Veteran Stories:
Conrad A. Tremblay

Army

  • Unidentified comrades of Conrad Tremblay in Aurich, Germany during the Occupation of Germany, June 1945.

    Conrad Tremblay
  • Conrad Tremblay (first on left) sits with fellow comrades in Aurich, Germany during the Occupation of Germany, June 1945.

    Conrad Tremblay
  • Conrad Tremblay in Aurich, Germany, June 1945.

    Conrad Tremblay
  • Conrad Tremblay's Soldier's Service and Pay Book, 1944.

    Conrad Tremblay
  • Conrad Tremblay's Discharge Certificate from the Canadian Army, 1946.

    Conrad Tremblay
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"I could hear some talking in there and went to the root house and the whole family was in the root house, praying. They’d been told that we were awful people. With the little bit of German that I knew, I told them that they were alright, they could come out, we won’t do them any harm."

Transcript

Well, in July 1943, I went to Thunder Bay [Ontario] and tried to enlist in the army at the time and was not accepted because I had to have my parents’ permission to join up because I wasn’t 18. So there was no way that I’d get my mother’s permission anyways. So then, in July 1944, I was past 18, I went and enlisted on July the 27th and was accepted and was given seven days' leave to finalize my affairs. Started basic training August the 15th. I had Phil Apps as a corporal, a training corporal, finished basic training September 30th, went to advanced training, Camp Ipperwash [Ontario], finished December 16th, 1944, given seven days' leave, returned to camp, packing up to go to the east coast to wait for a ship to take us to England.

Then we were shipped to the continent stationed at Ghent, Belgium, for a week. While there, slept next to a private that developed diphtheria. So I was put into quarantine for two days. They told me it was going to be seven days but I only was in there for two days. Then was shipped to the frontlines and I joined The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry and they were just outside the Hochwald Forest, just before Xanten [Germany]. Advanced to the Rhine River, pulled back in rest in the Hochwald Forest for two weeks in preparation for the crossing of the Rhine River.

Crossed the Rhine River in early March at Rees. Then we marched into Holland, had a few skirmishes, one we had at the crossing at Twente Canal. Then the city of Assen. Had a difficult time taking the city of Groningen. There we were pulled out of the line for a rest. The rest lasted only one day. Then trucked into Germany just outside Bremen, then forward towards Oldenburg. We were advancing and we came under fire from a sniper and knew there was a farmhouse just ahead of us. So the platoon commander asked me to take my section and go and check that farmhouse. So as I turned, there was a shot fired, I didn’t know this and then the guy behind me screamed and he grabbed a hold of his leg and he had been shot in the leg. The bullet had gone through my pouches and went into his leg and stayed there, it didn’t go right through. That was the closest I came to a live bullet, that I know of anyways.

So I went forward and went into the house and there wasn’t a soul in there. And then coming out, there was a root house [also called a root cellar], like we were in farming country, there was a root house and I could hear some talking in there and went to the root house and the whole family was in the root house, praying. They’d been told that we were awful people. With the little bit of German that I knew, I told them that they were alright, they could come out, we won’t do them any harm. So I said, there was a better chance of them getting shot at by Germans than by us.

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