Nelson Cromwell in Army uniform.Nelson Cromwell
Nelson Cromwell at Legion Branch 67, in Weymouth, Nova Scotia, during the 2010 Remembrance Day ceremony. Nelson is one of the oldest and most decorated Second World War veterans of Weymouth, Nova Scotia.Karla Kelly
"You didn’t know, some of your friends were getting wounded and getting killed. You’d sit and think about that, he’s standing right alongside of you, of course, then he’d be gone."
I wanted to go because my uncle was in the First World War. And I wanted to go. So I enlisted on my own. He didn’t come back, he got killed overseas. We first landed in Sicily. We landed on the big boats and we got off the big boats onto the little ones. We weren’t able to go in too far because the water was quite high and quite, had a few shells landing around there. And we got off and walked a ways, and we kept on going. It was a little bit dangerous, a lot of air force bombs and all like that, you know, at nighttime. Wherever you was, they dropped bombs onto you. They got a few, some they didn’t get.
It was quite scary, but you were there and you had to stay there. Our first landing was in Sicily, we left England and landed in Sicily and then raced right up through, Sicily, Italy and Belgium, France and Holland. The real one was when the war was up in Holland. That was by the end of it, so it was pretty hard up there. You didn’t know, some of your friends were getting wounded and getting killed, and all like that. You’d sit and think about that, he’s standing right alongside of you, of course, then he’d be gone.
One of my friends, right beside me, he was from Weymouth [Nova Scotia] too. I think it was by a sniper. I’m pretty sure it was a sniper. It wasn’t one of his own men and all like that. He would be on the other side, be one of the Germans, yeah. Quite a few from Weymouth signed up. It was a nice place too. They was well… treat you good… to get something from you, getting something to eat, something like that because food was scarce. But they’d sit down, have a meal with you. I can’t remember a great lot. All I know, we were just told that the war was ended and that was it. And we celebrated with one another, that was it. We were just glad that we was on our way home. Like the song says, I’m on my way home.