Veteran Stories:
Ardwell H. Eyres

Army

  • The Ile de France coming into Halifax harbour, January 26, 1946.

  • The Lady Nelson Hospital Ship where A.H. Eyres was posted on May 30, 1944. Although part of the Army, Mr. Eyres worked on ships as part of the Embarkation Transit Unit, seeing soldiers across the ocean and back again.

  • (left) Railway tickets, furlough pass and meal ticket that Ardwell Eyres used on his way home upon discharge from the Army, April 28, 1945. (right) Shore leave passes Mr. Eyres used while his ship was docked in New York City harbour

  • Photo of Ardwell Eyres before he left for duty with the Embarkation Transit Unit. June 1944, Lindsay, Ontario.

  • Guidebook for soldiers stopping in New York City, issued by the New York Telephone Company. This guide gave soldiers directions to theatres, meals and, for the Canadian troops, The Maple Leaf Club, located on 5th Avenue.

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"We ran the triangle: New York, Pier 92, Halifax Pier 21."

Transcript

My name is Ardwell – Art Eyres. I was born in Cameron, Ontario, on April 29th 1924. I joined the army at College and Yonge St. on April the 29th 1943. I stayed in the horse palace for a couple of weeks. Basic training in Newmarket, then sent to the Signals Corps., Vimy Barracks, in Kingston, Ontario. On May the 12th 1944 I was sent to Halifax for embarkation transit unit. On May the 31st 1944, left Halifax on the Lady Nelson hospital ship – an ex-CN banana boat.

I made one round trip to Liverpool. On August the 10th 1944, I left Halifax for New York, and boarded the troopship Ile de France, No. 10 Ship Staff. At Pier 93, I saw the Normandy on her side after a fire had caused her to sink. We sailed from Pier 92 with Bing Crosby aboard, plus about ten thousand US military. We arrived in Gurock, Scotland on November the 11th 1944. I made about fifteen round trips on the Ile de France. We ran the triangle: New York, Pier 92, Halifax Pier 21. And one trip Boston to Gurock, Scotland, where we swung on the hook, and one trip to Southamton. We averaged about nine days per crossing. Yes, I was only sea sick once on the Lady Nelson.

I left the Ile de France on October 5th 1945, and was discharged in Toronto on April 29th 1946.

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