"I had three bad months. That was Normandy, until we got out of Falaise. Once we got out of there, I had no problems. The Germans had two 88s [anti-tank gun] and when we tried to move, they blasted us."
At that time, I weighed 111 pounds. And when [Camp] Petawawa [Canadian Artillery Training Centre] sent me overseas, I went to Greenock, Scotland, we landed. From Greenock, I went to Aldershot [main camp for the Canadian army in Britain]. That was a holding place. We stayed there for about a month. I had training over there. I went on the route march and I couldn’t walk. So I sat down and the officer told me, if I’m swinging the lead [pretending to be sick], I’ll be sorry. And he took me to the medical office and they checked me out; and they said, that’s all they had in Canada, 111 pounds? I says, send me home. He said, we’ll find something for you to do. And they put me on a truck. So I didn’t have to do any walking.
And I did [Royal Canadian Army] Service Corps, then I went to 6th Anti-Tank [Regiment] with the 6th [Canadian Infantry Division] Div. I stood two and a half years in England and then I went into, 1944, I went into Normandy. Normandy, I went to Falaise, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. In 1945, I came home. I came home, I met my wife and I took my discharge.
I had three bad months. That was Normandy, until we got out of Falaise. Once we got out of there, I had no problems. The Germans had two 88s [anti-tank gun] and when we tried to move, they blasted us. And a few of my friends remained there. And then once the Americans and Canadians started bombing them, then we were free. We went into France. France we went right through like a house on fire. Same thing, went into Belgium and into Holland. And then we came into Germany in 1945, the war was over.
The best memory I can tell you is when I got on the boat to go home. That’s the only good memory, that’s the best memory I can tell you. Coming home, I came home on the [RMS] Queen Mary. That we were only half a boat, half was, it was all that we couldn’t stay or go near it because it was cruise ship. The [RMS] Queen Elizabeth wasn’t only built. It wasn’t ready for passengers. So that’s why two people had to stay in a room, we were six and eight. The only good memories I had.