Veteran Stories:
William George Will

Army

  • Emblem of the Royal Canadian Artillery. Mr. Will was a draftsman in the Royal Canadian Artillery

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"When I come back, everything was cancelled. The war in Japan had ceased [August, 1945] and they weren’t sending any troops anywhere. So then they started releasing us."

Transcript

I enlisted in Vancouver with my parents’ permission on the twenty-third of June, 1944. I was posted to Saskatoon. We did, the first six weeks, we did joint classroom for selection of trades, trades training and combined with military training, standard infantry training, learning how to use, you know, parade square and then learning how to use your weapons, going on the rifle range and things like that. Once the basic training and the initiation course was finished, you were selected for trades training. And then we went, you had a choice. You could take their selection and if you didn’t like it, you could get one of the other trades. They selected me for drafting, so I stayed with it. Well, it was drawing. For instance, we specialized when we got into the drafting, we would design houses or buildings, nothing complicated because as a draftsman, I would be under instruction of an engineer or he would do the initial drawings, and I would do the finished product. Yeah. We got warned for going to the Pacific and so they shipped us home on leave, supposed to be 10 days; and then they had to give me five days each way, so I spent the ten days at home, come back. When I come back, everything was cancelled. The war in Japan had ceased [August, 1945] and they weren’t sending any troops anywhere. So then they started releasing us. So basically, it was training, going to school, and that was it. Well, the thing I learned in the first during the war was the discipline and this helped you to go up to adulthood. I think that anybody contemplating going into the military should realize that this is going to be different than the discipline you get at home or the discipline in your job. It’s, how would you put it, it’s self [discipline] and it’s imposed on you, but you have to be able to carry out the orders. And if you can’t carry out the orders, then there’s no discipline.
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