Veteran Stories:
Thomas James “Tom” Lambon

Army

  • Thomas Lambon in Chilliwack, British Columbia, on October 19th, 2010.

    Historica Canada
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"We were called the British Army of the Rhine, right after when they were ceased. The powers that be, they made a deal that Germany would not be able to rearm for over 50 years."

Transcript

We got posted overseas. Once you finished your advanced training in [A14 Canadian Infantry Basic Training Centre, Camp] Aldershot [Nova Scotia], they post you overseas; and I went overseas in the old [RMS] Aquitainia. At the time, I was a driver and then we got transferred into the infantry corps. I did guard duty for the German prisoners of war for a while in the big monastery in Holland, just outside Nijmegen. We had two of the big army personnel, German army people. Then from there, I went up into Germany. The fellows we were guarding, one was the, as far as I remember, one was [Brigadeführer] Kurt Meyer [commander of the 25th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment (12th SS Division) in the Waffen-SS, the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel]. He was the head of the SS [Schutzstaffel: Nazi paramilitary organization] who killed the Canadians [at the Abbaye d’Ardenne]. And the other was, when there was another German, I don’t know if he was a general or who he was, but he was one of the head men of the German army who surrendered to the Canadians. The Americans come and took him from us, and on into their prisons because they were waiting for the Nuremburg trials. They were going to have the big trials later on. We were called the British Army of the Rhine, right after when they were ceased. The powers that be, they made a deal that Germany would not be able to rearm for over 50 years. We would occupy Germany for over 50 years and they were called the British Army of the Rhine, occupation duty. When Kurt Meyer was court martialed in Aurich, Germany, we court martialed him for life. [Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel] Clarence Campbell [the assistant prosecutor at Meyer’s trial; the trial was presided over by Canadian Major-General Christopher Vokes], he was the judge. When Clarence Campbell sentenced him for life, they brought him back to Canada here and, I think, he served seven years in the Canadian prison, and they pardoned him. And he went back to Germany and he sold beer to our Canadian troops, to our air force people and army people over at Laren, Saarbrücken and Baden-Baden. That’s the worst thing of the lot, out of the whole deal. They didn’t prove nothing. And he murdered our Canadians, yeah. You’ve heard that many times, I guess. Yeah. And we let him go.
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