Veteran Stories:
Reginald Austin Farnell

Army

  • Picture of the family Reginal Farnell was billetted with in Eindhoven, Holland, winter of 1944-45.

    Reginald Farnell
  • Reginald Farnell (far right) and a soldier in his unit, with the children of the house in which they were billeted, in Eindhoven, Holland, winter of 1944-45.

    Reginald Farnell
  • Photograph of a deactivated V1 flying bomb. Germany used these pilotless bombs against England, Belgium and Holland. The bombs dropped seconds after the engines cut out. They are most remembered for the sound of their engines and the randomness of their destruction.

    Reginald Farnell
  • A V2 Rocket Bomb. This bomb had struck No. 2 Mobile Laundry of the Royal Ordinance Corp where Reginald Farnell was a member. Allegedly one soldier was killed in the attack.

    Reginald Farnell
  • Reginald Farnell on leave, in Trafalgar Square (London, England) not far from The Beaver Club, a meeting place for Canadian Troops.

    Reginald Farnell
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"Our job was that regiment was to get tanks ready and, you know, and repairs, and whatever for the ones that were fighting"

Transcript

When I went overseas, in fact, I was in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. My brother come over a year after 1943, and we talked about going with one or the other. I decided that I would go with him in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, right, but at that time, he didn’t know or I didn’t know; and he was in the 5th [Canadian (Armoured)] Division, so they were making plans to go down to Italy. I got in the army service corps, but I never got with him because I got with the army service corps for, I guess it was, the summer of 1943, but I stayed with them. And then I got a call to go out to the [Royal Canadian] ordnance corps and at that time, there was, the ordnance corps had made a change, the electrical/mechanical side went to RCEME [Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers]. So I joined with that.

Well, I joined as a driver/operator with the RCEME. Well, I was with them from the fall of 1943 until the end of the war. I was in on the, what they called the battle of Normandy. D-Day was June sixth, but I was in the Battle of Normandy when the date went from June sixth to August thirtieth, and everyone was included in that Battle of Normandy.

We went over on July twenty-third to France. We were really support troops. Our job was that regiment was to get tanks ready and, you know, and repairs, and whatever for the ones that were fighting, done with the tanks. But we were just support or getting the tanks ready.

When we first went over, I was a little timid. I thought that, well, this is more warlike now when I got over in France. As they advanced, so then we move forward on up into Belgium and into Holland. It was hot, warm, very warm, July and August, and it was very warm. Sunny and warm. The roads was dusty and everything. We had to travel in the fields when we did take some tanks out.

It was the [Vergelstungwaffe-1: German V-1] flying bombs that were the most of our troubles. We weren’t in any real battles.

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