pleased! I saw, when we walked up, I said, well, I’ve got to tell this, I can remember walking up close to the first houses and there was women, girls, out to the edge of the street, and they all grabbed us. They hugged us, I thought we were going to smother. Honest to God, they were so pleased. The Canadians are here, you know. And it’s been that way ever since, even now. Even now. They think the world of us. I’ll never forget it because it was, I don’t even know. It was one of those things you go through in life that you’ll never forget.
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