"And from there, we went up into further action and then one of our first places we had the action, my, I was in the section leader’s tank and we got mortared; and we lost, some fellows got killed [...]"
I went from Maresfield over to North London, and then right for the continent. And what I always remember about the continent, after I got off of the LST [landing ship tank], and we got ashore, then there was some regiments were still on the shore ready to go into further action. I was a tank driver and our tanks had cordite [smokeless explosive material] on and they were all fixed up to go underwater. And the way you blew the cordites off, you plugged it into the lighter in the tank and that blew of the cordite.
Well, so then we hit shore. I plugged my thing into the light. Well, just ahead of me was the South Alberta Regiment and I’m telling you, that was a big bang; and I didn’t stick my head out of that tank for quite a while after because I was likely to get my head blown off.
And from there, we went up into further action and then one of our first places we had the action, my, I was in the section leader’s tank and we got mortared; and we lost, some fellows got killed, and then the officer, he lost his arm and that. So I had to take over the tank as the crew commander. And so then I was crew commander all the way through for the rest of the way up through Falaise and up through France, and the first part of Germany and into Holland.
And in France, after we crossed at Rouen, we got mortared; and I drove a scout car because I lost my tank on a mine. I drew drove a scout and a mortar landed right in front of me and shrapnel come through and caught me on the eye, you can see the scar there, and on the arm. So then I was sent back to CBRG [Canadian Base Reinforcement Group], at the hospital, CBRG, and I was operated on and then I was sent back after I was operated on to Holland. My eye swelled up and I was sent back down to Ghent; and I had the operation there and when that come through, I was sent back up to Holland again.
Then when I was sent back from Holland, they sent me down to, what do you call it, Kwatrecht [Belgium] in France. And then I was sent into the [Canadian] Provost Corps [military police]. My job was looking after sections of people who were held in detention. And then when that was all over, it was time, because I signed up for the Far East; and that’s how I come back home as a member of the Far East. And back to Toronto, and then I was sent up to [No. 22 Canadian Army Educational (Basic) Training Centre] North Bay and I was posted in North Bay. And in North Bay, then I had to go to Toronto and I was in Toronto on investigation, that’s what my job was, investigations. From Toronto, then I had to, they put me through for a discharge.
But while I was on the Provost Corps, there was an interesting part. I used to travel back and forth between North Bay and Port Arthur [Armoury] in those days; and I come back on one train and a couple days after, I’d go back to Port Arthur, to North Bay, again. So on the way back this one Christmas, on the way back, I was walking down the train and just minding my own business, just keeping my eye open and I seen this good looking Sergeant CWAC , CWAC [Canadian Women’s Army Corps], sitting there. And I asked her what her name was. And she told me what her name was and I didn’t understand it, so I says, can I see your pass? Well, she showed me her pass and then when I left there, she turned to the people who was sitting beside her. She says, I’m going to get even with that guy some day, because nobody ever asked me for my pass before.
So she did, next time going back, I guess I must have talked pretty good because we corresponded. She worked at an electrical [appliance] store up there; and I used to come up in Nipigon to visit. And we corresponded and as I say, we met in April 1946 and in 1947, we got married.