Veteran Stories:
Hugh Lecky

Army

  • Heavy Artillery Anti-Aircraft Crew training in Esquimalt, BC 1944. Hugh Lecky is pictured 2nd from the right in the top row.

    Hugh Lecky
  • Photo of Hugh Lecky pictured outside of his barracks in October 1945.

    Hugh Lecky
  • Enlistment photo of Hugh Lecky.

    Hugh Lecky
  • During basic training, Hugh Lecky is pictured 5th from the right on the top row in Esquilmalt, BC Dec 21st 1943.

    Hugh Lecky
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"the damage in England and Northwest Europe, and Germany was just outrageous to me, for no need. The bombers absolutely rained destruction on these cities and towns."

Transcript

I was living on the farm with my dad and I got called up in the fall of 1943. I went to Calgary, went into the army. Went out to Vancouver Island, to Victoria, and I took training in artillery. Took my basic training and then I took training in heavy anti-aircraft artillery. The next year, January 1945, I went to England; and they transferred me to infantry. I was supposed to take training for that, but I don’t know what happened there. I was kind of shoved around from post to post and never really learned very much. But I didn’t get any action. They were supposed to leave at least one person on the farm with their parents, but that didn’t pan out because my sister and two brothers were already gone. One in the air force, and my brother in the air force, and my brother was a steam engineer in the Mercoal [Alberta] coal mine. I didn’t complain. I did my best. I was in [A14 Canadian Infantry Basic Training Centre, Camp] Aldershot [Nova Scotia] on draft for Europe. The war was still on, but in the meantime, I got very bad attack of tonsillitis and I ended up in the hospital for quite some time. And then when I got out of the hospital, the war ended. And then I spent more time training in England; and then I was sent to Holland and supposed to be Germany, oh, what do you call it, for policing, I guess you’d call it. But that didn’t work out and I was sent to two different outfits. Loyal Edmonton Regiment, I was sent there and I went to the Canadian Scottish [Regiment (Princess Mary’s)] and I was there for a while. And then I was sent back to England and I worked in the sergeants’ mess until I was sent home in April 1946. Well, I thought the damage in England and Northwest Europe, and Germany was just outrageous to me, for no need. The bombers absolutely rained destruction on these cities and towns. Some of them were just flattened right out with nothing left. I was in Cologne where that big cathedral stands and the cathedral was still standing, but it was complete rubble all the way around it and the smell was terrible.
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